Why do Bitcoin Transactions Take So Long?

If you have withdrawn or deposited Bitcoin then you have probably suffered through the long wait times. Processing can take 1, 2, or even 3 hours or more.

But you may be wondering, why do Bitcoin transactions take so long? 

Don’t worry. In this article, I will be answering that question and much more. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Why do Bitcoin transactions take so long?

Bitcoin transactions take a long time to process due to poor network scalability and high congestion. Ultimately, the Bitcoin network prioritizes security and decentralization over speed. 

Now let’s look at 3 factors that affect the speed of Bitcoin transactions:

1. Transaction cost 

The primary factor that determines transaction speed is fees. When transferring Bitcoin users can specify the corresponding transaction fee. The higher the fee the faster the transaction.

This is because it increases your priority for miners as they ultimately get a larger reward for processing it.

2. Congestion

Overall, the Bitcoin network process over 200,000 transactions per day. As a result, this places an extreme load on the network as miners struggle to verify them.

3. Scalability

There is no denying that the scalability of the Bitcoin network is poor. To put it into context, it can only process 7 transactions per second (TPS) whereas other popular blockchains such as Solana have an average TPS of over 3000.

All in all, each Bitcoin block only can store between 1000 and 2500 transactions with a limited size of just 1.5MB. Consequently, large numbers of transactions get stuck in the mempool waiting for confirmation.

How long can Bitcoin confirmation take?

Overall, Bitcoin transactions take a minimum of six confirmations to be processed. This ensures there is an accurate record on the blockchain that cannot be reversed or altered.

Moreover, the larger the transaction the greater the confirmation required. In most cases, Bitcoin transactions need between one hour and one and a half hours to complete.

Why is my Bitcoin confirmed but not received?

If you cannot locate your Bitcoin in your wallet it is important to go through a few steps. Firstly, double-check your public address to make sure you are using the correct one.

Secondly, make sure that your wallet is 100% synced. If your wallet is not synced then it will display outdated information. For your wallet to be synced you must be connected to the internet with the latest software update.

Moreover, you can try clearing your cache to force synchronization.

How do I speed up BTC confirmation?

Users can speed up transactions by increasing the transaction fee. In turn, nodes in the Bitcoin network prioritize this transaction to receive the higher fee as a reward.

The specified fee can be found on multiple websites. One notable example is privacypros.io. This website shows the current Bitcoin fee in Satoshis and USD per transaction while also specifying the corresponding wait time.

Other fee calculators include buybitcoinworldwide.com and https://bitcoiner.live/.

Can a Bitcoin transactions take 24 hours?

Bitcoin transaction speeds vary widely. In some cases, they can take over 24 hours to process. This is entirely dependent on the congestion of the network and the transaction fee used for the transfer.

If there is peak congestion and the transaction fee is low it can take several days to process.

Will Bitcoin transaction times decrease?

I am confident that Bitcoin transaction times will decrease in the future. As the protocol continues to develop and the code is improved there will be consistent improvements in speed.

Not to mention, multiple scaling solutions such as the lightning network continue to pop up easing congestion on the main chain. That being said, if demand increases dramatically it will counteract these improvements to some extent.


As you can see, several factors contribute to Bitcoins long transaction times. From scalability issues to overall congestion they have plagued the protocol for the better part of a decade.

However, I am hopeful that as time goes on these issues will improve. I hope you found this article useful and thanks for reading it. Want to know why Bitcoin addresses change? Click here to read my previous article.