How long does it take to send bitcoin from blockchain

On the Bitcoin network, the average confirmation time for a BTC payment is about 10 minutes. However, transaction times can vary wildly — and here, we’re going to explain why.

Ahhh blockchain. It’s the future of money, you know. But even though cash sent through old-fashioned banks often hit accounts instantly, a Bitcoin transaction can take a *little bit* longer.

How Long Does Bitcoin Take to Send?

On the Bitcoin network, the average confirmation time for a BTC payment is about 10 minutes. However, transaction times can vary wildly.

This is because it is affected by factors such as the total network activity, hashrate and transaction fees. If the Bitcoin network is congested, there will be a backlog of transactions in the mempool.

This would result users paying more in transaction fees to get transactions to go through faster. This occured in April 2021, where average Bitcoin transaction fees reached $59

What Is a Bitcoin Mempool?

A mempool is a record of all Bitcoin transactions that have not yet been validated by a miner and added to the next block on the blockchain. A mempool is temporarily stored on each individual node in the network.

Mempool transactions are periodically cleared each time a new block is added to the blockchain. Pending transactions waiting in mempools will only be cleared (processed) once they meet the minimum transaction fee threshold.

Transactions with low fees will often have to “wait” more than one block in the mempool until they are processed and confirmed.

Bitcoin Verification

Did you know that you could end up waiting hours before a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain is completed?

In some ways, using a cryptocurrency is like driving down a freeway. A high number of BTC transactions means there’s going to be a lot of congestion, slowing everything down.

Paying bigger Bitcoin transaction fees is a surefire way to jump to the front of the queue and cut wait times. It’s the equivalent of passing through traffic with a police escort. 

When you are sending Bitcoin , you need to incentivize miners on the blockchain to include your transaction in the next block — especially when the mempool is full. Given how block sizes are fixed at 1MB and there’s a limited number of miners, you may end up having to pay a much higher fee to get first-class treatment.

How Many Confirmation Is Needed for Bitcoin Transaction?

Once a new transaction is verified and included in a new block, it will count as one confirmation. After an average of 10 minutes, another block will be created with that transaction, which will count two confirmation. Some services only require one confirmation, while some exchanges required 3 or more BTC confirmations.

For Binance , 1 block confirmation is needed for BTC deposits, while 2 block confirmations is needed for Bitcoin withdrawals.

For Coinbase , it requires 3 block confirmations before considering the BTC transaction final.

How Long Does a Bitcoin Transaction Confirmation Take?

A Bitcoin transaction often goes through several confirmations on the blockchain before it is fully cleared. That’s because there’s a risk that unconfirmed transactions could be reversed, or the cryptocurrency could be spent twice. A confirmation takes place whenever a new block is created.

If you’re transferring a big amount of cryptocurrency to a company, some will require as many as six confirmations. How long would this transaction for the transfer take to confirm? About an hour.

Remember, each time you send a transaction, you are making a transfer (or transfers) and you need to wait until the transfer is “confirmed” by the miners.

How to Check Bitcoin Transaction Time

There are some great tools out there which can give you an estimate of the average time it’ll take to complete a BTC transaction or transfer, like Blockchain.com and Statista . You can also get guidance on the transaction fees you should add — often denoted in the form of satoshis (there are 100,000,000 satoshis in one Bitcoin).

If you submit a Bitcoin transaction with lower fees, you have a real risk of upsetting Bitcoin miners. They’ll throw a tantrum (or, in reality, will just ignore your lower transaction fees in favor of higher ones) and it’s possible your payment will end up languishing in a long list of unconfirmed transactions. However, you shouldn’t worry too much, as it will get processed whenever there’s a massive lull on the Bitcoin blockchain and miners have nothing else to do.

How to Check if Bitcoin Transaction Is Verified?

To check if your Bitcoin transaction has been validated by miners, you can do so through a blockchain explorer . For instance, by using CoinMarketCap blockchain explorer and inputting the Bitcoin transaction hash , you are able to see the status of your Bitcoin transaction and whether it is valid.

How to Speed Up Bitcoin Transaction

The long confirmation time associated with a Bitcoin transaction or transfer gives some BTC enthusiasts sleepless nights. They worry the blockchain won’t be able to cope with demand in years to come. (Fun fact: this was one of the main reasons why Bitcoin Cash was created).

Besides increasing your transaction fee to get ahead of the queue, another way to speed up your Bitcoin transaction is to transfer during off-peak periods for avoid congestion. On blockchain.com explorer , the mempool size chart shows when the number of unconfirmed transactions is at its lowest.

Will BTC Transactions Ever Be Faster?

Scaling solutions such as the Lightning Network aim to solve this problem by adding another layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain to speed things up. It aims to introduce the capability of micropayments that are cheap and fast, solving a major scalability issue of Bitcoin.

Another alternative to Bitcoin fees is to use a different cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Litecoin , that are known for faster transactions, aka faster confirmations after transfers. It’s fairly easy to transfer Bitcoins to other digital assets on an exchange

We hope you’ve enjoyed our FAQ about how long a Bitcoin transaction takes to be confirmed. By following our advice, you’ll be out of the Bitcoin mempool in no time.

