Bitcoin payment processing speed

How transactions work in the Bitcoin network and why there may be delays in the transfer

In case of making a payment or receiving a payment in bitcoin, the participants in the transaction do not use physical coins. Cryptocurrency transactions are an addressable block element that is transmitted over the network and added to blocks. All transactions are carried out in digital wallets and are recorded in Blockchain.

Blockchain is a public registry that stores all transactions that are not subject to change or forgery. Any transaction that uses digital coins becomes known to every network user, since one of the characteristics inherent in the blockchain is transparency and openness.

The block chain displayed in the blockchain is formed by miners mining these blocks. For each block found on the network, the miner receives a reward. Miners are financially interested in finding these blocks, giving up their computing power to find them. When sending funds to another wallet, the transaction first goes to a special storage - Memory Pool, in which the miners check and insert it into the block for subsequent display and confirmation on the Bitcoin network. Each block can contain up to 5 thousand simple transactions (with a small number of inputs and outputs) or 1 MB of data.

At the time of the creation of Bitcoin, miners distributed transactions in new blocks quickly and free of charge.

With the popularity of Bitcoin and participants, the number of transactions has become a lot. Since the blocks are 1 MB in size, the commission became a measure of which transaction to put in the new block (how much money are you willing to pay so that you become a priority for miners in a large number of unconfirmed transactions).

That is, the higher the commission, the higher the chances that this particular transaction will be added to the next block.


The principle of sending payments in bitcoin:

  • The user sends the transaction, indicating the amount and address of the recipient's wallet.
  • Next, the transaction is sent for confirmation to the mempool for processing by miners.
  • The transaction expects a minimum of 3 confirmations (ideally 6) from the side of the miners, who must determine whether the allocated per byte commission suits them and whether your transaction fits into the existing block with a maximum size of 1 MB.
  • After the transaction is confirmed by the miners, it is added to the blockchain and your payment is credited to the recipient's wallet.


Factors that affect the processing speed of a payment in the Bitcoin network

  1. Memory Pool network congestion. The more transactions all network users send to the mempool, the greater the total weight of these transactions and therefore the greater the load, given that the mempool has a limited amount. In the event of a crowded Memory Pool network, transactions may hang for weeks without confirmation.
  2. Amount of commission paid per transaction byte.
  3. The amount of data transmitted over the network.

The system was not originally designed for the rapid passage of payments. Usually users have to wait about 10 minutes. During this time, the transaction will be entered in the block and confirmed by a cryptographic signature. But the growing number of Bitcoin transactions has led to the fact that even transactions backed by a large commission are processed for about an hour or more. And this is not during peak hours of congestion. For other deals, the situation is even worse. Especially if a large amount is transferred, requiring confirmation in several blocks. Then payment can take place after a day or more.

You can check the load status of the memo by the link: https://www.blockchain.com/ru/charts/mempool-count

A list of all unconfirmed transactions can be tracked at the link: https://www.blockchain.com/ru/btc/unconfirmed-transactions

For reasons of network and memo congestion, transactions may also not be displayed in the familiar to many users www.blockchain.com, while they may be visible in other public services, such as:

https://chain.so/

https://www.blocktrail.com/BTC

If a transaction for some reason hangs in the mempool, then you should not panic and worry.

After some time, the load on the network will drop, a new block will be available, the number of unconfirmed transactions will drop, and a transaction not previously displayed will necessarily appear on the network and receive confirmation.