Vitalik Buterin Comments on Strange Transaction Fees


Multiple transactions recently incurred millions in transaction fees on the Etheruem network, which creator Vitalik Buterin thinks could have been blackmail. 

“So the million-dollar txfees *may* actually be blackmail,” Buterin said in a June 12 tweet.

What happened?

Proposing his theory on the situation, Buterin explained:

“Hackers captured partial access to exchange key; they can’t withdraw but can send no-effect txs with any gasprice. So they threaten to ‘burn’ all funds via txfees unless compensated.”

Multiple transactions have incurred exorbitantly-high network fees

Over the last few days, someone sent approximately $130 worth of Ethereum (ETH), as of press time pricing, paying $2.6 million in transaction costs. Another transfer totalling $86,000 in ETH followed shortly after, incurring the exact same fee.

In a second tweet, Buterin mentioned an alternative possible explanation. “Similar situations could happen in ‘scorched earth’ games, including scorched-earth vaults aka ‘Moeser-Eyal-Sirer’ vaults,” he said, tagging AVA Labs CEO Emin Gün Sirer and Technion assistant professor Ittay Eyal.

Buterin also mentioned “scenarios where hackers can slash but not steal staked funds.”