Bitcoin Confirmations

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.

For example, if Sean sends one bitcoin to John, this transaction will remain “unconfirmed” until the next block is created. Once that block is created and the new transaction is verified and included in that block, the transaction will have one confirmation. Approximately every ten minutes thereafter, a new block is created and the transaction is reconfirmed by the Bitcoin network. While some services are instant or only require one confirmation, many Bitcoin companies will require more as each confirmation greatly decreases the likelihood of a payment being reversed. It is common for six confirmations to be required which takes about an hour.

How many Bitcoin Confirmations are Enough?

0
Payments with 0 confirmations can still be reversed! Wait for at least one.
1
One confirmation is enough for small Bitcoin payments less than $1,000.
3
Enough for payments $1,000 - $10,000. Most exchanges require 3 confirmations for deposits.
6
Enough for large payments between $10,000 - $1,000,000. Six is standard for most transactions to be considered secure.
60
Suggested for large payments greater than $1,000,000. Less is likely fine, but this is to be safe!


How to Check Bitcoin Confirmations

Once you make a transaction, your wallet should give you an option to view the transaction on a block explorer or give you the transaction ID.

A transaction ID looks like this: 7a43510802e113b7059851ef0a8a5c3625db37541861dd982f56253b2d5c4ff9

To check the number of confirmations for a transaction, paste the ID into a block explorer like blockchain.info:

bitcoin confirmations

Press enter and then you’ll see more details about your transaction:

bitcoin confirmations

What is the Average Bitcoin Confirmation Time?

There is a greater than 60% chance your transaction will be confirmed within 10 minutes if you pay a high enough fee:

bitcoin confirmations

Is your Bitcoin Transaction Unconfirmed for Hours?

If your transaction is unconfirmed for hours, just wait. If more than 72 hours pass and your transaction still isn’t confirmed, you can re-send the transaction.

We recommend using Electrum wallet, since it allows you to raise the fee on transactions if they get stuck,