How Many Confirmations Does Bitcoin Need?

Bitcoin Confirmation Explained
Coin Cloud Team
, published on 
August 31, 2020
How Many Confirmations Does Bitcoin Need?

One of the biggest complaints about bitcoin transactions is that confirmation can seem to take a long time. Like, a really loooooooong time!

Bitcoin transactions have to be verified and confirmed, just like bank transfers and payment processors. And while bitcoin can take longer than making other payments, the good news is that it moves much faster than bank wires or ACH transfers. Even better, you can trade bitcoin 24/7, while banking systems shut down on nights and weekends.

But sure, bitcoin still seems to move at a snail’s pace sometimes, because it goes through more than one confirmation. However, it doesn’t have to … and it doesn’t always.

Here’s everything you need to know about bitcoin confirmations and transaction times:

Cash is fast

Bitcoin transactions are broadcast to the blockchain network instantly, so anyone can view your transaction without any confirmations. But most processes want it confirmed.

Since it takes 10 minutes to create a new block on the blockchain, and since each block makes a confirmation, you’re going to wait at least 10 minutes for a single confirmation.

That’s how long it will take you to buy or sell bitcoin at a CoinCloud. We confirm the transaction once, so most people get their BTC or USD within 10-15 minutes. The exception to this would be if the blockchain network is busier than usual, and transactions get backlogged while waiting to be written to the blockchain.

Online is slower

Some online exchanges and digital wallets require three confirmations, which will take 30 minutes to be written into three blocks (or longer if the blockchain is running slowly).

Even the most stringent financial organizations consider six confirmations to mean a transaction is locked in stone, so other online exchanges and financial services will take at least an hour for you to get your money. This means the transaction was in a block that was mined six blocks ago, and at 10 minutes each, that’s 60 minutes (and again, longer if the blockchain gets bogged down).

Keep in mind that while this process makes sure the transaction is absolutely, positively, 100% solidly locked in and the final answer no matter what … it’s not required for a bitcoin transaction to be irreversible and complete. All bitcoin transactions are final and verifiable on the blockchain.

We went even deeper into the explanation, including how miner’s fees add to the equation, in our blog post on How Long do Bitcoin ATMs Take?

Fastest hack

Since CoinClouds only require one confirmation when buying or selling, you’ll likely only be waiting 10 to 15 minutes to see a purchase in your wallet, or hold cash in your hands. But what if you could make it so you can just walk up and grab your money?

Well, if you download our free Coin Cloud Wallet app, you can basically make that happen. All you do is use the app to set up your sell in advance, like while riding to the location or before you leave home. You choose the location, and the machine will reserve your cash for up to 48 hours. Then, once you arrive at the CoinCloud, just plug in your phone number, and the cash is dispensed right away.

You can find your closest CoinCloud right in the app, or you can check online with our CoinCloud locator map. We invite you to try buying digital currency with as little as $1 USD.

Disclaimer: The information and views supplied on the Coin Cloud blog are for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not financial advisors, so please do your research and consult with a trusted financial specialist before investing your money.

What is Coin Cloud?

Founded in 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Coin Cloud is the leading digital currency machine (DCM) operator. With over 4,500 locations nationwide, in 48 states and Brazil, Coin Cloud operates the world’s largest and fastest-growing network of 100% two-way DCMs, a more advanced version of the Bitcoin ATM. Every Coin Cloud DCM empowers you to quickly and easily buy and sell over 40 cryptocurrency options with cash.

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