Bitcoin transaction – what is it?

All Bitcoin transactions are recorded in the blockchain and stored there at all times. No one can change or delete an entry from the blockchain, and every user can view any transaction using blockchain explorer. In this article you will learn if a Bitcoin transaction can be tracked, how to do it, how transactions are structured, and other issues related to them.

A Bitcoin transaction – what is it?

When you transfer cryptocurrency from your wallet to a Bitcoin address, you are performing a transaction. In other words, sending and receiving BTC cryptocurrency is what a Bitcoin transaction is.

How Bitcoin transactions work

When you send a cryptocurrency, the transaction goes into a mempool – the so-called “queue” of transactions. This is only the first step. Once the transaction hits the mempool, the miners have to validate it and write it to the blockchain. The user can then track the Bitcoin transfer.

Senders compete with each other to have their transaction confirmed as one of the first.

Miners prioritize users who pay more for the commission. Therefore, during times of high user activity, the cost of transactions increases and the confirmation time increases  too. Transactions have several parameters: network commission, transaction weight and status. Let us briefly analyze them.

Transaction weight

Every Bitcoin transaction has a weight which is measured in bytes. The weight takes into account the number of all addresses from which the cryptocurrency was received (inputs) and the number of addresses where the transaction is sent (outputs). The more addresses, the greater the weight of the transaction.

Information about the weight of each transaction is displayed in the blockchain explorer, which we will talk about in detail.

Network Commission

In order for the miners to validate and write the transaction to the blockchain, they need to pay the network commission, also called the miners’ commission.

The higher the sender’s commission, the higher their priority will be in processing the transfers. If the commission is too low, the transaction will take a long time to process (from an hour to several days) and may get stuck in the mempool for a long time or be cancelled altogether.

How the network commission is calculated

To calculate the actual commission, multiply the weight of the transaction in bytes by the recommended at the time of the transaction network commission (satoshi / byte). It can be viewed in any explorer, for example https://blockchair.com/ru/Bitcoin.

We wrote about how network commission is calculated in the article “How Bitcoin is made”.

Let’s calculate the network commission 

The first thing you need to do is to look up the recommended network fee (sat/byte) at the time of transaction. This can be done at Blockchain.com.

With a transaction size of 110 bytes and a cost of 99 sat/bytes, the average commission would be:

110 x 99 = 10 890 satoshi or 0.00010890 BTC

Usually the commission is calculated automatically by cryptocurrency wallets based on data from the network itself.

How crypto wallets deal with commissions

In practice, most cryptocurrency wallets set a fixed maximum network commission and do not allow users to regulate the amount of commission on their own.

But if there is no fuss in the network, the transaction can be confirmed quickly enough and at the average amount of commission. That is, in this case, the user initially incurs unreasonably high costs.

How the network commission (mining commission) is set by Trustee Wallet 

The Trustee Wallet team initially built the functionality of the wallet to work with network commissions. Therefore, when sending a transaction, the user can independently:

– choose the miners’ commission from the suggested list (fast, medium, slow), which will affect the speed of the transaction;

– To set the specific miners’ commission manually.

How to set the amount of commission in Trustee Wallet

To set the commission size, the user must follow the service instructions to form the transaction and specify all its parameters. Recall that the amount of commission directly affects the speed of transaction confirmation.

For example, to send Bitcoin to another address and set the commission it is necessary:

1.go to the coins tab;

2.click send;

3.enter the recipient’s address;

4.press the gear in the lower left corner to set the amount of commission for the transaction;

5.then the system will redirect you to the tab, where you will be given the choice of commission size. A certain amount of commission will correspond to the speed of the transaction – “fast”, “medium”, “slow”. Also there is an opportunity to set the amount of commission “manually”.

Transaction Statuses

There are three statuses of transactions:

Pending confirmation. A transaction will receive this status as soon as it has been sent – translated into the Bitcoin network.

Rejected. Miners did not validate the transaction because the user did not pay a large enough fee.

Confirmed. A record of the Bitcoin transaction hit the blockchain, and the cryptocurrency arrived at the recipient’s cryptocurrency wallet address.

Tracking Bitcoin transactions in blockchain

Any user can track Bitcoin transfers using a special service – a blockchain explorer. Now let’s look at what it will take to track a Bitcoin transaction in a wallet, how a user can do it himself, and what tools exist for this purpose.

What you need to track a Bitcoin transaction

If you need to trace a transaction, the following information will suffice (any one thing will suffice):

Transaction hash (Tx id) – a unique identifier assigned to each transaction in the Bitcoin network. To get all the details of the transfer, it must be specified on the blockchain website.

The address to which the coins have been sent. The explorer will display a list of all incoming and outgoing transfers associated with the selected address. It remains to find the desired transaction and see details.

Address, from which coins were sent. Act similarly to the previous point.

Where to track Bitcoin transaction

You can track a transaction online using any blockchain explorer. Here is a list of popular explorers:

  • Blockchair.com, a handy explorer with an attractive design. Besides Bitcoin, the service monitors other blockchains: Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP) and 11 other networks.
  • Blockchain.com is a popular blockchain explorer, formerly Blockchain.info. It has a less user-friendly interface than Blockchair.com, but contains more information, including recent transactions, number of large Bitcoin transactions, hash rate and more.
  • BTC.com is a reviewer created by the well-known mining pool of the same name. It has limited functionality, but is easy to use.
  • CoinMarketCap is a popular service for monitoring cryptocurrency rates and their capitalization. It recently got its own blockchain explorer.
  • Bitcoin.com is a simple and handy observer from the creators of Bitcoin Cash.

