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: