The unusual transactions might be the result of blackmail, says Primitive Ventures founder
Ethermine, one of the mining pools that received $2.6 million in transaction fees during a string of abnormal transactions last week, has decided to distribute the astronomical fee among its miners.
The Ethereum mining pool, Ethermine initially asked the unknown wallet owner to contact them if the transaction was processed by mistake. The tweet said “Today our Ethermine ETH pool mined a transaction with a 10.000 ETH fee. We believe that this was an accident and in order to resolve this issue the sender should contact us immediately!”
However as no verifiable claims have been placed on the wallet after four days, the mining pool has decided to distribute the transaction fee. The company stated that “given the amount involved we believe four days is sufficient time for the sender to get in touch with us.” Each miner can expect to receive rewards equivalent to five days of normal mining.
Dovey Wan, the founding partner at Primitive Ventures, was quick to point out that it was unlikely for the unusual transactions to be part of a money-laundering conspiracy. “This a stupid way to launder money by the way,” he tweeted. “First you need to collude with Pools to get the fund cycle back (which will expose them), and such high-profile outstanding transactions will be under the scrutiny of the entire community, which is the last thing money laundry want,” he explained.
He argued instead that this could be a form of blackmail by someone who hacked into the unknown wallet. He stated that it seems as if the “hacker can move the coin but only to a list of certain addresses which are whitelisted (or other unknown constraints).”
Wan believes that the hacker might be draining the wallet to extract a ransom. “hence by tossing exchange asset might pressure exchange side to settle with ransom,” he tweeted.