The blockchain explorer and what information it has

Let’s take a point-by-point look at what information blockchain explorers provide. Let’s show them using the Blockchair.com explorer and a randomly taken transaction as an example

Hash (txid) 629d820f0bd87696185f81c1bd099a8f3619fabf5f0b55b4e15c76df6cc59931

https://blockchair.com/ru/Bitcoin/transaction/629d820f0bd87696185f81c1bd099a8f3619fabf5f0b55b4e15c76df6cc59931

The picture illustrates all the key parameters of the transaction:

1.Sender’s address

2.Recipient’s address

3.Sending amount

4.Transaction amount

5.Transaction fee

6.Commission per byte

You can trace the whole path of the coins with the explorer, because every transaction contains in itself addresses of inputs and outputs.

You can see the addresses at the bottom of the page. There you will see the entry address (the sender’s address) and the two “exit” addresses (the recipient’s address and the return address). Sometimes a transaction can have multiple inputs and multiple outputs, meaning that the amount sent, has been taken from multiple addresses and sent to multiple other addresses in different amounts. Such transactions often carry enormous weight and are used by “mixers” to obfuscate the trail of funds.

To find the sender address from which the cryptocurrency – the subject of the transaction in question – was received, click on the arrow in the Senders column.

In this way, you can trace the entire path of the transaction.

Let’s go back to the picture. It shows two “exit” addresses, that doesn’t mean that the user has sent coins to both addresses.

In the Bitcoin network, the transactions go like this: when the user sends all the coins at the address are included in the block. After the transaction is confirmed, the amount of coins that were sent is transferred to the recipient’s address, and the unspent amount (change) is returned to the sender’s address.

So, if the sender does not use the full amount stored in the wallet, the change is sent to the sender’s address.

In the transaction we see that 0.00153951 BTC were sent from 1KtQG8vj9EbU6V3QpurDqftDYEzGtuSFWw to 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa and 0. 00002280 BTC returned to 1KtQG8vj9EbU6V3QpurDqftDYEzGtuSFWw as a change.

All of these metrics we reviewed in detail above.

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How to track Bitcoin transaction in Trustee Wallet

Often when a transaction is generated in the wallets, there is brief information about it – its hash, recipient’s address, amount sent, network commission, and blockchain status. More information can always be viewed in the explorer, which can be accessed directly from the wallet.

To do this, you need:

1.Go to the BTC tab and click on the transaction you are interested in.

2.The next tab will show you information about the transaction.

3.Click on Details to see the details of the transaction and to go to the blockchain explorer click on “View in explorer”. This is where you will be able to track a specific transaction taken in parallel with the application.

Let’s show examples of different Bitcoin transfer states.

Example of a successful transaction:

The transaction has 147 confirmations, and one confirmation is enough for it to be successful.

Example of an unsuccessful transaction:

In this example, the transaction got into the queue, but the miners rejected it because the fee was too low.

Example of an unconfirmed transaction:

In this case, there was no problem with the transaction – it just hasn’t been confirmed by the miners yet. As soon as the first confirmation appears, the transaction will receive successful status, which means that the funds are in the recipient’s possession.

Options for Bitcoin transactions in Trustee Wallet depending on the status

Let’s find out what to do if your transaction didn’t go through or is not confirmed for a long time. Let’s also look at how to speed up a Bitcoin transaction using Trustee Wallet cryptocurrency as an example.

Resend

If after sending the transaction its hash (Tx id) is not displayed in details or you can see a notification like “Ooops! We could not find what you are looking for.” in blockchain explorer, it means that this transaction either was not sent or was deleted from mempool by miners. In that case just resend the transaction by setting relevant commissions.

Waiting

If the transaction is not confirmed for a long time, but you do not want to speed it up by increasing the commission – you just have to wait. As a result, the miners will either confirm the transaction or it will be thrown out of the mempool.

The wait can take anywhere from a couple of hours to several days.

In this case, if the transaction will be thrown from the mempool, that is, will not be confirmed, act as in the item Resend.

If you don’t want to wait a long time for the confirmation, but you have some Bitcoin on your balance to pay the fee, Trustee Wallet can help you to speed up the transaction by increasing the fee. Read on how to do this.

Accelerate

Step 1. Open your transaction history in the Coins tab and click on the unconfirmed transaction.

Step 2. Swipe to the left the area where the Share/Support/Details buttons are placed. Two more features will appear – select from them Accelerate.

Step 3. Increase the commission using the recommended value depending on the current Bitcoin network load. You can specify the commission manually or select one of the options.

Step 4. In the final step, click Submit.

Return the transaction

This option is applicable when the transaction is “stuck” but you have changed your mind about sending funds to the user.

The sequence of steps is almost identical to the ones described in the previous section, but after the swipe, you must select the second option – Return the transaction.

After you click Return, the recipient’s address will automatically change to your address, meaning the cryptocurrency will return to the sender’s address. At the same time, you will need to pay the network fee.

Conclusion

You’ve learned how to track Bitcoin transaction confirmations, how they work and what to do if a transaction is not confirmed by miners for a long time. We’ve taken apart the examples of successful and unsuccessful transactions, as well as options for dealing with rejection and long delays.

Thanks to Trustee Wallet’s flexible functionality, users can fully manage the Bitcoin sending process, including setting up fees if they want to speed up the transaction.

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