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Unconfirmed Transaction Meaning

Jan 18, 2024 | Updated Jan 18, 2024
An unconfirmed transaction is any transaction request submitted to the blockchain that is yet to be processed or validated.

What is a Blockchain Unconfirmed Transaction?

A blockchain unconfirmed transaction refers to a transaction initiated by a user that is yet to be confirmed and recorded on the blockchain by a validator or miner. It is also known as a zero-confirmation transaction.

How Do Blockchain Transactions Work?

Every time you send crypto to your friend’s wallet, the transaction is not directly recorded on the blockchain. Instead, it automatically enters a waiting area, known as the mempool or memory pool, and awaits approval by a validator or miner. 

The mempool basically queues the transaction and broadcasts it across all nodes in the chain. Therefore, the user has to wait for their transaction to be selected from the mempool and verified by one of the network nodes before it is added to the blockchain. All the transactions in the mempool have a pending status. 

A transaction is confirmed only once a miner or validator has fully verified it and determined that it is the only pending transaction involving the funds being spent. It can remain unconfirmed for several reasons, such as:

  • When the same cryptocurrency is being sent more than once; a case of double spending.
  • When the user pays lower transaction fees, especially in a congested network or during high transaction activities. Miners and validators often prioritize transactions with higher fees.

Blockchain transaction confirmation mostly relies on the respective network’s traffic, which means that high transaction volumes could lead to delays. To check your transaction status or progress, you can enter the transaction ID, receiving address, or sending address on any blockchain explorer. Note that transactions that remain unconfirmed for too long can be completely ignored by the network or dropped from the mempool and returned to the user’s wallet.

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