Ether Mining Group (ETH) Etherchain decided to distribute the $2.6 million in fees it received as part of the abnormal chain of transactions seen last week.
According to a tweet published on June 15, the group will distribute the windfall profit to all the miners who participated in that block, according to a snapshot taken at the time of the transaction.
Justifying the decision, the company said that „given the amount involved we believe that four days is enough time for the sender to contact us“.
The company further revealed that several actors contacted it claiming to be the owners of the account, although they were unable to provide a valid signature conclusively proving that they were the original owners.
Blackmail behind multi-million dollar ETH transfer fees, researchers say
Core Ethereum developers Vlad Zamfir and Péter Szilágyi criticized the decision, with Zamfir particularly confused. Szilágyi said that he would „honestly wait a month or two if you really want to give it back“.
Etherchain noted that he would automatically distribute funds to the miners if something like this happened, which may suggest that the group was not enthusiastic about returning the money in the first place.
How much money will the miners get?
The $2.6 million fee is equivalent to approximately one day of block rewards at the Ethereum, calculated with an ETH price at the time of publication of $223.
Experts are divided over Ether’s second transaction which has a fee of USD 2.6 million
However, that fee is not evenly distributed throughout the network, as Ethermine’s Etherchain group only controls 21% of the hashrate, according to Etherscan. Therefore, the miners in that group can expect to receive the equivalent of approximately five days of normal mining.
Blackmail may be behind the big fees
As Cointelegraph reported earlier, the Chinese analysis firm PeckShield theorized that hackers gained full access to an exchange, but cannot withdraw their funds because the private keys are compartmentalized. Therefore, they can only send money to a white-listed address, but by setting such huge fees, they are effectively wasting money.
This is Ether’s third transaction with a huge commission. Will a new player have joined the game?
This could be part of a rescue strategy, where hackers ask to be paid to stop these transactions. In this context, Etherchain’s decision effectively seals the outcome of at least one of these transactions and may strengthen the position of the hackers, if that is what is happening.
Other theories include a malfunctioning API that exchanged the „gas“ and „quantity“ fields, although this seems increasingly unlikely as three similar transactions occurred.
These events remain a mystery, as it seems that the owners of these accounts are not pressing to recover the money, despite the goodwill of most mining groups.