At Edge, we know there are many reasons why users may want to move Bitcoin between their wallets. It could be spreading their money around to reduce risk, maybe they need to move it to a wallet where they can sell some easily and quickly, or maybe they are moving from a hot wallet to a cold wallet. No matter the use case, transferring is an important feature of using your Bitcoin wallet.

In this article, we will distill how long it takes to transfer bitcoin between wallets.

At the outset, it’s important to note that all reliable wallet solutions should show transactions as “pending” or “unconfirmed” effectively immediately after sending a bitcoin transaction. The amount of time it takes to transfer bitcoin between wallets is going to be considered in this article within the context of receiving at least one confirmation on a transaction.

Some Facts About the Bitcoin Blockchain

If users are sending Bitcoin from one wallet to another, then they are using Bitcoin’s blockchain. There are a number of things users should know about this blockchain to help with understanding how long it takes to make a transfer.

Fact #1: Block time is 10 minutes on average

Bitcoin creates a new block every 10 minutes, and it’s been consistent in doing so since inception. There is a difficulty adjustment on Bitcoin’s hash rate every 2 weeks, which ensures that the block time stays consistent no matter how much hash power is behind the network trying to mine the next block.

This means that, assuming a transaction makes it into the next block, 10 minutes is typically the time it takes for a Bitcoin transaction to receive a confirmation in the receiving wallet. 

That said, it could take longer than ten minutes, or slightly shorter, if blocks are being mined a little faster or slower than the 10 minute average pace. When sending a bitcoin transaction, the transaction fee that is sent to miners is important. The higher the fee attached to the transaction, the more likely a transaction is to be confirmed in the next block. The lower the fee attached to a transaction, the more likely the transaction is to take multiple blocks for confirmation.

At the time of writing, the image below illustrates the average confirmation times on the Bitcoin network over the last 60 days:

Bitcoin Average Confirmation time

The amount of time it takes for a transaction to receive a confirmation is largely dependent on the size of the bitcoin mempool.

Fact #2: The Mempool Tells The Story

The mempool is the bus station of the bitcoin network. It’s where all Bitcoin transactions go to wait to get confirmed by being added to a block (boarding the bus). Many things affect the size of the mempool including:

  • Transaction fees
  • Hash rate
  • Network traffic

If there’s a big line at the bus station (mempool), the station will be full, with transactions waiting to get added into a block. This congestion means delays for many transactions. Over the last 60 days, aside from a couple of spikes of growth in December, the mempool was pretty consistent.

Bitcoin Mempool size in bytes

To jump ahead of other transactions at this congested bus station, one thing users can do is pay a higher transaction fee. The increased transaction fee incentive, which is a primary way miners make revenue, will entice miners to add a transaction into a block more quickly.

Fact #3: ~2000 Transactions per Block

Blockchain.com (the source for these charts) has some great information on the Bitcoin network. At the time of writing, the average number of transactions included in a block is typically between 1500-2200 transactions.

Fact #4: Exchanges Seem Faster for a Reason

When either buying or selling Bitcoin, sometimes exchange accounts, be they Coinbase, Kraken, or many others, are a little faster than self-custody wallets in terms of transferring bitcoin from one account to the other.

That’s possible because exchanges like Coinbase do not put internal transactions on the blockchain. For example, we hope users never have to sell their Bitcoin, but when asking oneself  “how do you sell Bitcoin?The answer sometimes means moving bitcoin from a private wallet like Edge back to Coinbase to sell. This requires an on chain bitcoin transaction.

When transferring between Coinbase users, Coinbase is simply holding bitcoin in their vaults and changing the deposit balances in their servers from one account to another.
Similarly, if Bitcoin is swapped for another asset like Chainlink on an exchange, the exchange only tracks that transaction internally on their servers, since they have both assets in their internal vaults. These transactions don’t get sent on any blockchain until users move their asset off to an external account.

This lack of on-chain transactions within exchanges is why transferring bitcoin between accounts is often faster on centralized exchanges.

Putting the Pieces Together

As shown, there are multiple factors that impact the amount of time it takes to transfer bitcoin between wallets.

Let’s go back to the mempool one more time. We see the average number of transactions in the last 60 days waiting for confirmation is around 10-15k transactions.

bitcoin mempool transaction count

Knowing this and our other facts above which show 10 minute block times with ~2000 transactions per block, the natural assumption is that, all else remaining equal, setting a low or average transaction fee (which a user’s wallet software will calculate for them) to move Bitcoin between wallets will result in transactions sitting for a while in the mempool. Ten thousand transactions in the mempool could mean ~4-5 blocks worth of transactions getting filled before a transaction gets added into a block. And we know that that number of blocks means it could take somewhere between 40-50 minutes for the transfer to confirm.

With a higher fee, users can move their transactions up in priority.

Now, this doesn’t mean users will not see any activity in their wallet for nearly an hour. Many wallets will (and should) show transactions as “unconfirmed” or “pending” prior to receiving a confirmation. 

A single Bitcoin transaction could be $200, $5 million, or any other arbitrary amount moving at one time. For comparison’s sake, this waiting time is rather quick when stacked up against other base layer settlement systems such as a wire transfer.

With the many intricacies involved with transferring bitcoin between wallets based on current market conditions, users should use software that helps to ease this user experience as much as possible. If users want a wallet that understands and optimizes for these intricacies, eliminating a lot of the worry involved with sending and receiving transactions, give Edge a try today.

Written by Jane