November 15, 2018 Knowledge Center

What You Need to Know About Blockchain Confirmation



Sending and receiving Bitcoins work the same way as traditional money – there should be some confirmation to render the transaction valid and legitimate. However, confirmation for Bitcoin works differently than conventional money because the former requires several confirmations.

For example, suppose you sent some coins to a friend. The coins will not be added to block immediately, but instead, it will be redirected to the Bitcoin Mempool, a place where all unconfirmed transactions go. Miners dive into this place to take a transaction and place it in the blockchain. Once in the block, the miners will process it until they produce a proof of work for the block where your transaction is. Then and only then can your transaction be confirmed and placed at the bottom of the blockchain.

For Bitcoin transactions, this process happens approximately every 10 minutes, when another block is added. For other cryptocurrencies, however, the confirmation time is different. For Litecoin, the confirmation time is 2.5 minutes, Ethereum only takes 15 seconds, and Ripple gets an almost instant confirmation right after the transaction.

As more and more blocks are added, your block gets buried under the new blocks. However, there are instances where confirmations experience delay due to low transaction fees and too much traffic in the network.

How Many Confirmations Do I Need?

For Bitcoin, it usually takes 10 minutes to add a block to the blockchain. Every time a block gets added to the blockchain, you also get a confirmation. Thus, in an ideal setting, you get three confirmations in 30 minutes, and each confirmation gives you a level of privilege.

1 Confirmation

– You can make Bitcoin payments below $1,000.

– It is also more vulnerable to attacks, especially the double spend attack.

3 Confirmations

– You can make deposits and can make payments of up to $10,000.

6 Confirmations

– It is the required standard to declare a transaction secure.

– It also allows you to conduct payments of up to $1,000,000.

– At this point, the transaction cannot be reversed, and if ever there is an attacker, it is impossible to create an alternate chain to replace the other real one.

If you want to make payments that are more than a million dollars, you need to have at least 60 confirmations; however, six confirmations are enough to declare the transaction is safe.

For Ethereum, however, 12 confirmations is the standard to declare the transaction secure since its block time confirmation is faster than Bitcoin. Other cryptocurrencies have different rules to consider the transaction safe and secure.

Sometimes, you might not get a confirmation even after you made your transactions for many hours. Do not worry because there might be some delay. However, if there’s still no confirmation after 72 hours, you can resend the transaction.

How to Check Bitcoin Confirmations

Now that transactions have been confirmed, where do you go to check it?

All confirmed transactions – whether incoming or outgoing – can be verified in a Bitcoin wallet. These types of encrypted coin purses have a feature that allows users to view the details of their transactions, such as the status, amount, and the transaction ID.

If you only want to check how many confirmations your transaction has, you can use a Block Explorer. All you need to do is type your transaction ID or wallet address, and it will readily give you the information you need.

Conclusion

Blockchain confirmation is needed as proof not only to show the transaction has taken place but also to render it safe and secure.

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