How Long Does a Bitcoin Transaction Take

In this article, we will examine how long a bitcoin transaction takes. In theory, Bitcoin transaction time for an unloaded network is anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. In reality, confirmation of a transaction takes longer - up to 3-5 hours or more. What can such a long wait time be related to, we will consider in this article.

Bitcoin transaction time is an indicator that reflects the speed of a transaction to transfer BTC coins from one wallet to another. Transaction confirmation is needed to exclude repeated spending of money and to give time for the system to verify the validity of the transaction.

How bitcoin payments work - how much bitcoin goes

Traditional payment services consist of servers and databases. The server keeps the system running, and the database stores information about the movement of funds. In the bitcoin network, the role of the server is played by miners and the role of the database is played by the blockchain.

A blockchain is a chain of blocks. Miners search for a block that meets the conditions by brute force. The miner who finds it first records in its body that it has been rewarded, and then includes all user transactions. Rewarding decreases with time: at first it was 50, then 25, 12,5 and now 6,25 BTC.

It would seem that when the system stops paying for finding new blocks, miners will leave, and bitcoin will die, because it will lose those, thanks to whom it works. To prevent that from happening, and for miners to keep making money, they charge a fee for including payments into the blockchain. The amount is determined by the user, but miners prefer transfers with a large fee, because their earnings depend on it.

Bitcoin network - how many confirmations should collect a transaction

Sending coins and paying the fee is only half the battle. No one will guarantee that you haven't made multiple transactions without having the funds. To prevent double spending, each one needs to be confirmed.

A cryptocurrency transaction is considered confirmed from the moment it is included in the 6 blocks. So how long does one wait to confirm a transaction? It takes 10 minutes to find one block. Theoretically, confirmation would take 60 minutes.

The number of confirmations was chosen based on mathematical studies showing that a fraudster would need to capture 10% of the network's capacity to fake a financial transaction. This is quite expensive, and the end does not justify the means.

Transaction participants can negotiate and reduce the number of confirmations to two. This is usually what stores do when the purchase amount is small.

The confirmation time began to increase rapidly

At first it worked that way. Payments were cheap and went quickly. No one wondered how long to wait for a bitcoin transaction. But soon bitcoin became very popular and the block size was limited to 1 MB. There were so many people who wanted to send coins that the blockchain could no longer hold them in one block. Queues began to form.

The real problems began in 2017. Users complained that they had to wait several days for transaction confirmation. This was easily solved by increasing the commission, but it made using bitcoin very expensive or even pointless if the amount was a penny (the commission would be more than that).

How long it takes to confirm a bitcoin transaction and how to speed up the process

  • Centralized services with a separate system of cryptocurrency transactions. There are resources that conduct digital currency transfers between their customers without the blockchain ecosystem. How long would a bitcoin transaction take in this case? It will be instant transfers, but the currency transfer must be within the system. One such service is Coinbase. It has a cryptocurrency transaction system separate from the blockchain.
  • Multisignatures to speed up transaction confirmation in the Bitcoin system. For example, GreenAddress, in addition to the standard transfer signature provided by the system, puts its own multi-signature as a confirmation of the reliability of the transfer. How long do bitcoin transactions take in such a case? The blockchain system treats such transactions as reliable and they are accepted into the generated block faster.
  • Open transactions and trusted servers. The bottom line is that an open transfer, when all the information about the sending and receiving parties is present, gets system confirmation faster by accepting the data into the generated block. But few people use them because it contradicts the very idea of using digital currency, namely the anonymity of money transfers.

Bitcoin transaction time can be accelerated using the Opt-In Replace-by-fee function

There is a way to make your cryptocurrency transaction jump the queue - Opt-InReplace-by-Fee (Opt-InRBF) option. This way, you can resend the same transfer, but with a higher fee.

Without this feature, when a network transaction is resent with a higher fee, the network rejects the new transfer. Bitcoin nodes usually treat the new transaction as a double spend and therefore do not accept or delay it. So you tell the network that you can resend that transfer later, but with a higher fee. Most Bitcoin nodes accept the new transaction instead of the old one and the new transfer jumps the queue.

Whether your cryptocurrency transaction is included exactly in the next block depends on which miner gets the new block: not all miners use Opt-InRBF. Anyway, this option is supported by enough miners that your operation will be included in the next few blocks.

Opt-InRBF function is supported by different wallets, for example: Electrum and GreenAddress. In Bitcoin Core it is supported when processing transactions, but you can create your own RBF transactions only with third-party scripts. Depending on the wallet, you may need to update Opt-InRBF in the menu settings before sending the (first) transaction.

Bitcoin transaction times can be accelerated with special services

If your BTC transfer is waiting too long for confirmation, you can order an expedited transaction on the ViaBTC pool.

  • Login to the Transaction Accelerator on the pool site.
  • Send your TXID with a fee of 0.0001 BTC/KB. The server accepts up to 100 IDs per hour for acceleration at no additional charge.

