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What happens when your BTC transaction gets "stuck"? What should I do?



Have you ever experienced a Bitcoin transfer stuck in a waiting state, unable to get confirmation and helpless?

How to verify stuck BTC transactions when stuck in mempool?

Follow along with us to learn about the reasons and solutions for transactions being stuck.

The transaction is often blocked because the transaction fee you set is too low. In simple terms, too low a fee means that miners will prioritize adding transactions with high transaction fees to their blocks. Unless the transaction volume decreases, your transaction will not be confirmed and the funds will not reach the intended address.

However, your capital will not be lost forever. Either the miners are the last to verify your transaction, or the nodes give up on your transaction after a while, and the funds return to your wallet.

At the same time, you also have several options to speed up your transaction, depending on the capabilities of the wallet you are using to send it. Next, we will look at ways to prevent being stuck and speed up transactions.

The mempool is a collection of pending transactions that have been verified by nodes but not yet confirmed by miners. The mempool is built into the network, and transactions with too low transaction fees are immediately rejected. In other words, nodes do not include transactions in their mempool, nor broadcast to other nodes.

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You can also think of the fee as the block space occupied by the payment transaction. Block space is measured in bytes (vBytes), which is why Bitcoin transaction fees do not depend on the amount of funds transferred, but on the amount of data that needs to be included in the blockchain.

This graph will help you visualize how transaction fees change over time. But when the demand for block space is high, that is, when the transaction volume is high, the fee will rise. Essentially, you as a user have to compete with other users to incentivize money miners to add your transaction to their blocks.

Standard & Poor's: Stablecoins may still dominate post-Terra: Golden Finance reported that analysts from credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings said in a webinar on Thursday that despite the recent collapse of Luna Foundation's terraUSD, stablecoins may become a systemic feature of the financial world. The technology, a so-called stable source of value, provides a bridge to more volatile crypto assets, but could still transform international finance and global trade, even as recent market turmoil suggests some cryptocurrencies are more stable than others. Stablize.

Standard & Poor's Global Chief Economist Paul Gruenwald said that Terra's sharp depreciation proves that cryptocurrency issuers need to pass the same obstacles as traditional finance. Traditional financiers will ruthlessly take advantage of any currency that makes false promises about its ability to store value, and the crypto market is no exception. The same rules apply, the same credibility applies as in traditional finance, and say a dollar-pegged asset will need some sort of high-quality, liquid dollar-based asset backed by some sort of portfolio to ensure that the system is Believable. (Coindesk)[2022/6/24 1:27:53]

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As mentioned above, if your transaction fee is set too low, your transaction may end up being abandoned by nodes. This is because the memory pool space of the node is limited, a typical node limit is 300MB. But when the mempool reaches its maximum capacity, nodes will usually abandon the transaction with the lowest fee and choose a transaction with a higher transaction fee. Once this happens, you can reuse the funds from the abandoned transaction.

The picture below is the actual operation. On the left side of the figure, the mempool is regularly clearing unconfirmed transactions, which means that if you wait for a while, even a transaction fee of 1-2 sat/vBytes is enough. But on the right side of the graph, if the fee is lower than 5-6sat/vBytes, then there is no possibility for your transaction to continue in the mempool.

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It is reported that a new smart contract was deployed a few hours before the launch of the sales event. After the smart contract is executed, 165 sub-smart contracts can be generated. Each sub-smart contract can cast 2 NFTs from Adidas’s smart contract, and then the They are transferred to the creator's main ETH address. Since each sub-smart contract has a unique address, the creator is able to bypass the 2 NFT sales limit per person, and the sub-smart contract will be automatically destroyed after the NFT is sent to the creator's main address. The creator of this smart contract paid a total of 27.3 ETH in gas fees to execute related transactions, and also paid 66 ETH to purchase adidas NFT. In theory, the smart contract creator has made a profit of about 600,000 U.S. dollars. [2021/12/24 8:02:33]

Your transaction may be abandoned due to node restarts and mempool expiration. Typically, this takes a few days and you need to regain access to your funds. However, this depends on transaction volume and other variables, so sometimes a longer wait may be required.

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For these cases, you can also try the following methods to confirm the transaction.

What if you want to create a new transaction, sending the same funds to the same address, but with a higher transaction fee? From the perspective of nodes treating new transactions, you have just double spent (double spending). If found, the node will delete the latest transaction.

Bitcoin nodes follow the "first sight" principle, meaning that the node software considers the first transaction they receive to be valid, while any subsequent transactions that attempt to spend the same transaction fee are considered invalid and will not be broadcast .

So, when your transaction is stuck in the mempool and you don't want to wait for validation or be abandoned by nodes, what are the most common solutions?

In 2016, BIP-125 proposed a policy to allow alternative transactions. Essentially, you can notify nodes in advance when you want to replace a transaction.

Say you send a transaction and you want to be able to override that transaction in order to avoid setting the transaction fee too low. If transaction resend is enabled and the node implements the transaction resend policy, then your chance is here. But when a replacement transaction is to be sent to a node, the new transaction will replace the old transaction and broadcast it to other nodes.

Then the miners will see the new high transaction fee transaction, and if they want to make more money, they will add your transaction to their block.

Remember, this can only be initiated by the person who sent the transaction. If you are the party receiving this transaction, you should understand the following "Child Pays for Parent".

In the "parent-child transaction" scenario, you can confirm a pending transaction by sending another transaction to yourself using a portion of the funds in the pending transaction. You can effectively create a "child" transaction to pay, but at a higher fee, as shown below.

Take the "parent-child transaction" example; for simplicity, assume that both transactions have the same bytes (vBytes).

Unlike transaction resends, parent-child transactions can be initiated by any party that receives UTXO (the output transaction) in the parent transaction. In other words, either party A2 or party B in the above example can use the funds it received in the parent transaction to pay the higher transaction fee in the child transaction.

That's why it can add stuck transactions to the block. While miners would like to only add subtransactions because it pays higher transaction fees, this is not possible. The child transaction is based on the pending parent transaction, so it is only valid if the parent transaction is also on the blockchain, and the parent and child transactions are bundled together.

This means that the accumulated transaction fee of two transactions must meet a certain transaction fee standard (sat/vBytes) before it can be confirmed. In other words, the average of these two transaction fees must be greater than the current transaction fee standard required to confirm a new transaction.

In fact, creating a parent-child transaction is much more difficult, since a fee needs to be paid out of an unconfirmed transaction, which many wallets currently do not support.

If transaction resends and parent-child transactions don't work for you, you can try a more roundabout way of adding transactions to blocks, known as transaction accelerators.

This is a service provided by miners who will accept external payments such as altcoins, PayPal or WeChat Pay to add your transaction to a block. You can provide sufficient economic incentives to miners by paying them additional fees.

These external transaction fees are known as "out-of-band" payments, and they can lead to lower miner revenue, so they are controversial.

It's up to each wallet developer to choose what they want to offer their users. For example, exchange wallets often enforce a fixed fee regardless of the amount sent. This makes some sense, as stuck transactions are sure to annoy users and cause them trouble. In self-custody wallets that control their own private keys, there are usually more ways to help resolve stuck transactions.

As a bitcoiner, you have the opportunity to be your own bank, which has many advantages, including censorship and seizure resistance, but also means that you sometimes face tricky situations, such as transactions getting stuck. I hope this article can help you solve and prevent the transaction from happening again.

This article comes from braiins, the original author: braiins


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