Most of us are familiar with Bitcoin. It has totally changed our attitude towards finance and the way we do banking, it has brought safety and swiftness to our transactions. Though, Bitcoin payments are performed the way faster than bank transfers, there is no limit to perfection. Users are still searching for the ways to reduce the transaction time.
How does everything work in practice?
Unfortunately, the whole process of Bitcoin transaction is not instant as we all dream about, as transaction is only considered to be completed once it is confirmed on in the blockchain. Once the transaction leaves the Bitcoin wallet it gets to the mempool and receives „unconfirmed“ status. The transaction is pending and remains in mempool until it is validated by the miners and receives 1st confirmation. In order to receive confirmation Bitcoin transactions are grouped into blocks which are then added to blockchain. Every single inclusion to the block results in receiving 1 confirmation. As soon as transaction receives 3 confirmations, it is considered to be completed. Averagely, it takes up to 10 minutes to mine a block, so the transaction might take around 1 hour.
Due to the increased popularity of Bitcoin, the number of transactions grows notably. Thus, this leads to the fact that the time for transaction confirmation may take from 30 minutes and even up to 16 hours. By mischance, if transaction stays in the mempool for too long it can be dropped from the system and is to be considered as canceled. As a result it will disappear and the funds will be reverted back to your wallet.
What are the options to speed up the process of Bitcoin transaction confirmation?
To speed up the process the users eventually add a big enough fee estimating that miners are paid for collecting those fees. It is obvious that the transactions runs faster based on higher fee. This actually sets priorities.
Initial outgoing fee usually was fixed and equal to 0.0001 BTC for most of the wallets. Many wallets can adjust the fee for you, so that you do not need to evaluate the fee and set it on your own. For instance, Blockchain wallets support dynamic fees that calculate the most suitable transaction fee to run it reliably and the soonest way. The user just needs to check whether dynamic fees are supported in the wallet.
Initially insufficient fees can also be handled manually through settings or when actually making the transaction. For example, there is an option to adjust the fees manually when using Advanced Send. Always keep in mind that different types of wallets adjust the fees also differently.
Except the amount of sent coins there are also several additional factors to set the priorities for the miners such as the age of the coins (the older- the better) and the size of the transaction (the smaller- the better). In addition, you should be careful when performing the transactions as some of the platforms may also request to pay the additional transaction fees. So, prior to start using the platform you should check the Fees page.
How to calculated estimated commission?
The key point is to calculate the amount of estimated commission. In order not to go into technical details, you should always remember that calculation of the commission for bitcoin transfer is based on two factors: according to the data sent with the transaction and on the repeatability of the transaction. For example, if you receive a large number of small amounts, then the commission for sending will be larger. A quick waste of small amounts also increases the commission. But if your activity uses transactions in the traditional style, then the commissions for you will always remain very small. For instance, you initially replenish your wallet with a large amount, and then from time to time pay for any product or service.
As to evaluate the most suitable amount of commission for bitcoin transaction is not so easy, for the convenience of users on the network there exist services that will calculate the commission automatically. The services investigate how busy the network is and offer the optimal commission for the transaction in question.
Among the services with this functionality is, for instance, Bitaps – Bitcoin processing and block explorer. The service has 3 color indicators to mark the level of transaction priority to be included to the next mining block:
– Blue marker shows that the transaction will be confirmed in the nearest block.
– Green marker assumes confirmation after 2-5 blocks.
– Black marker states that the transaction can count on confirmation after 5 or more blocks.
Another similar resource to estimate the commission is Bitcoinfees Earn. Using this resources, will help you to determine the optimal recommended commission in a matter of seconds.
How can the status of transaction be tracked?
Each operation has a unique transaction identifier regardless of being confirmed or not. Details about your transaction ID are in your wallet and inserting them to any block explorer, you see the status of transaction to understand where your funds are. Information is stored in a specific structure, which allows you to get details about any transfer. Each of the blocks contains the following information: version; date of creation; the code (hash) of the newly created block; hash previous; the hash codes of all transactions contained in the block.
Also you can find the details of the sender and recipient bitcoin in the form of purse numbers, as well as the number of dispatched bitcoins. It is worth noting that it is impossible to cancel sending, as well as to change the data about it. Therefore, before sending someone to the BTC should carefully check the details.
To find your Bitcoins and check the transaction status, one can use the Blockchain Info resource. To do this, go to the official site and enter the address of the wallet, a transaction hash or block, or an IPv4 address in the search box.
Blockchain Info will give details about the address: the total number of transactions; how many bitcoins are listed on this purse and the final balance. Also, Blockchain Info will tell you about all the wallets that have ever listed coins or taken bitcoins in the bundle of the desired number, the number of BTCs and the date. These details can be filtered by the sender, the recipient, and the verification status.
Thus, we managed to find out how to influence the speed of Bitcoin transaction we are just planning to send and how to track the status of your already sent transaction. In the next part of our article we will help you to understand whether there are still methods to speed up the transaction that has already been sent.