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How Long Does it Take to Send Bitcoin?

When you start to trade Bitcoins, the very first question that might come to your mind could be how much time would be needed to send Bitcoins. The answer is often explained as “It depends.”

It is so as this process depends on what kind of case you use and how you define “sending bitcoin”. In general sending Bitcoin can take anywhere from seconds to over 60 minutes. Mostly 10 to 20 minutes are needed. .But to understand this process completely, it’s important to know what occurs when sending bitcoin. Here we are going to know what happens when you send bitcoin and how long your bitcoin transaction will take, and provide some options to help you send bitcoin faster.

What Happens When You Send Bitcoin

Bitcoin wallet software is used to send Bitcoin. In this procedure, this software broadcasts a message to the bitcoin network saying something like “I, Oliver, am sending 0.1 bitcoin to Chris, and whoever mines this transaction will earn a 0.0001 bitcoin transaction fee”. After receiving this transaction message received by miners, these minors add it to their list of unconfirmed transactions, known as the mempool.

Next the miners after receiving these transactions from bundling them into “blocks” that can hold around 3000 transactions each. It is due to this limitation that miners choose only those transactions that will reward them with the highest transaction fees. Ten minutes’ time duration is required when one block is mined. So if you pay a high enough transaction fee, your transaction should get confirmed (mined) within roughly ten minutes. Do remember that it is just an average time and transactions may take a minute or over an hour time to mine. 

Bitcoin Transaction Confirmations

Although it is nearly impossible to change bitcoin’s transaction history, there is an exception. We can understand this like when two miners mine different blocks at the same time, computers on the bitcoin network finished with two different transaction histories. It is called a chain split or a fork. As a result, a new block will be added to one of the two chains before the other. In this type of transaction, everyone agrees that the longer chain (the one with more blocks) is the valid one.

An unconfirmed bitcoin transaction gets confirmed with one confirmation when it is mined into a block. Each additional block compliments each other. This is done when one block gets added to the blockchain after that gives your transaction another confirmation. In this way, miners keep adding blocks to the chain containing your transaction. There won’t be a chain split that removes the block with your transaction.

In case you are only sending or receiving a small amount of bitcoin, then only a single confirmation is quite enough. But for larger transactions, the general rule of thumb is to wait for six confirmations, or approximately one hour, before accepting that the transaction is final. And for bigger transactions, it is good to  wait a day or two before accepting them as final.

You might find a few merchants who will accept transactions with zero confirmations. In this way, you can receive what you pay for instantly without requiring you to wait for more confirmations. It all depends on how many confirmations you are ready to wait for and also depends on your risk tolerance and the value of the bitcoin you are sending or receiving.

How to Send Bitcoin Faster

However, you can try a couple of ways that you can do this fastly to trade Bitcoin online. One of the vastly used methods is to pay a higher transaction fee. In this way, the miners prioritize your transaction. You can also do it by using a bitcoin wallet that lets you set the transaction fee. You can spend more on a fast transaction, or less if you can wait patiently. By default, most wallets make you pay a high transaction fee.

The second way to make bitcoin payment faster is to use a lightning network.. This is a separate payment network  which is built on top of bitcoin, in the same way that web pages are built on top of the internet. This network uses the bitcoin currency but has its own set of rules that are different from the ones used by the bitcoin network. Here you can do payments instantly and with nearly zero fees.


So you see that sending bitcoin can be nearly instant for low-value transactions, but can take up to an hour, or even days, depending on the value of the bitcoin you are sending. The general rule of thumb is to wait for six confirmations, which should take around an hour, before accepting that a bitcoin transaction is final.