How To Cancel An Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transaction

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Last Updated on July 1, 2022 by Eddu Oz

How To Cancel An Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transaction

When Bitcoin Transaction Stalls

When initiating Bitcoin transactions, errors tend to occur from time to time, and one such error is when a Bitcoin transaction stalls. This can be frustrating either as a sender of Bitcoin or a receiver waiting to get credited on the other end.

In this article, I will be explaining in detail, how one can cancel an unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction.

It is important to note that a Bitcoin user cannot undo a confirmed Bitcoin transaction; however, an unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction can be cancelled.

How To Cancel An Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transaction

Key Takeaways

📌 You must wait for 24 hours before taking any action concerning your Bitcoin transaction.

📌 Confirmed Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed as the receiver would have to initiate a return request to send it back.

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📌 Use a block explorer to check the status of your crypto transaction.

📌 Sometimes an unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction may be a result of a network issue and not necessarily an error on your part, hence this buttresses the importance of holding on a bit to analyze transaction issues when they occur.

SEE ALSO: How to Confirm An Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transaction

SEE ALSO: How Long Does A Bitcoin Transaction Take Before Confirmation

What Constitutes an Unconfirmed Transaction?

If the blockchain does not approve a Bitcoin transaction within 24 hours, it is considered unconfirmed. Every transaction must be confirmed by a miner via the proof-of-work principles.

A transaction must receive at least three confirmations before it can be completely approved by the blockchain.

If a Bitcoin transaction is still recent (less than 5 minutes), it can be canceled or unconfirmed, and if that happens, the user may have to wait longer for confirmation, as even the fastest network requires at least 10 minutes to confirm a transaction.

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A Bitcoin transaction can also be unconfirmed if the transaction fee is too low or not included.

According to the cryptography of Bitcoin, smaller transaction sums have a lesser likelihood of being confirmed successfully.

Miners may refuse to confirm transactions with excessively low fees. However, if your transaction is not verified by the network within 24 hours, you can reverse it. But be certain that the transaction is indeed unconfirmed.

If you haven’t received a confirmation after 24 hours, utilize a trustworthy block explorer to check the status of your transaction.

Since the blockchain is open to the public, you can simply keep tabs on your transaction. To track a transaction with the block explorer, all you need to do is input the transaction ID.

SEE ALSO: 7 Best Bitcoin Blockchain Explorers for Confirming Transactions

All Bitcoin transaction requires at least three confirmations to be deemed successful. If your transaction has two or one approval, it must be validated by a third miner.

Cancelling an Unconfirmed Bitcoin Transaction

You can cancel your Bitcoin transaction if you do not receive any confirmation by:

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1. Make use of the Replace by Fee or RBF Protocol.

2. Making use of a higher-fee double-spend transaction.

The RBF Protocol allows you to broadcast a Bitcoin transaction to the whole network a second time for a higher fee.

As a result, miners can select the transaction quickly, cancelling the previous transaction and initiating a new one.

Your Bitcoin wallet, however, may not support the RBF Protocol. As a result, first, check to see if your wallet permits you to do so.

When transferring Bitcoins, you can choose this option to ensure that you can utilize it if required.

However, if your wallet does not support the RBF Protocol, you can utilize the higher-fee double-spend option.

That is, you initiate a new transaction with the same amount. That implies you’ll have to send your Bitcoin transaction a second time, with a higher fee this time around.

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How to Verify that Your Bitcoin Transaction Is Confirmed

Your wallet should be able to keep you updated each time you receive Bitcoin from an investor or a cryptocurrency exchange into your wallet.

If you do not confirm the transaction, you can still spend the funds in your wallet, but this might take up to a month or more. Nonetheless, you can avoid the issue of unconfirmed transactions.

For example, in your wallet, you can utilize the proposed transaction cost suggestion option, but changing or reducing the suggested amount may prevent miners from verifying your transaction.

In most circumstances, the wallet automatically determines the fee that a Bitcoin user pays miners. As a result, the transaction’s waiting and confirmation hours are reduced.

Hence, you mustn’t adjust the suggested transaction fees if you don’t want your Bitcoins to be held in the block for hours without confirmation.

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Final Thoughts

Following the right procedures, Bitcoin confirmation is quite seamless. However, despite this, errors still occur from time to time.

Hence, if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation regarding a Bitcoin transaction, make sure you wait till after 24 hours before taking any action.

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If after that, nothing happens, you can then follow the instructions explained in this article.

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