My Bitcoin Transaction is Unconfirmed: How Can I Speed it Up?

To conduct financial transactions on a peer-to-peer network, owners of cryptocurrencies must be aware of all the specifics of their operation. Including such a concept as unconfirmed blockchain transactions because these are the ones that raise the most questions.

But let’s go over everything in order. Hi all, this is Alex. I’ve been studying cryptocurrencies and everything related to them for over five years. The situation with unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions is not uncommon. This article will look at why transfers are delayed and how to prevent this situation, and possible solutions to this problem.

Unconfirmed Transaction in Blockchain

An unconfirmed transaction is a transfer of digital assets that network nodes have not added to the new cryptocurrency block. A transaction in a distributed ledger system is a way to send funds to another network member. After being generated and sent, the data goes to the memory pool, where it awaits its turn to be processed by the miners.

After verification and confirmation, the transaction is included in the next block. Confirmations are needed to avoid double-spending, which compromises the integrity of the crypto network. Independent nodes record the authenticity of the transaction and verify it against the blockchain structure. Information about it is entered into a system, a distributed registry stored on thousands of computers.

Reasons My Bitcoin Transaction is Unconfirmed

As virtual money grew in popularity, the number of transactions on the network increased, resulting in more transactions than miners could add to the generated block. Queues began to appear on servers, and blockchain browsers began to list unconfirmed transactions.

Processing fees began to be divided into several categories, and those who wanted the money to reach the addressee sooner had to pay a higher fee, while the rest waited for the creation of the next block. In the Bitcoin network, they are generated every 10 minutes. Nevertheless, the money transfer comes in at least an hour and a half and sometimes a day or even more later.

It all depends on the degree of user activity; if there are many express transactions, the queue is delayed. Cryptocurrency holders who want to save on transferring funds get unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions. As a result, they wait for weeks and then receive their money back.

How to Speed up a Bitcoin Transaction

There are three ways to solve the Bitcoin unconfirmed transaction problem on your own but note that none of them guarantees one hundred percent result. Let’s look at all of them.

Increase the Opt-In Replace-by-Fee

Once upon a time, transactions on the Bitcoin network were done with a fixed fee. With the growing popularity of “digital gold”, the number of payment transactions in the network increased. That’s when utilities appeared with the option to dynamically change the amount of the fee, allowing unconfirmed blockchain transactions to be accelerated.

Of course, we are not talking about literally changing an already generated money shipment. By activating the RBF option, you tell the network that you’re willing to pay more in case of a delay, and the new transfer is automatically accepted instead of the old one. Bitcoin wallets Bitcoin Core, Electrum, and Green Address have this feature.

Double Spending

This is not a malicious attack at all, which would require at least 51% of the Bitcoin network’s processing power. When you send a second transaction with a higher fee, the old one will be canceled. But you should not abuse this method. The system must now accept it for processing, and the unconfirmed transaction is liquidated.

Child-Pays-for-Parent (CPFP)

CPFP can be used by either the sender or the recipient if they have money in their wallet. It is necessary to form another transfer utilizing the output of the stuck transaction. Keep in mind that there should be enough money left over to pay the fee for the two transactions:

  • Go to the Wallet section;
  • Enable Spend unconfirmed change and Enable coin features;
  • Press Submit;
  • Open Inputs;
  • Enter your address in the Recipient column;
  • Enter the amount you should receive and check the subtract fee amount;
  • Enter the payment amount in the Custom field, calculate two transactions and send the money.

An example with fiat money will help to explain how CPFP works more precisely. When you buy a product, you have to send cash to the seller. The seller’s transaction will be considered a “child” of your “parent” transaction because he can’t buy anything until you pay him. If you pay more than the value of the item when you buy, the seller must give you your change back. Every Bitcoin transaction has the same output for the change, allowing you to trigger the CPFP mechanism.

What You Need For a Normal Bitcoin Transfer?

The transaction with the excellent commission will be executed. Activate the Replace-by-Fee option in your wallet and mark all transfers as replaceable. This way, you will have no problem increasing the fee in case of delay.

Keep in mind, that fee depends not on the amount of money like in bank transfer, but kilobytes of information. That’s why 1 BTC transaction will be cheaper than four transfers of 0,2 BTC.

Be sure to check the memory pool at one of these sites before an urgent or significant transaction. Remember, you can only cancel an unconfirmed transaction by creating an alternate one with the same data included in the block. The pending transfer itself will not go anywhere.

What Next

Before taking any of the above steps, make sure that the transaction hasn’t gotten hung up due to an Internet connection failure or your rush. Human error cannot be ruled out. Be careful when conducting cryptocurrency financial transactions, as they are irreversible.

Artex Global publishes important content about blockchain and cryptocurrencies every week. Please check out our other guides on cryptocurrency transactions, cryptocurrency exchange, for example, Changelly cryptocurrency exchange or Binance cryptocurrency exchange, and more. We hope that they will be helpful for you and help you better understand all the mechanisms that drive cryptocurrencies.

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