Ethereum User Spends $9,500 in Fees Sending Just $120 in an Error to Forget

An Ethereum user mistakenly paid $9,500 in transaction fees to send just $120. The user, identified by their Reddit moniker ‘Proudbitcoiner’, says the transaction “destroyed my life” and is now desperately asking miners to return the money.

According to a Nov. 4 post on Reddit, Proudbitcoiner said they accidentally typed in the wrong transaction fee, leading to a transfer of amounts nearly 80 times the size intended.

In total, the user, who was swapping tokens on Uniswap via the ethereum wallet Metamask, paid 23.5 ether (ETH), worth roughly $10,300 at the time of writing. ETH fees averaged $1.07 when Proudbitcoiner made the transaction.

The funds were immediately pocketed by mining pool Ethermine, a unit of the crypto miner Bitfly, which by some coincidence created the block containing a transaction with a fee of $2.6 million in June.

“Metamask didn’t populate the ‘gas limit’ field with the correct amount in my previous transaction and that transaction failed, so I decided to change it manually in the next transaction (this one), but instead of typing 200000 in ‘gas limit’ input field, I wrote it on the “Gas Price” input field, so I paid 200000 Gwei for this transaction and destroyed my life,” Proudbitcoiner explained.

Transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain are paid in “gas” and measured in “gwei,” a system that can be confusing to a lot of people. The gas makes it possible to perform a transaction on the network, as long as miners agree to the price threshold.

Users can set limits on the maximum amount of gas they are willing to spend per transaction. Combined with the “gas price”, indicated in small amounts of ether called “gwei”, the two set the fee per transaction on the Ethereum network.

And because miners prioritize transactions with the highest fees, Proudbitcoiner’s transfer was processed within seconds. Now, they plead the miner gives the money back. The user lamented:

I contacted Ethermine on Twitter, I contacted their CEO Peter Pratscher on Twitter, I made this post here … I am out of ideas. Ethermine, because they mined the block my transaction was part of and it’s their goodwill if they want to return this or not.

Ethermine is not obliged to reimburse the money. When it encountered a similar issue on a $2.6 million transaction fee in June, the miner held the funds for four days, intending to pay the owner back, but later distributed the block reward to miners within its pool.

Bitfly, Ethermine’s parent firm, said at the time that it will not investigate or refund any such errors in the future.

What do you think about Proudbitcoiner’s error? Let us know in the comments section below.

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