A Bitcoin user sent over 50,562 BTC ($1 billion) to an address on the blockchain, paying a fee of just 2,513 satoshi, or sats (the smallest denomination of Bitcoin), the equivalent of half a dollar, for the fun.
Sankey deal chart showing fees, value and time. Source: mempool
The unknown wallet address paid out a small portion (less than 0.0001%) of the total value traded. Simply put, the user paid 50 cents to transfer twice the GDP of the bitcoin-friendly islands of Tonga. The $1 billion transaction was processed in block 761374, for a transaction fee of just 15 satz per unit of data, or sats/fabit.
Cointelegraph experimented with several online banking services to estimate the cost of sending huge sums of money through legacy financing tools. To transfer $10 million, the well-known remittance provider charges a tiny percentage, 0.3%, which equals $30,000. This is a million times more expensive than using the Bitcoin blockchain to send money.
The experience of sending large sums of money using old financial instruments. Source: Wise
Before a new block of Bitcoin is mined, each Bitcoin transaction request is put into a memory pool, or “mem pool,” which is a bit like a Bitcoin bus stop. On average, it takes miners 10 minutes to mine a new block.
Bitcoin miners sort the transactions, processing the passengers with the most expensive bus tickets (transaction fees) first. Usually, the higher the transaction fee, the faster the transaction will be confirmed. At 15 sats/fabt, the cost of sending more than 50,000 bitcoins is very low, which indicates that this bitcoin whale is in no rush.
By comparison, in late October, a fat-fingered Bitcoin user paid 8,042 set/byte, or 1,136,000 sats to transfer 3.8 bitcoins ($65,000).
Sorting through transactions in a mempool is a relatively straightforward process for miners. Contrary to many beliefs of Bitcoin critics, it is not a power-hungry process. Ultimately, Bitcoin’s power consumption comes from issuing a block reward, not from transactions.
Related: CleanSpark Mining for BTC Affects Thousands of Miners Amidst ‘Tilted Markets’
A Bitcoin whale address has continued to send more than 50,000 bitcoins to various other addresses on the blockchain. The addresses are not publicly known addresses, such as Binance’s cold storage wallet or Bitcoin mined in 2009, which was subsequently lost in a landfill in Wales.