Bitcoin is the most popular form of cryptocurrency worldwide. The coin’s limited supply makes it a coveted investment, and there are around 400,000 Bitcoin transactions being made every day.
While one of the appealing aspects of Bitcoin is the currency’s low transaction fees, it has to be said that these payments aren’t always consistent when it comes to speed.
Investors in Bitcoin have reported a wide range of transaction times, leading people to ask the question: how long does Bitcoin really take to send. This is the question that we will be answering today.
How Long Do Bitcoin Transactions Take?
It is difficult to say how long Bitcoin transactions take with any degree of certainty because the speed of Bitcoin transactions is reliant on a few different factors.
If you send Bitcoin through the Bitcoin network, the average time for a transaction to go through is just 10 minutes. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t the case every time. Sometimes, Bitcoin can take up to an hour and a half!
Let’s take a look at why Bitcoin transaction times are so variable.
What Factors Impact Bitcoin Transaction Times?
The reason not everyone will get to enjoy the speed and convenience of Bitcoin’s 10-minute average transaction time is that multiple factors come into play when sending Bitcoin from one address to another.
If there are a lot of users on the Bitcoin network at one time, transaction speeds will be slower, just like your internet speed would slow down with too many people using it.
This is one of the main factors that contribute to slowing down Bitcoin transaction times.
Also, every time you send Bitcoin to another person, the transaction needs to go through a number of confirmations on the blockchain to ensure that it’s legitimate.
Now, the number of confirmations required will depend on the network that you use to send Bitcoin. If you use Coinbase, for example, 3 block confirmations are needed, whereas Binance needs just 2 confirmations for a Bitcoin withdrawal.
Certain transactions (those involving a large amount of Bitcoin) might require up to 6 confirmations, and these will obviously take longer.
We just touched on the next contributing factor in our last point, but the bigger your Bitcoin transaction is, the longer it will take to go through. This is because larger Bictoin transactions need more confirmations to be verified.
So, essentially, the time it takes to send Bitcoin will depend on how many people are using the network, how large your transaction is, and how many confirmations the transaction has to go through before it can be finalized.
How To Send Bitcoin Faster
Nobody wants to spend over an hour waiting for their Bitcoin transaction to be verified, which is why lots of investors have been searching for ways to speed up the process of sending and receiving Bitcoin.
First of all, Blockchain does have a method in place to speed up transactions – although not everyone likes it.
Basically, if you’re in the middle of sending Bitcoin but feel that it’s taking too long, you can use Blockchain’s ‘increase fee’ feature. This allows you to pay a larger transaction fee in exchange for having your transaction verified faster.
Understandably, though, many people don’t want to have to pay more for faster transactions. If you want to hold onto your money, there are other ways of sending Bitcoin faster.
On blockchain.com, you can view the mempool size chart. The mempool is Bitcoin’s record of all the transactions on the network that are currently unprocessed.
By looking at the size chart, you can see the times at which the mempool is smallest, meaning it contains the least amount of unprocessed transactions.
At these times, your transaction is likely to be verified quicker. We highly recommend doing this if your transactions are especially large.
You might also want to consider reevaluating the network you use to send Bitcoin.
As we mentioned earlier, some cryptocurrency networks require more confirmations than others, and the number of confirmations needed is positively correlated with the length of time it takes for a transaction to be verified.
If your current network demands 3 confirmations, for example, it may be a good idea to switch to one that only requires 2 confirmations.
Finally, you always have the option of transferring your Bitcoin into another cryptocurrency asset that has faster transaction times on average.
Ethereum, for example, is known for very fast transactions, and Litecoin isn’t far behind.
Understandably, some investors are very reluctant to transfer their Bitcoin into other assets because of the scarcity (and, therefore, increased investment potential) of Bitcoin.
However, if you’re really sick of waiting for your transactions to be verified, it’s one of several options on the table.
Will Sending Bitcoin Get Faster?
The question on everyone’s lips is: will Bitcoin transactions ever speed up? This is an interesting question with an encouraging answer.
Overall, it seems that with current developments, sending Bitcoin will be a faster process in years to come.
Certain scaling solutions (for example, the Lightning Network) are already at work finding ways to speed up Bitcoin transactions. This is being done by enhancing the existing Bitcoin blockchain with an additional layer to improve its capability.
Over time, we should see an improvement in Bitcoin’s transaction speeds. The question remains, however, as to whether other cryptocurrencies will follow suit.
While many sources suggest that the average transaction speed for Bitcoin is just 10 minutes, it’s clear that this isn’t everyone’s experience with sending Bitcoin.
Depending on the size of your transaction and which platform you use to send Bitcoin, your transaction may need to go through more confirmations.
Sometimes, 6 confirmations are needed, taking as long as an hour and a half. The number of people on the blockchain also impacts transaction speeds.
To send Bitcoin faster, try to make transactions during off-peak times to avoid network traffic. Alternatively, you can increase your transaction fee or even transfer your Bitcoin to another, faster-transacting asset.