As Bitcoin becomes a more dominant monetary feature in our society, one of the most common questions asked is how long does it take to send bitcoin?
We’ll discuss that factor in this post along with some other dynamics to create a full picture response. With more and more people adopting Bitcoin into their financial habits, the more time that it takes to process. So, we cannot always have a fluid answer.
Let’s get into it.
How do Bitcoin transactions work?
Before we get into breaking down the time that it takes to send Bitcoin, let’s discuss the bigger picture to help you understand the dynamics that play into the timing.
When you go into sending BTC the requirement is to have public and private access keys that are specifically tied to a certain amount of Bitcoin. There are two elements that go into what it means to have an access key.
- There is an individual and unique private key which gives the BTC permission to leave the place it was bought from to go to another’s wallet.
- The public key represents the amount of Bitcoin that was previously sent.
Another terminology for public keys is called a Bitcoin address. The Bitcoin address is a long stream of characters that represent the wallet address of an individual. The address is primary to any kind of Bitcoin exchange with anyone. Without a Bitcoin address, there is nothing that you can do to send or receive bitcoin.
These public keys are available for anyone to see. So, no it doesn’t give anyone access to your wallet, because they can “SEE” the address. The private keys are the ones that you need to keep private but that is a whole other conversation.
There is the mining process that comes into play when Bitcoin requests are being made. The Bitcoin Network essentially notifies the minors and verifies keys to make sure they’re accessible. This is notably called the confirmation process, or mining. So, in a lot of cases, you will not see the Bitcoin automatically show up in another wallet. Since the process requires computational labor and blocks to be solved, it’s usually not an instant process to receive Bitcoin. Miners also get rewarded from this process time for that is factored in!
How long does it take to send Bitcoin?
The timing can be fluid and different from platform to platform, and exchange to exchange. To help understand the timing we must remember that all of the Bitcoin transactions have a certain process that cannot be skipped. That process is that all transactions need to be checked and verified by miners that work hard on the blockchain to solve all the equations.
Depending on how many transactions are on the blockchain at any given time is one of the determining factors in how long it takes for the block to be worked on and the Bitcoin to be sent.
Since all of the transactions can’t fit into one block on the blockchain, sometimes a particular transaction might not be verified until the next block or the block after that is formed. Hence, making it a longer process to send the transaction. Once a block is fully formed it can take about 10 minutes for a transaction to be verified after mining.
However, that 10 minutes is more leaning upon the fact that there is not an overload of transactions on the blockchain. Transactions can take from one minute to 60 minutes. When there’s an abundance of transactions waiting to be mined and verified it could even take up to a day or two.
Also, another two things to consider in regards to timing are
- There are transaction fees that are attached to every BTC transaction. The transaction fees are basically the rewards that the miners get from mining and verifying each transaction. So, before Bitcoin can be released from the blockchain those transaction fees need to be processed out before they can be sent.
- It might take time for a transaction to load on the Bitcoin Blockchain. We have already discussed the fact that there’s only room on each block for so many transactions. Not only that but a transaction might not instantly just show up on a block. Depending on multiple factors it might take some time for the transaction to actually load up onto the block for a miner to do what he or she does.
Let’s go back to the fees a little bit. The truth about the fees is that the larger the fee attached to the transaction the more priority it has on the blockchain. It might sound unfair or even frustrating that things can’t be done on a first come, first serve basis, but that’s just how it is. The larger the Bitcoin amount the larger the fee and the quicker those get processed. If you are sending a relatively small or medium-sized amount that transaction will not be a priority and will take longer to be processed.
Sometimes people think their transaction has been lost on the blockchain, but in reality, is just that the amount being requested is small, therefore, the fee is small and it’s kind of at the bottom of the barrel so to speak.
If you’re patient and not in a hurry for your Bitcoin to be sent, you can trust that you will receive your Bitcoin if indeed your address is correct. Always make sure that you’re having your Bitcoin sent to the correct wallet.
A simple tip to speed up how long it takes for your Bitcoin transaction to be sent is to maybe wait for a time where you can buy more of a lump sum of Bitcoin. Instead of maybe purchasing 20 bucks here and 20 bucks there. The more you’re able to buy at one time the quicker your transaction can be sent.
To add more assurance to the process, you might just want to stick with some major exchanges like Coinbase or CEX. Or they are pillars in the cryptocurrency industry that can be a factor in putting your mind to ease as it relates to receiving your Bitcoin.