How to best explain these transaction fee spikes?

Transaction Fee graph

Are these spikes actually transaction fees or accidentally taken as transaction fees because remaining amount not credited back to sending address during partial amount transfer? Is it really possible to differentiate between these two cases?

  • There should be a higher limit to the transaction fee, as there is a lower limit. When a transaction with 0.005 btc transaction fees is approved so fast, no one would want to pay 100 btc.
    – vi.su.
    Jan 29 '13 at 3:53

First of all you'd have to look at the spikes and see if they are the result of single transactions with a high transaction fee or if there were more transactions overall that day.

If you see individual transactions with a very high transaction fee then I'd say it's pretty likely to be a mistake by the sender. Here, for example, is the explanation for the spike on January 10th.

I've been doing raw tx's without a problem for weeks I guess the exhaustion of working over 12 hours per day for the last week has clearly taken its toll.

In general though, there is obviously no way to know if someone paid a very high transaction fee on purpose or not.

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