With the introduction of Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, people were much captured by the benefits it had to offer. While driving a cashless economy, what it also promised is a genuine way for accretion of wealth.
However, this high technology is plagued by operational complexity and non-uniform compliance in nations. In short, there is a long way to go for cross-border payments to be enacted using Bitcoin.
Another significant problem is that of performance. Bitcoin transactions are all recorded on an infrastructure called blockchain. The blockchain is a public ledger that is the heart of cryptocurrencies and prevents fraud.
For any transaction between peers to go through using Bitcoin, it must first get committed onto the blockchain. The committing part is enabled by miners who based on transaction fees segregate blocks and append them to the blockchain network.
Pressing issue that occurs during Bitcoin transactions
You can visualize the scale of transactions that go through in a Bitcoin ecosystem. In the initial stages, Bitcoin blockchain handled almost 300,000 transactions per day. With the availability of other cryptocurrencies, this number has dropped to 200,000 transactions per day.
Bitcoin transactions get stuck because they get held up in a queue waiting to get committed onto the blockchain. There is a transaction fee associated with each Bitcoin transfer. Based on the volume of money transferred, each transfer carries a directly proportional transaction fee.
If the transaction fee is less, that transaction is not picked up by miners early and suffer a lag. This problem is so significant that waiting times have sometimes stretched from a couple of hours to even days. A Bitcoin accelerator is a tool which promises to address this issue by including the transaction in the next block even though its fee is less.
Typical techniques used by accelerators to clear a traffic jam
There are two techniques which every Bitcoin enthusiast should be aware that are generally applied by Bitcoin transaction accelerator tools to speed up the clearance. These techniques are Replace by fees (RBF) and Child pays for parent (CPFP).
Replace by fees (RBF): This method works on the principle to replace a lesser transaction fee with a higher valued transaction fee.
Child pays for parent (CPFP): By selecting transactions for mining not just based on their fees but also based on the fees of their ancestors (parents) and descendants (children), this method is often adopted.
Anatomy of a stuck Bitcoin Transaction
An unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction is one that has not yet marked its presence on the Bitcoin blockchain. There are many online portals that help you analyze blockchain blocks and appreciate the structure of unconfirmed deals.
The below screenshot depicts the structure of unconfirmed transactions. As evident, unconfirmed transactions are also identified by their transaction identification and the number of bitcoins involved.
Stepwise usage of some popular Bitcoin transaction accelerators
We will guide on 3 tools that can help you kickstart your effort for speedy Bitcoin transactions. Please note that this list is not binding and there may be many more tools in the market. The takeaway is to give you an idea on the general approach.
Step-by-step procedure to use ConfirmTX –
Overview of ConfirmTX: This is a web-based accelerator that works on a fee structure if your transaction size is less than 250 bytes, then you have not levied any fees. If it crosses 250 bytes, a flat fee is charged.
STEP 1: Go to http://confirmtx.com
STEP 2: For any accelerator, the key input is the transaction ID. Make a note of the transaction ID that is delaying you and enter in the textbox.
STEP 3: Click on ‘Accelerate Now!’
Step-by-step procedure to use BTC.Com –
Overview of BTX.Com: BTC.com provides the service of Bitcoin transaction acceleration by working with other mining pools. The fee structure revolves around 5-10 U.S. dollars. One can increase the probability of confirming their transaction within 1 hour to 75% and within 4 hours to 98%.
STEP 1: Go to https://pushtx.btc.com/
STEP 2: Enter the transaction ID and click on ‘ESTIMATED PRICE’.
STEP 3: Once you are ok with the fees levied, click on ‘CONFIRM’ to pay and avail acceleration.
Step-by-step procedure to use ViaBTC –
Overview of ViaBTC: ViaBTC transaction acceleration is a free service for the Bitcoin community to accelerate the Bitcoin transactions. It also runs paid services for accelerating Bitcoin transactions in case of emergencies or experiments.
STEP 1: Go to https://pool.viabtc.com/tools/txaccelerator/
STEP 2: Enter the transaction ID and fill the Captcha.
STEP 3: Click on either Submit for FREE or Paid service based on your urgency.
A completed Bitcoin transaction explained
Similar to unconfirmed transactions, confirmed transactions can be depicted as below:
We have endeavored to give you a heads-up on the process of Bitcoin transaction acceleration. As you must have realized, this issue is indeed noticeable and will work against your efforts to avail a cashless transaction. The tools we have presented are good industry-wide workarounds to get a speedy dispatch of transfers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Can I expect Bitcoin transactions to be always delayed? What is the solution?
Due to the volume of Bitcoin transactions, yes, Bitcoin transactions pose a delay. However, transactions with larger money incurring a higher transaction fee are dispatched relatively quickly.
The solution is to be wise when dealing with Bitcoin. You must have a specific use case to use Bitcoin or else resort to other cryptocurrencies called Altcoins.
2. Is there any risk while using the accelerators?
Yes, there are risks. You must read all the clauses of the accelerator and make up your mind that you are comfortable. Sometimes acceleration fails due to too much delay, so keep a fallback plan ready.
3. Do accelerators charge too much fees?
Please note accelerator fees are generally not too much. It may vary but never exorbitant.