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Blockchain Confirmation Meaning

Oct 6, 2023 | Updated Oct 6, 2023
Blockchain confirmation refers to the process of verifying a transaction and adding it to a blockchain.

What Is a Blockchain Confirmation?

When someone makes a money transfer through a bank, they get a transaction confirmation or receipt. The confirmation is proof that the transaction was legitimate and complete. Similarly, when a trader makes a transaction on a blockchain network, the network must verify the transaction and conclude that it is legitimate before adding it to the blockchain. 

Blockchain confirmation or block confirmation is the process of validating and adding a user’s transaction to a block in a blockchain network. It safeguards a network against threats like double-spending

How Do Blockchain Confirmations Work? 

Say you place an order online to purchase a new laptop. The order goes through a confirmation process before it is shipped to you. During the processing, you might receive updates such as “order received”, “order being prepared”, and “order shipped”. When the package is finally delivered, you might receive a “delivery confirmation” message.

In block confirmations, transactions sit in a network’s queue of unconfirmed transactions, in a waiting area known as a mempool, until they are verified and confirmed by miners or validators. Miners and validators are responsible for confirming the validity of transactions and securing the network.

How Long Do Blockchain Confirmations Take?

Block confirmation periods vary from one blockchain to another based on how long it takes to add a block to the blockchain. It also depends on the complexity of the transaction.

On the Bitcoin network, a blockchain confirmation takes place every 10 minutes, so it can process six confirmations an hour. In the Ethereum network, a set of twelve blocks are confirmed every three minutes. 

The transaction speed is influenced by factors such as network congestion, mining difficulty, and transaction fees. When a blockchain experiences high trading volumes, validators/miners may take a long time to add your transaction to the next block. Sometimes, the transaction may be declined and the funds returned to your account. In such cases, paying higher transaction fees may reduce the waiting period as miners prioritize transactions that incentivize them well. 

In proof-of-work blockchains, mining difficulty may slow down the block confirmation process. Since they rely on miners to solve complex mathematical puzzles before they can confirm blocks, the miners may take longer to add transactions to the block if solving the puzzle becomes a challenge.

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