Paxos pays $500,000 fee to send $1,865

A wallet on the Bitcoin blockchain paid a 19.82 BTC ($499,171) fee to transfer 0.074 BTC ($1,865). Put another way, they spent 270x the transaction value to pay the fee. Bitcoin transaction fees are required to make any action on the Bitcoin blockchain, and people can opt to pay higher fees to incentivize their transactions being processed sooner. 19.82 BTC is far outside the realm of someone just hoping to get a speedy transaction, however — the next-highest transaction fee in that block was 0.006 BTC ($159.20).

Bitcoiner Jameson Lopp speculated that the transaction "looks like an exchange or payment processor with buggy software" based on its transaction history. "The address in question that made the fee calculation error has the characteristics of a withdraw-only hot wallet from an enterprise," he wrote.

His observations were well-founded, as it later came out that the wallet belonged to the Paxos blockchain company, who attributed the overpayment to a bug. Luckily for Paxos, the miner who snapped up the outsized fee agreed to refund it.