Ethereum mining pool Sparkpool received a payout of over 2,000 ETH (worth $300,000) just for mining one block on the ethereum blockchain Tuesday – a figure that’s about 600 times the network’s standard block reward.
Miners who secure blocks are programmed to be awarded 3 ETH (about $500) for every new transaction block added to the ethereum blockchain. On top of this, there is also a small payout attached to transactions incentivizing miners to validate and include new transactions into a mined block.
Yet, with only 210 validated transactions, Sparkpool received 2,103.1485 ETH at block number 7,238,290, according to data from ethereum block explorer Blockscout.
As highlighted on Twitter by Jimmy Zhong – co-founder of decentralized application platform IOST – the strange activity could be seen as a random fluke, with one ethereum user (or perhaps multiple) accidentally attaching abnormally high transaction fees to their payments.
Alternatively, it could be seen as a sign of goodwill from an anonymous supporter of the ethereum mining community, which in recent days has been divided over a contentious proposal to change which type of mining chips can be employed by miners seeking to compete for rewards.
Others suggested it could be a less altruistic attempt to “wash” money through the ethereum blockchain, obfuscating that it might have been illegitimately acquired.
But if past crypto history is any indicator, the likelihood of an innocent human error is not as outlandish as one might assume. Back in July 2014, one bitcoin user attached 30 bitcoins worth of transaction fees to a 38 bitcoin transaction due to an accidental error in typing, an error that despite enhancements in UX, is not altogether uncommon in the industry at large.
Ethereum image via Shutterstock