The increasing demand and supply for Bitcoin continue to cause congestion within the Bitcoin network, leading to slow transaction speeds. This is a common narrative among crypto users, as you may have probably experienced a delay in the confirmation of your transactions. While this can be the normal thing to expect on the blockchain, it may induce anxiety for users. Hence, you need to know why your Bitcoin transaction remains unconfirmed.

Bitcoin transactions

An Overview Of Bitcoin Transaction

Transactions are created when someone sends Bitcoin. Miners often confirm Bitcoin transactions by picking it up from the mempool of unconfirmed transactions and placing it in the block of transactions. The miner will solve a special mathematical puzzle called the proof-of-work (PoW).

The Bitcoin network will confirm your block and add it to the blockchain. Every new block added to the network is another confirmation for your BTC transaction.

Therefore, the payment confirmation process secures transactions on the blockchain, which is time-consuming. The recipient receives the BTC after the transaction becomes part of the block in the network.

Although the confirmation time for Bitcoin transactions can typically take between five (5) and three (3) hours, this can be longer for some reasons.

Reasons Bitcoin Transactions Are Unconfirmed

We can group the reasons behind unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions into two (2) categories. These are processing transactions and failed/incomplete transactions.

Processing Transactions

Processing transactions are incomplete transactions on the Bitcoin network that would still be processed. Transactions here are unconfirmed and could be due to these factors:

1. High Traffic Volume

Many Bitcoin transactions slow down the processing speed and increase the waiting period due to the backlog of stuck transactions. You can use top blockchain explorers like to view the number of transactions. Confirmation time for a Bitcoin transaction averages about 10 minutes.

2. Low Transaction Fee

Mining nodes are usually programmed to prioritize BTC transactions that offer a higher fee than those with a small fee. Therefore, there are more chances for transactions with higher fees to get confirmed quickly without a long waiting period.

3. Older Protocols

While this is a special case, you may likely use a Bitcoin network or wallet with an older architecture (classic 1 MB block size) without Segwit that typically enables users to speed up their transactions. You can check if the Segwit protocol supports your transaction by ensuring that it has a witness attached to it and that the fifth byte (for input count) shows a value of “0x00.”

Failed Or Incomplete Transactions

Here, Bitcoin transactions are incomplete as a result of something going wrong.

1. Incorrect Transaction Details

It may become impossible for the Bitcoin network to confirm transactions if you have sent the information to the wrong address or Bitcoin Wallet. That is why it’s advisable to carefully check all details before making a transaction. This can lead to the loss of BTC funds, as it is not perfectly certain to trace Bitcoin transactions.

2. Internet Failure

A faulty internet connection can not allow you to connect or broadcast your Bitcoin transaction details to the network. But if your internet is working well, you may need to check if there is a firewall that is obstructing the Bitcoin application.

3. Rejected Transaction

Some miners can reject your transaction fee if it is too low or unassigned. As such, a failed transaction can result from many rejections on a congested network.

4. Issues With The Receiver’s Wallet

There can be an event of multiple nodes confirming your transactions, but the transaction remains unconfirmed. This can be due to wallets not being synchronized with the blockchain network. Therefore, a receiver with an inactive or restricted wallet may not immediately display all the information on the network.

What Can I Do When My Bitcoin Transaction Is Unconfirmed?

1. Use The Replace-by-Fee (RBF) Protocol

You can cancel your unconfirmed transaction using the RBF protocol. It enables you to resend a BTC transaction with a higher fee, allowing the transaction ID (TXID) to be broadcast to the whole Bitcoin network.

Your previous transaction will be canceled, and you will receive the associated fee in your wallet. However, using the RBF protocol requires compatibility with your wallet, as you must click a checkbox before the transaction is accepted.

2. Use A Normal Double-Spend Method

You can use the option to initiate another transaction from your wallet with the same amount. A higher fee can only facilitate miners to pick up your new transaction and complete its confirmation on the network.

It should be noted that many Bitcoin software has safeguards against double-spending to prevent BTC loss. So, you may need a second wallet to make the transaction.

3. Child Pays For Parent (CPFP)

This method allows you to create a new transaction with higher fees while using the funds from the original parent transaction. This is because miners will go for highly price-attractive transactions, but they will not be validated until the confirmation of the parent transaction.

In other words, you will use the newly created transaction as leverage in a legitimate manner. This will make miners handle the original transaction first if they want to take the higher fees attached to the second transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Why Bitcoin Transaction Is Unconfirmed

Can I Have My Bitcoin Transaction Confirmed In Less Than 10 Minutes?

Technically, it is possible to complete a Bitcoin transaction in less than 10 minutes, but that is not always the case.

How Can I Speed Up My Bitcoin Transaction?

While you can increase your transaction fee to help you confirm your BTC transactions on time, you can also use Bitcoin transaction accelerators to enable you to jump the long queue.

How Are Transaction Fees Determined?

Transaction fees are calculated based on network congestion and the transaction’s data volume.

Can I Cancel My Pending Bitcoin Transaction?

Yes, you can cancel your Bitcoin transaction that is waiting for confirmation. You can adopt the Replace by Fee (RBF) protocol or the Double-Spend method.


We can not overemphasize the anxiety that could set in when you look forward to having your transactions confirmed, but the time is getting longer than expected. So instead of waiting and staying in a long queue, it is important to understand some common reasons that could result – which we have highlighted in this article.

Therefore, to confirm your transactions on time, you may need to consider factors like increasing your transaction fees or canceling the transaction to try again.