This article How to track Blockchain transactions teaches those new to cryptocurrencies a simple way they can track their cryptos as they wait in the mempool to be picked up by a block; transacted and cast on the immutable blockchain.
Making a transaction on the blockchain can be somewhat unnerving. Especially your first one. I remember when I was going to make my first Bitcoin transaction, I refused to do it without my experienced friend around.
When you do traditional transactions with the banks, if anything goes awry, there’s always a way for a re-course. You can call in, let them know you’ve made an error, and ask them to reverse the transaction. This advantage of having someone in control makes you feel assured about the transactions you make with the bank.
In the new world of Bitcoin, because transactions are decentralised, i.e. there’s no one physically monitoring the transaction for you, so you’ve got to monitor it yourself. And you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got the receiver address correct – if it’s wrong and you made the transaction. It’s ta-ta to your money, for good. Sounds harsh but its the trade-off for not having a central authority govern your money.
The Lengthy Wait
The scariest part of this whole thing is when your transaction is gone out from your side, and the receiving end has not gotten the money. This can last from 10 minutes on good days, up to a few hours.
This is the part where you really get nervous and wonder what’s going on on the blockchain that is causing the delay.
If you understanding Cryptocurrency Mining, you probably won’t worry as much – but this is for you if you are clueless about how the cryptocurrency world works regarding transactions. For that, there’s a place you can track your transactions.
How to Track Your Transactions
To understand how to make a transaction, I’m going to make a simple one on Gemini.com, one of the excellent cryptocurrency exchanges that I currently use.
Typically when you make a transaction, after it is done, you will see the option ‘View Transaction’. By clicking on it, it takes you outside to a website called insight.bitpay.com
insight is an open-source Bitcoin blockchain explorer that allows you to explore the blockchain. Do note that it is NOT the blockchain itself, just an explorer.
Let’s look at each component:
- Size – > Tells you the size of your transaction
- Fee Rate -> Tells you how much you need to pay per kilobyte for this transaction to happen.
- Received Time -> Is when the transaction was received by the blockchain mempool.
- Mined Time -> Is when the transaction was picked up by a miner to be included in a block.
- Included in Block -> This is the number / ID of the block that this transaction was included in.\
- Details -> This is the details of the transaction, explaining from which address is the BTC obtained and which address it is being sent to. You should see your receiving address in there.
- (Blue Button) Confirmations -> Typically when you first make the transaction, there are 0 confirmations. This means that the transaction has not been confirmed. Normally, you will receive your cryptocurrency on the receiving side when there are at least one confirmations. But for some exchanges, they require 2-3 confirmations as a safety measure.
Normally, if you’re worried about your transaction not getting through, double check the receiving address to make sure that its the one that you intend to send to. If it’s wrong, unfortunately, there is no recourse, and your coins are lost forever.
If it’s correct, then just keep refreshing the page. The status will update as the confirmations come, and once there are 2, you can double check your receiving end to see if it’s recorded.
Bitcoin is very reliable blockchain, and there have not been flaws except for high fees or slow transactions – this is more due to congestion rather than any error in the code. What this means for you is: rest assured, you’ll receive your money. You just have to be patient.
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