So we all have experienced situation when we had to wait hours for our bitcoin transaction to get confirmed. As per blockchain.info it takes 10 minutes for bitcoin’s block to get confirmed, then why this delays for hours and days? Curious let’s dive in and know exactly what’s going on.
What is bitcoin mempool?
Prior to be added on the blockchain ledger each block has to undergo a process of mining whereby full nodes connected to bitcoin network solve a complicated maths puzzle and hence verify transactions.
These miners select the block to be mined from a list of unconfirmed transactions and this pool of unconfirmed transactions is known as mempool. The miners than combine a list of the transactions from this list and form a block which is later broadcasted on public ledger once mined. See the picture below, seems familiar right?
Yeah, great but it still doesn’t answer our initial question, why the difference in time for confirmation for various transactions? Well, you guessed it right it has to something with the economics behind mining.
How much exactly a miner earns for mining a block?
The miners generally receive a lottery of 12.5 BTC for successfully mining a block on bitcoin network. But other than this lottery miners also receive a bonus for efforts to add a block to the blockchain. This bonus depends on the transaction fees associated with the transactions in the block. The higher the transaction fees for transactions in the block larger the bonus amount. See the image below.
As you can see in the reward column the associated bonus is more for a transaction with high fees in the mempool, so miners will prefer these over low fees transactions. And this is the reason why your transaction is stuck as no miner is picking up your transaction due to low fees. So now you know the reason why it took hours for your last transaction to confirm?
So, next question comes is there any way to lower the confirmation time for your bitcoin transactions?
Yes, here are few steps you can follow:
- First is obvious attract the miners by increasing the fees associated with your transaction. You can check the latest fees trend here at blockchain.info
- Second, you can estimate the time it will take for your transaction confirmation by the number of unconfirmed transactions. You can check this here.
- Third step is to check the status of current mempool size as it will give you an idea whether to make a transaction right now or not.
So it’s all for this time. Hope you understood the concept behind mempool bitcoin and why they are important to know about.
If you’ve any query regarding bitcoin mempool let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to share and spread the knowledge.