What is Bitcoin Confirmation Time?

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Author: Mr. KingsHOK
An accountant who turned cryptopreneur to pursue my interest in crypto and decentralized finance. Let me show you how to invest safely in the space with my experience over the years.

Bitcoin transfer confirmation time is how long it takes a blockchain transaction submitted to the network is recorded as a confirmed block.

In other words, it represents the total time a user has to wait until their transaction gets collected and confirmed by a miner node.

Depending on the type of blockchain and network architecture, this can be reduced by offering a higher transaction fee, so miners will give it a higher priority.

The average confirmation time for a BTC transfer between wallets isn’t more than 10 minutes.

However, Bitcoin transaction times can vary wildly, but never fun when a typical transaction takes more than 24 hours to confirm.

If you’re experiencing Bitcoin confirmation delay, you should follow my guide on how you can fix unconfirmed BTC transaction.

Transactions needs to be approved by the network, and the Bitcoin community has set a standard of 6 confirmations for a transfer to be considered as complete.

The more transactions that the network needs to process, the longer time each transaction takes.

There are only a finite number of miners to process each block and there are a finite number of transactions that can be included in a block.

Miners on the network prioritize transactions by the fee that they receive as incentive for confirming them.

Therefore, if you pay a higher fee, a miner is more likely to process your transfer which decreases the transaction time.

Bitcoin confirmation time

Bitcoin confirmation time can be used as a metric to measure the average speed of a blockchain network.

Since the actual time between submission and confirmation can vary due to individual factors and fluctuations.

It is more reasonable to calculate the efficiency and speed of a blockchain by making use of an averaged confirmation time.

After a transaction has been included in a block by a miner, the block needs to be validated by the other nodes of the network.

When the block is confirmed to be valid, the cryptocurrency transaction is considered to have a single confirmation.

This means that each new block that is mined on top of that will represent another confirmation.

Confirmation time factors

The two main factors influencing the Bitcoin transaction confirmation time are;

  1. The amount of network activity
  2. Transaction fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every Bitcoin transaction sent into what’s called the mempool (short for memory pool) has specifiy number of confirmations needed from the miners.

When there’s a dramatic spike in transaction activity, the mempool can become congested due to many transactions waiting to be included in the next block.

Apart from the two determinants mentioned above, there is a fixed computational time of 10 minutes, which the miners take to mine a valid Bitcoin block.

Using Bitcoin confirmation booster techniques can help to prioritize and included transactions in the block.

If your BTC transactions remains unconfirmed and taking forever, you can check the real-time state of mempool.

As recent blocks aren’t fully secured, it’s better to wait additional block confirmations, before considering the transaction successful and irreversible.

However, if your Bitcoin confirmation is taking hours, then you should consider finding a way to accelerate the confirmation time elapse.

Bitcoin transaction time

The actual number of confirmations before a transaction is considered final varies and is directly dependent on the computational power (hash rate) devoted to securing each blockchain network.

For instance, Bitcoin users usually consider a minimum of 6 block confirmations to be highly secure, but other chains with less power behind them would require significantly more than that.

Just be careful when choosing transaction for transferring BTC from one cryptocurrency wallet to another, because it can cause your confirmation to be very slow.

Having said all this, have you wondered what the Bitcoin development team is doing to ease out this situation?

Well, of course, they know that for someone to wait for 30-60 minutes to get confirmation is simply unacceptable, a new technology was introduced to make it faster.

That’s why they are working on solutions such as Segwit, Schnorr signatures, and lightning networks, through which transactions will be almost instantaneous.