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  • Carolina Pérez

Bitcoin: Unconfirmed Transactions


Have you ever had unconfirmed transactions? Usually, when I use crypto, it has been very fast to send and to receive money. Someone recently transferred Bitcoin to one of my digital wallets, Coinomi. The transaction appeared as received, but the status of the transaction said "waiting for transaction confirmation." This message can be confusing and also frustrating because you see the transaction Id and the amount of what was sent to your wallet, but you are unable to use the money because the money has yet to arrive; thus cant be used as available balance.


It looks something like this:

So what are unconfirmed transactions, and how do they work?

“Roughly every ten minutes, a new block is created and added to the blockchain through the mining process. This block verifies and records any new transactions. The transactions are then said to have been confirmed by the Bitcoin network.”

“All bitcoin transactions must be confirmed by miners. They need a minimum of three confirmations to be considered fully confirmed.”

“There are two main reasons your bitcoin transaction may end up remaining unconfirmed:

If the transaction is very recent, you may need to wait a little longer before receiving confirmation. Currently, even at its very quickest, it takes at least 10 minutes to confirm a BTC transaction.

The fee for the transaction was not entirely included or was too low. One simple rule applies when it comes to bitcoin transactions: the smaller the amount, the lower its chances of a successful confirmation.”


If a transaction has to go through the whole mining process and must be verified for the transaction to be fully complete, then why say transaction received. Effectively the second party did their part by sending the amount, but until the network confirms it, the operation is not complete. I believe this was a significant setback because my expectations with crypto have always been high, and for the most part, transactions run smoothly. Nonetheless, not being able to receive a transaction within 1 hour is a setback. It might have been linked to a lower fee at the moment of sending the transaction; regardless, it should not take approximately 6 hours to have confirmed funds on your wallet.


Do all wallets work this way?


As stated above, there are different reasons why unconfirmed transactions can occur, we know there are some digital wallets that allow you to send unconfirmed transactions, such as Bitpay.


This is what the Bitpay Wallet allows regarding unconfirmed transactions:

I need to send funds urgently, what can I do?

If you need to initiate a transaction and are waiting on funds to confirm, you can set your BitPay Wallet to use unconfirmed funds:

- Open the BitPay App.

- Tap the gear icon in the tabs bar on the bottom.

- Scroll down and tap Advanced.

- Enable Use unconfirmed funds.

Please note that this only applies for sending funds. This setting does not let you purchase gift cards, load your BitPay Card, or pay BitPay invoices.


If someone sends you a transaction and it appears to be unconfirmed, you can enable the use of unconfirmed funds that are allowed by SOME wallets. This will allow you as a receiver to use these unconfirmed funds. Nonetheless, you must also keep in mind that the place where you will use these unconfirmed funds has to accept them because many chose not to work with these types of funds. You may or may not agree with the use of unconfirmed funds for various reasons; one of them can be the possibility of double-spending, which can be a big headache if it occurs.


Coinomi does not have the option to use unconfirmed transactions, so I had to wait until I was able to use the crypto that was sent to me. I believe it's always essential to know these things when it comes to crypto because these are some of the things that may happen to you, and not knowing can make you panic. So if this happens now, you have an idea of why this might be happening. In most cases, they advise you to wait up to a maximum of 48 hours, check your transaction ID, and, if that does not work, contact your digital wallet support for further assistance.


By: Carolina Pérez

Twitter: @carolinaninap

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