How long does it take for a bitcoin transaction to go through?

Transaction in Bitcoin gives you plenty of features like no extra charge, commission, or any other fee involved with the transaction. You can make payments in Bitcoins directly from one person to another with high-level safety measures and several other features. But with such exciting features come few drawbacks. Since Bitcoin’s Blockchain network is still developing, people face a couple of drawbacks which include the major drawback that is the processing of the Bitcoin transactions.

Transfers in Bitcoins vary and can take place within a few minutes, hours or can even take a couple of days to get processed. The time to process a Bitcoin transfer depends upon a few factors, i.e., the load or traffic on Bitcoin’s network and the amount of transaction fee involved in a Bitcoin transaction, etc.

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Factors affecting delay in Bitcoin transaction

1. The load or traffic on Bitcoin’s Network


The load or traffic on the Bitcoins network makes the transaction process slower. The higher number of transactions in the Bitcoins blockchain will take more time to process each transaction. The load or traffic on Bitcoin’s blockchain network affects the transaction between two parties adversely.

People have to wait for minutes, hours, or even a couple of days to confirm their transactions. This problem in the Bitcoins blockchain network arises due to the lesser number of miners. Miners solve the hash function upon that the transaction is complete between two parties, and since bitcoin mining is very expensive and consumes a lot of energy which makes it quite difficult for everyone to mine Bitcoins.

The transactions are processed in 1 MB size of Bitcoin block, and only a few transactions can be processed due to a lesser number of miners.

2. Amount of the transaction fee


The amount of transaction fee involved in a Bitcoin transaction plays a crucial role in determining how long it will take a Bitcoin transaction to go through. The transaction fee involved in a Bitcoin transaction determines the priority of each transaction in the 1 MB size of the Bitcoin block.

The transaction with higher fees attached to them gets prioritized first, and transactions with low fees can take a few hours or even more than a day to get processed. This happens because if your transaction fees are less, then there are likely more chances that your transaction will be selected for processing at last, and this could even take days until the transaction is complete from both ends.

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Mostly the delay in Bitcoin transactions happens due to the amount involved in transaction fees because still there are not many people who are making transfers in Bitcoin; hence the load of the network affects less than the amount of transaction fee while processing the payment.

3. Confirmation of transactions


The confirmation of transactions in a Bitcoin transfer is of utmost importance. Whenever a transfer in Bitcoin is made, the transaction goes through several confirmations on the Blockchain network before it is cleared by both parties. A transaction is processed only after the confirmation of transfer in the blockchain network.

This is usually done to avoid the risk that unconfirmed payments can be reversed or canceled or mistakenly transferred of Bitcoin twice while making the payment or any other reason. Whenever a new 1 MB block has been created, a set of transactions gets confirmed and processed. The higher the amount of transfer, the more confirmation it takes to complete the payment. This is because there are not enough miners of Bitcoin to confirm the transaction process faster. However, higher amounts of transactions get prioritized by the miners, and the transaction is processed as soon as the transfer is confirmed.

Will Bitcoins ever be faster?

The long processing time of transfers makes Bitcoin transactions longer and time-consuming. Some Bitcoin enthusiasts believe that the Bitcoin Blockchain network won’t be able to cope up if the traffic or load on Bitcoin’s network increases in coming times.

To solve the problem related to delay in the processing of payments is currently looked upon by the developers such as the Lightning Network. This project aids in solving the drawbacks related to the processing of transactions by adding an extra layer to the Bitcoin blockchain network. This will be able to handle the load or traffic on Bitcoin’s network and will speed the transfer process.

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Apart from this, there are other cryptocurrencies that can be used as alternatives to Bitcoins payments, such as Ethereum or Litecoin, which are comparatively faster than Bitcoin in terms of quicker confirmation and processing of transactions.

Final Thoughts

Blockchain is the future of digital payments that is developing each day. The sudden popularity and increase in value of Bitcoins have increased the load and traffic in the Bitcoin’s network, and due to a limited number of BTC miners, it is becoming more difficult to manage and confirm the transaction in Bitcoins.

Developers are working on new projects to lift the drawbacks of Bitcoin transfers and give you a smooth and faster transaction. In the coming years, it is expected that Bitcoin’s blockchain network will become faster and easier to make transactions in Bitcoins. Thus allowing you to make transfers in the world’s most popular and valuable cryptocurrency faster and easier.