When dealing with cryptocurrencies, you don’t need to understand how confirmations are working, but it would be good to know how many confirmations bitcoin needs to make a safe transaction.
How many confirmations a bitcoin needs? The answer to this question is a minimum of three to six if you wish a completely safe. Still, this mostly depends on the amount that has been transferred and on the exchange. Some exchanges will process the transaction after just one confirmation, while others will do so after the sixth.
So one thing is for sure – for your transaction to be secured and safe, you will need at least three confirmations. Let’s see what bitcoin confirmations are and when you need more than three confirmations.
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What are Bitcoin Confirmations?
Bitcoin confirmations are blocks being added to a blockchain after the transaction. The more confirmations (blocks) you have, the more secure the transaction is. Once you make a transaction with a bitcoin, it will be unconfirmed until a new block is created.
How Many Bitcoin Confirmations Are Enough?
In essence, all you need for a transaction to be in order is one confirmation, but in reality, this number is higher depending on the amount of money you are transferring and the type of the exchange. Also, while some service providers are instant and require only one confirmation, many companies will require more. In fact, six confirmations are a common requirement. Here is a list of how many confirmations you need for the amount of money you send.
|Amount of confirmations
|Amount of money
|Payments without confirmations can be reversed.
|For smaller transactions, up to $1,000
|For payments between $1,000 to $10,000
|For large payments, between $10,000 and $1,000,000.
|For payments greater than one million USD
How Many Confirmations for Bitcoin Are Needed for a Smaller Transaction?
As you can see, all you need is one confirmation for smaller transactions, but if you like to be extra sure, you can wait for at least six confirmations. Six confirmations in a blockchain are considered extremely safe since it is assumed that no hacker will bother to try to break more than six chains. But in the end, it is all up to you to decide whether you will receive a payment that is not secure. Some people do smaller transactions with people they know and trust and don’t wait for confirmations.
How to Check Bitcoin Confirmations
After each transaction, you should check it in your wallet. Then, you will either check on a block explorer, or your wallet will give you an ID. With a transaction ID or TXID, you can search for your transaction on a block explorer. Just copy-paste your TXID into a browser and click “search,” and you will see your transaction. In the right corner, you will see the number of confirmations.
How Long Do Bitcoin Confirmations Take?
On a blockchain, a new block is created approximately every 10 minutes, and in theory, your first confirmation should be in 10 minutes. But if you wait for more confirmations, this will last longer. In reality, around one hour is needed for six confirmations to happen. Even longer if the network is busy.
What Is a Bitcoin Mempool?
A mempool is a record of all unconfirmed bitcoins on a network – bitcoins that have not yet been validated by miners. So like in real life, some traffic jams can happen, and you may end up waiting for more than one hour for six confirmations. Mempool is temporarily stored on each individual node in the network. Mempool is cleared every time a new block is created and added to a blockchain. Transactions with low fees will have to wait in mempool for more than one block to be confirmed. Check this video for more information about mempool.
Bitcoin Verification and Fees
As in real life, each money transaction comes with fees, and cryptocurrencies are no exception. But the big difference is that these fees are much lower than bank fees. So each transaction has a fee you must pay, and naturally, transactions with lower fees will wait longer in mempool than the more expensive ones. If you wish your waiting period to be within a one-hour window, you will probably have to pay a higher fee. With a higher fee, you will likely “persuade” miners on the blockchain to include your transaction in the next block. Considering that block sizes are fixed in 1MB and there is a limited number of miners, you may end up paying a much higher fee to get better treatment.
Another Way to Speed Up Bitcoin Transactions
As you can see, the higher fee can speed up your transaction, but there are other ways you can do the same for no fee whatsoever. Like in real life, you can try and make your transactions out of the traffic or rush hour. So if you still don’t have a wallet, make sure to get one at a company that offers mempool’s visit hour statistics so you can see when the busiest hour is.
Another thing you can do is to use different, faster cryptocurrencies, such as:
Future of a Bitcoin
There are many concerns among bitcoin users, especially regarding the speed of transactions. The primary worry is that blockchain will not be able to cope with increased demand. Another big problem is wild price fluctuations – the price of bitcoin changes on a daily basis, sometimes for thousands of dollars. Still, people are working hard on resolving these problems, so hopefully, in the future, we will have faster and cheaper bitcoin transactions.