Bitcoin transfers are typically completed quite quickly - with most being approved within ten minutes of being sent. However, at times blockchain congestion and low payment fees may cause payments to encounter delays.
All Bitcoin transfers sent or received using an external Bitcoin address are processed by the Bitcoin network, known as the blockchain. When processing Bitcoin payments, the blockchain periodically gives each Bitcoin transaction "confirmations", which record a transaction as being completed successfully. Every Bitcoin transaction must receive confirmations in order to be made available within the receiving wallet, or CoinJar.
If you're receiving a payment within your CoinJar, and the Bitcoin transaction itself hasn't received enough confirmations on the blockchain to indicate the transfer has been completed successfully, those funds will remain as 'pending' while they are being processed by the blockchain.
How many confirmations are required?
At most, six confirmations are required for a Bitcoin transfer to be considered complete. Depending on the amount of Bitcoin that is being sent, Bitcoin transfers can be approved with fewer confirmations.
Payments sent directly to another CoinJar member's username are not sent via the blockchain and are not subject to blockchain confirmations, delays or payment fees.
How can I check the confirmations of my Bitcoin transfer?
Because the Bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger, any Bitcoin transaction can be viewed using a Bitcoin explorer website. The easiest way to locate your Bitcoin transfer is to search for the Bitcoin address your funds are being sent to.
- Go to a blockchain explorer site such as blockchain.com/explorer, BlockCypher, or Block Explorer.
- Search for your "receiving" Bitcoin address (the address the funds are being sent to).
- Select the transaction that matches with the Bitcoin amount you're expecting. You can also check the date the transaction was made.
- Once you're looking at the transaction itself, you can view the confirmations received so far. You can also see the full details of that Bitcoin payment.
Is there any way to speed up this process?
Once a Bitcoin payment has been sent, there is typically no way to influence the amount of time it takes to receive confirmations.
Typically, confirmations are received every ten minutes or so - whenever the blockchain mines a new "block". However, during times of blockchain congestion, or if the transaction fee attached to the payment is too low, this time frame can be extended.
If the payment fees attached to a Bitcoin transfer are too low, there's the chance of the blockchain cancelling that transaction. In this case the funds are returned to the sending address.