Miners self-stuffing transactions to drive up txn price?

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AntPool's recently mined transaction: 0000000000000000009be466106d868431a2d1aa946f529523048ee27f2deeaf sends 12.5btc + txnfees to 1L75eRMgeCwAxEjD1oWXjLgud9jxwxm34u

Here's where it gets interesting:

txn ecdb84be09bc9356cc0cff7aef3a93404fa13686d27d67feacf62740388720d1 value 400BTC has 8 inputs from 1L75eRMgeCwAxEjD1oWXjLgud9jxwxm34u into 2 addresses (Size: 4212 bytes @ 42sat/B). Weird to send yourself multiple amounts in the same transaction – but not a big deal, I guess.

One of these addresses 1F4JZYZr4rQhFeJ9P4N9ZL2cHe5cPsbnxw sent a 400BTC (3565 bytes @ 316 sat/B) transaction to about 100 tiny destinations (less than 0.01btc). But one stands out – 399btc 16jY8U2PodHZ79jKkSvjzVYoAjVQTpu6Q8 – it outputs to another 100 tiny transactions.

Repeating this search backwards in time we see this pattern repeating almost every block reward for AntPool / Bitmain.

The connections:

  • Antpool expects to get 40% of its transaction fees back via block reward
  • Antpool creates quite a few small dust transactions
  • Antpool pays premium fee rates

The questions:

  • Is Antpool (and other miners) gaming the fixed-size transaction fee market? Do we even care?
  • Is Antpool (and other miners) holding their BTC until after a potential hard-fork this driving up BTC prices before they open the flood gates and sell? Do we even care?

The "do we even care" part is not facetious. Maybe we really don't.

[edit: formatting]

submitted by /u/jlcooke
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247 Bitcoin

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