with only 1 confirmation (accepting a transaction once it is included in the most recent block in the chain) the risk of losing it to a reorganization is low (1-2) and even then it will probably be re-included after the reorganization occurs. Needless to state, higher the number of transactions, more the time to process each of them. When an apparently valid block is replaced by a competing block, this is called a blockchain reorganization and the replaced block is called an orphan block. Ignoring this detail though, this is why 6 confirmations bitcoin cash monedero jaxx take about 1 hour on average. For relatively small transactions (like buying coffee users might be fine with a shorter confirmation period such as one or even zero blocks. It is possible for the blockchain to fork by having multiple potential (often inconsistent) blocks which claim to be the last block in the chain.
Long story short, a, bitcoin transaction can take up to 60 minutes or even a day or two to get confirmed. This is roughly like a tree falling in the forest with nobody around to hear. Eventually one of these blocks will win and be permanently included, but it wont always be immediately clear which block this. I know I have waited for 2-3 hours myself for a transaction over the last month, and this seems like it can be avoided, but you will have to be proactive, and not all wallet providers give you this flexibility.
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Because blocks are found by a random process, there is no telling precisely how long it will take for 6 blocks to be found. Presumably, once Segregated Witness and, lightning arrive, 2017 will see a much better flow of Bitcoin, and the current logjam show all just be a memory of being an early adopter, living on the cutting edge of 21st-century financial technology. This is exponentially less likely to occur the larger n gets. Here is the average timing chart for the last 7 days: Moreover, you can reduce the transaction fee and shorten this time even more by using segwit enabled wallets. Bitcoin Mempool, assuming your transaction is included in the block and mined, you will get the first confirmation in 10 minutes and other five confirmations in the next 50 minutes. Fee In Satoshi Corresponding Time Estimation. Conclusion, at a high level, a transaction is confirmed when it is permanently included in the Bitcoin blockchain. There seem to be more transactions than overall space, so the block size is factor number one, but as I just mentioned, help is on the way. This ledger is necessary to prevent double-spending, which is a key technical challenge in designing any cryptocurrency. The time it takes for this to happen is quite variable-sometimes confirmation may be tens of minutes and sometimes it may take over two hours, but on average it will take about an hour.
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