July 18, 2020 / Beginners

Transactions Monitoring In Bitcoin and Ethereum Blockchains


Any action on cryptocurrency networks is made through transactions. Detailed information about each of them is stored in blocks. Specialized online services are used to monitor transactions which are called explorers.

Transactions monitoring in the blockchain is most often needed to estimate the time of its confirmation and make sure that the sent assets have been delivered to the specified address. Also, you can understand transaction status to take action to speed up the confirmation of it.

The Nuances Of Transactions Monitoring In Bitcoin Blockchain

As you know Bitcoin blockchain is public. Therefore, anyone can observe the transaction details stored on it. Almost any universal explorer can be used to monitor a transaction in the Bitcoin network. To date, there is not a single block explorer dedicated exclusively to Bitcoin. One of the oldest services is Blockchain.com (originally Blockchain.info). Among the younger explorers, the most popular are BlockCypher, BTC.com, Blockchair, and SoChain.

To view the details of a particular deal, you need to enter its hash (tx id) in the appropriate field and click the search button. If you do not know the transfer identifier, you can specify the bitcoin address (yours or the recipient’s) instead, and click on the desired one in its transaction history list, defining it by the amount transferred.

Regardless of the choice of the explorer for verifying transactions in the blockchain, each of them will contain data:

  • Hash;
  • Switch-on block number;
  • Time and date of transaction processing;
  • Status (confirmed / unconfirmed);
  • Number of confirmations, inputs, and outputs;
  • The transferred amount in BTC;
  • Fee;
  • Transaction weight in bytes;
  • Sender and recipient addresses;
  • Scripts with the signature of the initiator of the operation and other data.

If there is no information about the block, then, at the moment, there was no confirmation. This is indicated by the Unconfirmed status. This means that the transaction has entered the mempool and is in the queue for confirmation by miners.

As a rule, for the BTC to be credited to the recipient’s balance and the transaction to receive the status of confirmed, 6 confirmations are needed. Although when making deposits on some exchanges and paying for goods in online stores that accept cryptocurrency, funds are often credited after 2–4 confirmations. It depends on the rules of a particular site and its desire to save customers from long waiting.

New blocks are generated in the Bitcoin network approximately every 10 minutes, this value is the time it takes for one confirmation. Thus, it takes from 20 to 60 minutes to successfully complete one transaction.

But this is true only for those transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain for which a fee is set, which ensures quick inclusion in the block at the current network load. You can determine the appropriate fee value for this using specialized online calculators, for example, Buy Bitcoin Worldwide website. In different periods, the optimal fee can range from a few dollars to $ 30-40, as it was in December 2017, when Bitcoin was worth almost $ 20,000.

If the verification of a transaction in the Bitcoin blockchain has the unconfirmed status for a long time (several hours or even days), then you will have to act according to one of the following scenarios. Note that the option to cancel the transfer is not provided in Bitcoin:

  • Leave everything as it is and wait for the operation to complete as long as necessary.
  • Accelerate a transaction with one of the specialized services from mining pools such as ViaBTC and BTC.com. In this case, BTC transfer will take place in a period from 10 minutes to several hours by including data about it in one of the blocks mined by the selected pool. The downside is that the service is paid and costs an average of $ 20-30.
  • Replace a frozen transaction with a similar one, with the same recipient and amount, but with a higher fee, using the “Replace-by-fee” option. In this case, the new higher priority transfer will be confirmed, and the old one will be canceled by the system marked “double spend”. The downside is that this feature is not present in all wallets.

It is better to take care in advance so that when checking transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain, you do not have to solve the problem with the transfer freezing. Therefore, it is worth paying a fee that will ensure the transaction is confirmed in the required time frame. Also, the multi-signature function provided by some services and crypto wallets helps to increase the speed of BTC transactions to some extent. Also, it is worth remembering that the priority of transactions is also affected by the amount of transferred assets – the larger it is, the higher the chance of being included in the block.

The Nuances Of Transactions Monitoring In Ethereum blockchain

To analyze the Ethereum blockchain, the same universal explorers can be used as in the case of Bitcoin. But the most popular way to monitor transactions on the Ethereum blockchain is the specialized Etherscan service. Also for this purpose, less popular, but quite good at unloading information from the ethernet, the Etherchain and Ethplorer block observers are suitable.

Transaction monitoring in Ethereum blockchain using the Etherscan explorer is performed by entering its hash (tx hash) into the search form located at the top of the main page or any other page of the service website.

If the verified transaction has the status of unconfirmed, the data on it will contain the column “Estimated Confirmation Duration” – the estimated duration of confirmation, calculated based on the fee specified by the user (price and gas limit) and the current blockchain load.

With the current average gas values, which can be found on the ethgasstation.info website, the time to include a transaction in a block should not exceed five minutes, and it is often less than a minute. The operation is considered completed immediately after the next block is generated, but most cryptocurrency platforms and services credit the user’s balance after 20-30 confirmations.

If the transaction in the Ethereum blockchain shows a long stay in the Pending status, and the estimated duration of its confirmation is calculated in tens of hours or even days, the reason is most often the gas price is too low. Less often – in the excessive network congestion, as it was in late 2017 – early 2018 against the backdrop of the rapid growth in the cost and popularity of Ethereum as a means of payment, as well as a platform for ICO and the creation of many blockchain projects.

In the event of a long freeze, the transaction can be accelerated by replacing it. To do this, you need to log into your ETH account via the MyEtherWallet online wallet and select “Send offline” in the “Send” menu item.

As you can see, there are quite a few nuances in the processes of confirming transactions in the blockchain and ways to accelerate them, which may differ depending on the cryptocurrency network used. But with the detailed instructions, which is described in this material, you should not have any problems with tracking the sent coins and fixing unpleasant situations with their freezing.

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