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Can anyone help me better understand how the speed of a transaction is determined? I seem to have a couple stuck with 0 confirmations…

I have made 2 recent withdrawals from my wallet (both less than 50\$) and they have been sitting on chain for quite some time, one has been sitting on chain with 0 confirmations for a couple days (here: https://www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/8868162441323a47322a81762a7a887c2ed044968166904686b7507160a44b38) and here (https://www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/85c5cb27ef45f1365752985aea8a13dc2393f4fc173d1d24c56efb1218b7ae54).

Will these eventually be confirmed and if so, why is it taking so long? I’m thoroughly confused as I’ve never had transactions take this long to confirm

**Just want to thank everyone for the incredible information provided. All of it has been very amazingly helpful!

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1. TheGreatMuffin says:

Open this site: https://jochen-hoenicke.de/queue/#0,2w

Here you see how many transactions are currently (and were historically) waiting to be confirmed, i.e how many transactions are currently competing with your transaction for blockspace (=confirmation).

You can see two important things: the differently coloured layers, each layer means a different fee (higher layer = more fees). You can point at a layer and see which fee (sat/byte) are represented in this layer. You can then see which layer your own transaction is currently at, and how far away from the top your position is (miners work through the mempool always from the top, simply because the tx’s on top pay them more).

The second important observation is that the mempool “ebbs and flows”, so even the lowest paid transactions are periodically being confirmed at some point.

In short: what determines the speed of the first confirmation is a) how you set the fees (in sat/byte) and b) how many other transactions are currently competing with yours and c) how many transactions with higher paid fees will be broadcast after yours.

A) and B) you can directly influence/see, but C) is difficult to predict. So it’s always a little tricky to tell when the first confirmation happens, when you set your fees low. But it’s quite certain that at some point even the cheap transactions will come through.

2. smoothID says:

Your transactions are not on chain, they are in mempools. Blocks are 10 min on average. Highest fee transactions get into the block and all others wait. You can see this here, orange block to the left of dashed vertical line https://mempool.space/

Transaction fees depend on size of the transaction data, not dollar amount. Your transactions pay about 3 and 5 satoshis for each byte of data size. At the time of this comment you need at the minimum 123 satoshis per byte. You did not pay that so you are waiting. Good wallets will show you the size of the transaction you’re about to send and allow you to set the fee yourself. And you can check the fee estimator site above before sending. Things likely will improve as wallets get better at estimating. Do not use any wallet that sets its own fees. See bitcoin.org

3. cointastical says:

There’s the fee bumping method known as child-pays-for-parent (CPFP). If you send a transaction and the fee was too low, you can spend the “change” transaction but double up the fee required. This will cause the miners to look at both transactions as a set, and the combined fees should then be high enough to get both confirmed. CPFP also can be done if you are the recipient of the funds.

Bitcoin transaction fee (estimate)s:

4. buzz4me says:

Send another transaction with the higher fee. The miner will have to process the previous transactions to get to the higher paying transaction.

5. Manticlops says:

Your transaction takes up space in a block. The fee that you pay amounts to a bid in an ongoing auction, where you’re saying to miners – “I’ll pay you X satoshi per byte of block space”.

Miners compare what you’re willing to pay with everyone else’s bids, and (generally) select the transactions with the highest bids for inclusion in a block.

Both of your bids are low, compared with most right now (the sudden price increase means lots of people are trying to use Bitcoin).

If you are in a rush, it’s possible to speed things up: Google ‘replace by fee’ and ‘child pays for parent’. But if you’re happy to wait, the funds are not at any risk.

6. CoinSocialStory says:

TLDR: You haven’t lost it. It will confirm. It is in a queue.

A bit longer:

Basically you pay a certain fee for a transaction. As it takes some computing power to confirm a transaction, those that pay more of that fee get “serviced” first. So your transaction is probably not amongst the first priorities right now, that’s why it takes so much time.

7. cointastical says:

So you received funds from a tx that is not yet confirmed, which paid a 7 sat/vByte fee:

Then you tried to spend those UNCONFIRMED funds, and paid a 9 sat/vByte fee:

Because those likely won’t confirm until maybe the weekend, it appears that other block explorers have already dropped the transaction from their mempools, e.g.,:

So there’s no guarantee this specific transaction will get confirmed. You probably want to make sure your wallet is online, so that it will try to re-broadcast the transaction. Otherwise, it will get dropped by nodes, and your transaction will get missed once fee requirements come down over the weekend.

If you are using a wallet that supports [replace-by-fee](https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Replace_by_fee) (RBF), and have it enabled before creating your send transaction, you can feel comfortable going on the lower-end of the transaction fee range. If the transaction doesn’t confirm soon enough for you, you simply bump the fee using RBF.

*Wallets supporting RBF*

The CPFP fee bumping is likely your only option, if you don’t want to wait and chance it over the weekend.

8. soontobesilenced says:

speed is not determined. you wait for a miner to voluntarily confirm your transaction. when you click “send”, you’re sending an offer to miners with a price on it. if it’s not high enough, compared to other offers out there, they won’t take it.

next time, if you can’t wait, enable RBF on your wallet so you can change the fee offered after you click send.

fyi, price rallies like this always correspond with transaction traffic. no wallet can predict a future spike in transactions. so if transaction rate is increasing, you will see delays unless you pay a fee higher than even your wallet is suggesting.

9. Mark_Bear says:

Miners want to **solve the next block** so they can append it to the end of the blockchain and get paid. Each miner who solves a block gets (at this time) 6.25 BTC plus **voluntary transaction fees.** You should be able to tell your wallet what kind of fee you’re willing to pay, low, med., high.

Each miner collects a bunch of pending transactions from the **mempool**, and forms an unsolved block. Then the miner tries to solve the block.

So, guess which pending transactions the miners are going to pick first? That’s right, the transactions paying the highest fees. If there are more pending transactions than will fit into a block, the low fee transactions have to wait.

It’s fair, like an auction. Pay more, go first, pay less, wait.

10. ignRetweet says:

Its because the mempool has a ton of unconfirmed transactions, it will eventually confirm

11. j01nus says:

yeah use [mempool.space](https://mempool.space) to check fees. Hodling your own energy means you have to be more responsible.

Also don’t use [blockchain.com](https://blockchain.com) even to just check your address. They sell your info and don’t even give you a piece of the pie.

Check out Specter wallet. You can use your own node to check your transactions. check out [keepitsimplebitcoin.com](https://keepitsimplebitcoin.com) good guys helping the community out.

Hail all volunteers.

12. cointastical says:

Coming into Saturday, the backlog of transactions in the mempool at the higher fee levels have been mined, and now it is chewing through the ~10 sat/vByte range:

Could be just a matter of hours (four to twelve) for the rest of the transactions with a higher fee paid than yours to get confirmed, then yours should get in.

13. BigJim05 says:

It’ll probably confirm this weekend. Relax.

Also, you can bump the fee up if you absolutely need it faster.

14. fizz279 says:

Did it eventually go through and how long did it take?