‘Why is My Bitcoin Transaction Taking So Long?’ Here’s Why

My Bitcoin wallet has recently taken longer and longer to receive a Bitcoin payment. This wasn’t happening 2-3 months ago.

Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but I know I have. My Bitcoin wallet has recently taken longer and longer to receive a Bitcoin payment, have advised me of a delay, and sometimes even told me why I am still waiting. This wasn’t happening 2-3 months ago, but the issue of Blockchain delays for transactions has been happening off-and-on all year long. It is a two part problem, from what I can gather, so let’s review the main factors and potential solutions.

Block size debate was kicked down the road

In the summer of 2015, the block size debate was all the rage, as the Bitcoin protocol showcased signs of transaction exhaustion for the very first time. Some major corporations desired to spike the block size to as high as eight MB to ease the flow of Blockchain transaction traffic. In the end, the community punted and kicked the block size can down the road. More efficient applications like the upcoming Segregated Witness are coming before year’s end, enlargening the effective size by as much as 70%, and The Lightning Network should show up not too far after.

If there were a bunch of empty blocks, and the world wasn’t clamoring to use Bitcoin, if Bitcoin was indeed “dead,” as the mainstream media likes to brand it, then there would be no problem. Alas, Bitcoin is just as popular as ever, but the total transactions per day has levelled off, most very likely because of the current one MB limitations. There seem to be more transactions than overall space, so the block size is factor number one, but as I just mentioned, help is on the way.

It’s always about the money

My wallet has told me that the fees paid to miners for transactions are causing delays, so 21.co looked at the other factor. Here is what they found:

In the above chart, which can be seen in real-time here, you will see a large orange bar at the top indicating the “mempool” for the Blockchain. This denotes the number of transactions in the mempool over the last seventy two hours, having suffered some sort of delay in processing. The indicators on the right side demonstrate how long a transaction takes, in blocks or minutes, and these delayed transactions all have something in common. The fees paid were only ten Satoshis or less. These transactions have been shown to be delayed as long as twenty blocks, or up to four hours.

For those who paid more than ten Satoshis to process a transaction, as you budge down the chart, mempool transactions and delays become a distant memory. When fees exceed fifty Satoshis, transactions delays of any kind become almost unlikely to see, and these transactions get VIP service.

So, if you want swifter transactions, contact your exchange or wallet provider’s support staff to see if you can by hand adjust the miner fee paid for a transaction you may need in a timely style. I know I have waited for 2-3 hours myself for a transaction over the last month, and this seems like it can be avoided, but you will have to be proactive, and not all wallet providers give you this plasticity.

Presumably, once Segregated Witness and Lightning arrive, two thousand seventeen will see a much better flow of Bitcoin, and the current logjam showcase all just be a memory of being an “early adopter,” living on the cutting edge of 21st-century financial technology. You can tell your grandkids; “Back in my day, we had to wait three hours for our Bitcoin!”

Why is My Bitcoin Transaction Taking So Long? ’ Here’s Why

‘Why is My Bitcoin Transaction Taking So Long?’ Here’s Why

My Bitcoin wallet has recently taken longer and longer to receive a Bitcoin payment. This wasn’t happening 2-3 months ago.

Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but I know I have. My Bitcoin wallet has recently taken longer and longer to receive a Bitcoin payment, have advised me of a delay, and sometimes even told me why I am still waiting. This wasn’t happening 2-3 months ago, but the issue of Blockchain delays for transactions has been happening off-and-on all year long. It is a two part problem, from what I can gather, so let’s review the main factors and potential solutions.

Block size debate was kicked down the road

In the summer of 2015, the block size debate was all the rage, as the Bitcoin protocol demonstrated signs of transaction tiredness for the very first time. Some major corporations wished to spike the block size to as high as eight MB to ease the flow of Blockchain transaction traffic. In the end, the community punted and kicked the block size can down the road. More efficient applications like the upcoming Segregated Witness are coming before year’s end, enhancing the effective size by as much as 70%, and The Lightning Network should show up not too far after.

If there were a bunch of empty blocks, and the world wasn’t clamoring to use Bitcoin, if Bitcoin was indeed “dead,” as the mainstream media likes to brand it, then there would be no problem. Alas, Bitcoin is just as popular as ever, but the total transactions per day has levelled off, most very likely because of the current one MB limitations. There seem to be more transactions than overall space, so the block size is factor number one, but as I just mentioned, help is on the way.

It’s always about the money

My wallet has told me that the fees paid to miners for transactions are causing delays, so 21.co looked at the other factor. Here is what they found:

In the above chart, which can be seen in real-time here, you will see a large orange bar at the top signifying the “mempool” for the Blockchain. This denotes the number of transactions in the mempool over the last seventy two hours, having suffered some sort of delay in processing. The indicators on the right side display how long a transaction takes, in blocks or minutes, and these delayed transactions all have something in common. The fees paid were only ten Satoshis or less. These transactions have been shown to be delayed as long as twenty blocks, or up to four hours.

For those who paid more than ten Satoshis to process a transaction, as you budge down the chart, mempool transactions and delays become a distant memory. When fees exceed fifty Satoshis, transactions delays of any kind become almost unlikely to see, and these transactions get VIP service.

So, if you want quicker transactions, contact your exchange or wallet provider’s support staff to see if you can by hand adjust the miner fee paid for a transaction you may need in a timely style. I know I have waited for 2-3 hours myself for a transaction over the last month, and this seems like it can be avoided, but you will have to be proactive, and not all wallet providers give you this plasticity.

Presumably, once Segregated Witness and Lightning arrive, two thousand seventeen will see a much better flow of Bitcoin, and the current logjam display all just be a memory of being an “early adopter,” living on the cutting edge of 21st-century financial technology. You can tell your grandkids; “Back in my day, we had to wait three hours for our Bitcoin!”

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