Registered users can take advantage of a paid acceleration service. An additional fee is deducted from the Bitcoin Cash balance of your pool account.

How long does it take to transfer bitcoin and what does it take to make a normal transaction

Transaction with adequate commission will definitely 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 amount of money like in bank transfer, but on kilobytes of information. That's why 1 BTC transaction will be cheaper than 4 transfers of 0,2 BTC. On or Bitcoinfees you will find statistics about distribution of transaction fees.

Be sure to check the memory pool at one of these sites before you make an urgent or very important transfer. Remember, you can cancel an unconfirmed transaction only by creating an alternative one with the same data, which will be included in the block. The pending transfer itself will not disappear.

If we wait too long for a transfer from the exchanger, the bitcoins are lost?

No. On the bitcoin network, confirmation can take a long time. For example, the BTC exchange rate has risen or fallen sharply and investors rush to trade on exchanges. Or in mempool, temporary storage of unconfirmed transfers, there are too many high priority transactions (with higher commissions) that sort of go "out of queue". The network can be congested and confirmation can take longer.

Also the blockchain can fail, for example due to a massive attack, and the confirmation can be cancelled. No need to worry, bitcoins will come back to the sender's address and the transfer can be repeated.

Now you know how many confirmations are needed for bitcoin transaction, how long it takes and what this parameter depends on.


How do I find crypto transactions?

The easiest way to find your crypto transactions is to use a block explorer. A block explorer is a website that allows you to search for and track bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions.

To use a block explorer, you'll need the transaction ID (TXID) of the transaction you're looking for. You can find the TXID by clicking on the "ShowHash" link in the "Transactions" section of your BitCoin wallet.

Once you have the TXID, go to a block explorer website and paste it into the search bar. Click "Search" and you'll see all of the details about that particular transaction, including when it was mined, who mined it, and how much money was transferred.

How do I check my crypto transaction history?

To check your crypto transaction history, you first need to find the public address of the crypto wallet that you used to make the transaction. Once you have the public address, you can use a block explorer to track the transaction. A block explorer is a website that allows you to search for transactions by inputting a public address or by scanning a QR code.

Some popular block explorers include:


How are crypto transactions completed?

Transactions are completed through a process known as mining. Miners use powerful computers to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate crypto transactions and add them to the blockchain. As a reward for their services, miners are typically rewarded with crypto tokens.

Can Bitcoin transfer take 24 hours?

According to the Bitcoin network, most transactions take around 10 minutes to confirm. However, sometimes it can take longer depending on the fee paid by the transactor and the overall amount of traffic on the blockchain. Some transfers may even take up to 24 hours to be processed. In general, though, you can expect most Bitcoin transactions to go through within a reasonable amount of time.

Why is my BTC transaction taking so long?

There are a few potential reasons your transaction might be taking a long time to process. One possibility is that the transaction is simply taking longer than usual to be confirmed on the blockchain. Another possibility is that there may be a backlog of transactions waiting to be processed, in which case your particular transaction will only move forward once all the other transactions ahead of it have been processed.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you've included an adequate fee with your transaction. If the miners don't think your fee is high enough, they may choose not to include your transaction in the next block, which could cause delays. You can check out this fee estimator tool to get an idea of what an appropriate fee would be for your specific transaction

How long does it take for a bitcoin transaction to be confirmed?

Since Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, there is no central authority that can confirm transactions. Instead, Bitcoin nodes (computers running the Bitcoin software) each independently verify every transaction that they receive. Once a transaction is verified once, it can be confirmed an unlimited number of times by other nodes on the network

The average time it takes for a transaction to be confirmed varies depending on how busy the network is and what fee you paid to have your transaction included in the next block. The median time it takes for a Bitcoin transaction to be confirmed about 10 minutes. So if you're waiting for yourBitcoin transaction to be confirmed, most likely it will take about 10 minutes. However, sometimes it can take much longer depending on the fee.


Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular and as the number of users rises, there is a risk that transferring transactions could increase, as they could be queued up. There's not much longer left to wait though if you're willing to invest in an expedited transfer service

One important factor that makes bitcoin remarkably different from credit cards is that they don't have a central repository - which means there's no way to stop or reverse payments. So, make sure you do your research and use the right address. Bitcoin transactions do have advantages, such as the independence of transaction fees from the distance to which the transfer need to be made. The question is whether or not there are other ways of performing a transfer for a lower cost that are more relevant.


You should be aware of all the dangers connected with cryptocurrency trading and seek counsel from a financial expert who is not affiliated with any cryptocurrency exchange. This website's opinions, news, research, analysis, pricing, and other information are offered as general market commentary and do not represent investment advice.

Jack Evans

I became a crypto asset owner in 2014, when the industry was in its infancy. Before that, I was working in the classic US and European stock markets. Since then, I have gained extensive experience in both cryptocurrency investing and day trading. I am happy to share with readers my experience with crypto exchanges, DeFi and NFT instruments.

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