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Can You Cancel Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transactions?

Cancel Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transactions

After a Bitcoin transaction is confirmed, a user cannot undo the transaction. You can, however, invalidate a transaction if it is unconfirmed, except in the case of the transaction malleability of Bitcoin.

With the recent surge in the price of bitcoin, the number of unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions has increased considerably once again, and Bitcoin blocks are rapidly approaching capacity.

What Is a Bitcoin Transaction?

A bitcoin transaction is a communication, similar to an email, that is digitally signed using cryptography and then broadcast to the whole Bitcoin network for verification. When transferring Bitcoin, you can make a minor procedural error that causes you to wish to cancel the Bitcoin transaction. The fact that the miner fee you enter isn’t high enough for any miner to confirm your transaction might result in bitcoins becoming stranded in the system. Each bitcoin transaction that has been confirmed is immutable. It is, however, feasible to cancel bitcoin transactions that are yet to be confirmed.

 If the blockchain does not approve a Bitcoin transaction within 24 hours, the transaction is considered unconfirmed. Miners must confirm every transaction through the use of the mining process and a transaction must receive at least three confirmations before it can be considered confirmed on the blockchain.

Pending Transaction

Suppose you’re receiving a payment in your wallet, but the Bitcoin transaction hasn’t received enough confirmations on the blockchain.  The transaction will indicate ‘pending’ while it is still processed on the blockchain.

A Bitcoin transaction may stay unconfirmed for a variety of reasons, the most important of which are as follows:

      • If the transaction is recent, the user may have to wait longer for confirmation. However, even the fastest network confirms transactions within a minimum of ten minutes.
      • It may be unverified if the transaction fee was too low or was not included. A basic rule that applies to bitcoin transactions is that transactions with lesser amounts have a reduced likelihood of being confirmed successfully.

Miners may refuse to confirm transactions with meager fees. However, if the network does not validate your transaction within 24 hours, the following steps can be taken: 

How to Cancel an Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transaction

Has your bitcoin transaction been unconfirmed for days? You can cancel an unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction within 24 hours. Ensure, however, that the transaction is indeed unconfirmed. This indicates that you must wait 24 hours.  If you do not receive confirmation within this time frame, you may validate the status of your TX using a reputable block explorer.

Getting Rid of a Bitcoin Transaction

If you do not get confirmation of your transaction, you can cancel it.

This is how to do it:

      • Utilize the RBF(Replace By Fee) Protocols.
      • Increase the transaction fee with Double Spending.

You may rebroadcast bitcoin transactions with a higher fee  to the whole network with the RBF Protocol for a higher cost. Thus, miners may choose the transaction more quickly, canceling the initial expenditure and initiating a new one. 

The RBF Protocol, on the other hand, may not be supported by your Bitcoin wallet. To be sure you can do this, check to see whether your wallet permits it first. As a precautionary measure, you can use this option while sending out bitcoins. The double-spend option can be used if your wallet does not support RBF Protocol. In other words, a new transaction with the same value is created. So, you’ll have to resend your Bitcoin transaction and pay a more significant charge this time.

Important note: You can only use the higher fee option for unconfirmed transactions sent from your wallet. It is not feasible to utilize it with received unconfirmed transactions.

Tips for Ensuring the Confirmation of Your Transaction

Whether you receive bitcoin from another user or via a cryptocurrency exchange, your wallet should instantly display this update. If you did not confirm the transaction, then this implies that you can spend the funds from your wallet again. This, however, can take several weeks or even months. It is possible, however, to eliminate the problem of unconfirmed transactions altogether. 

For instance, you can use your wallet’s suggested transaction fee recommendation feature. Changing or reducing the suggested amount might make it more difficult for miners to confirm your transaction. In most circumstances, the wallet automatically determines the charge a Bitcoin user pays to miners. Additionally, this minimizes the transaction’s waiting and confirmation time. Therefore, if you do not want your bitcoins to be trapped in the block for hours, leave the proposed transaction costs alone.

Practical Steps to Canceling a Bitcoin Transaction

To begin canceling a Bitcoin transaction, check to see if it has received any confirmations.

      1. When you completed the transaction, you should have received the following transaction ID: 240615b6ab59a5adb19ba52cb969aeb16ff82d2082b7a72cb2912c5d38c297cf. 
      2. Enter your transaction ID in a block explorer., for example, is an excellent choice.
      3. On the following page, you may view details about your transaction, including the number of confirmations it received.

You will be unable to cancel your transaction if the number of confirmations exceeds 0. On the blockchain, confirmed transactions are permanent and irrevocable. So wait, and your transaction will go through shortly. If the transaction has not yet been confirmed, you may still cancel it.

Causes of Unconfirmed Transactions

      • Sending a negligible sum with inadequate fees
      • A double-spend of the same coins
      • Attempting to spend unconfirmed coins
      • The network is seeing a surge in traffic.
      • The fake bitcoin transaction, the Bitcoin Fake Transaction method, uses the double expenditure technique to send bogus bitcoin transactions.

How Long Does it Take to Send Bitcoin?

The typical confirmation time for a Bitcoin transaction is around ten minutes on the Bitcoin network. Transaction timeframes, on the other hand, might vary significantly. This is because it is influenced by network activity, hash rate, and transaction fees. For example, when the Bitcoin network becomes congested, a backlog of transactions forms in the mempool. This would result in paying higher transaction fees in exchange for speedier transaction processing.

How Long Does it Take to Confirm a Bitcoin Transaction?

A Bitcoin transaction is frequently confirmed many times on the blockchain before it is fully cleared. This is mainly because unconfirmed transactions could be reversed, or the coin could experience a double-spend. Each time a new block is produced, a confirmation occurs. If you’re sending a large sum of bitcoin to a company, some will want up to six confirmations. 

So, how long would it take to confirm this transfer transaction? Approximately an hour, but it fluctuates depending on the factors involved in each transaction. However, if the transfer has transaction malleability bitcoin issues, it won’t be able to confirm as the receiver has already tampered with the transaction ID, and this may be cause for cancellation. 

Final Thoughts

An unconfirmed bitcoin transaction happens when a particular transaction does not obtain a confirmation on the blockchain within 24 hours of the transaction being initiated. There are no reversible bitcoin transactions; this includes those that have been confirmed, transaction malleability, bitcoin transactions, and fake bitcoin transactions. It is possible, however, to cancel unconfirmed bitcoin transactions. This is primarily by rebroadcasting bitcoin transactions with a higher fee, amongst other methods. 

Featured Image: Megapixl

About the author: With more than a hundred articles, blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies, Omoalhaja Abiola is an experienced content writer with a specialization in cryptocurrency, blockchain, fintech, and SaaS. When he's not reading, you will see him drinking NAN with Mubeenah - his JEWEL.

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