How Long Does it Take to Send and Receive Bitcoin?

Initially launched in 2009, Bitcoin (“BTC”) is regarded as one of the world’s first cryptocurrencies and it still remains one of the most widely transacted cryptocurrencies to date. Cryptocurrencies have multiple advantages over traditional currencies, including being secure, pseudo-anonymous, fast, and low-cost. 

However, one major issue with cryptocurrencies is the fact that sending cryptocurrency from one person to another is a relatively slow process. This transaction time depends on factors like network congestion, cryptocurrency type, the consensus mechanism, and the total fee being paid. 

Let’s take a closer look at how Bitcoin is sent and received, and how it matches up to other methods of sending currency. 

How Long Does It Take to Send Bitcoin?

The total time it takes for BTC to be sent and received varies from transaction to transaction. Bitcoin’s transaction times can vary greatly, ranging anywhere from ten minutes to one day. However, it will usually take between thirty minutes and two hours to complete the process. It is worth keeping in mind that the average transaction time tends to be around one hour. 

There are ways to shorten the transaction time when sending Bitcoin. Every time you make a transaction on a cryptocurrency network, you must pay a network fee. You will have the option of making this fee larger or smaller. The more you pay, the quicker your Bitcoin will be sent and received. In most cases, this fee is nowhere near as large as the fee you would pay for a banking transaction. Even the highest BTC network fee only amounts to a tiny percentage of your total transaction cost. 

Another variable that can affect the total transaction time is the level of network congestion. If there is too much traffic on a network, its average speed will be slower. Ethereum, another cryptocurrency network, suffered from huge network congestion due to heavy traffic. This led to increased fees for transactions, which made the network unusable for a long time. Fortunately, Bitcoin does not suffer from this issue to the same degree. This is because, unlike Ethereum, Bitcoin is not a decentralized app environment. It is mainly aimed at being a store of value and replacing legacy currency, known as fiat currency.    

The Mechanics of The Bitcoin Network

Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism in order to maintain its network. What this means is that individual miners, which act as servers or nodes, validate transactions on the network. Without these Bitcoin miners, transactions on the Bitcoin network would not be possible. People who mine Bitcoin are awarded with Bitcoins at specific intervals in return for their activity. They also earn a portion of each transaction fee on the network. Miners prioritize transactions depending on the associated network fees. With all other considerations remaining equal, they will work on a higher fee transaction than a lower fee transaction. 

A Bitcoin transaction needs 6 confirmations before it can be marked as complete. On average, it takes 10 minutes to mine a block (a mined block is the same as a confirmation). This is why it takes 60 minutes on average to send Bitcoin from one wallet address to another. However, higher-quality providers might be able to process your transaction in ten or twenty minutes. This is because once one or two confirmations are guaranteed, the rest are really just a matter of procedure (i.e. highly likely to be fully confirmed). 

Ultimately, they release funds early when there is practical certainty of being compensated in return once the transaction is fully confirmed. This is the basis of the remittance system of both new finance (crypto) and old finance (banking). This makes transactions much easier for everyday users. 

What Are The Benefits of Sending Bitcoin?

There are many benefits of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as opposed to sending fiat currency. Of course, one of the major benefits of Bitcoin is lower transaction fees. When you want to send an international wire transfer, you might be charged $15 - $40. However, Bitcoin does not recognize different borders so the fees remain constant (often less than $1.99). You can complete transactions from anywhere in the world using your mobile devices, including from the comfort of your home.

Time is another major benefit of using Bitcoin’s network. The traditional banking model might take anywhere between one to five days before funds arrive in the recipient’s account. However with an average time of one hour before being received, there is no undue time delay. Moreover, in the case of Bitcoin, the transactions are kept anonymous. 

Many people fail to grasp the simplicity of cryptocurrency and what you can use it for. Bitcoin can actually purchase virtually almost everything that fiat currency can purchase. More online platforms are accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment than ever before. For instance, you can use it to purchase flight tickets, rent apartments, and even to purchase property or real estate. 

Sometimes, you will need to fulfill KYC procedures in order to complete transactions. However, once the crypto is in your wallet, you are free to send it to other wallets without any restrictions.

Additional Benefits of Using The Bitcoin Network

The privacy features of Bitcoin are far greater than that of the traditional banking system. Your funds can never be seized once you have access to your private keys. If a service provider shuts down, you can still access your funds through a different interface. In addition, you don’t have to go to a bank or through unnecessary red tape to get transactions approved. 

To sum up, the benefits of sending BTC are:

  • It’s fast
  • It’s ultra low-cost
  • It’s pseudo-anonymous
  • It’s non-bureaucratic
  • It’s extremely secure
  • It allows users complete control over their finances

The Benefits of Crypto ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) have been on the rise for a number of years, due to the explosion of overall interest in cryptocurrencies. BTMs offer a convenient way to access Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because they bear so many resemblances to legacy ATMs. This naturally makes people much more familiar with how to operate them. They are nearly always KYC-compliant, which means you do not have to worry about hacks or scams. The fees will be displayed and the process for buying and selling is usually very straightforward. 

BTMs are usually located within heavily populated urban locations. While it’s a great way to gain exposure, you need to complete due diligence beforehand. There are a small number of predatory BTM operators that charge higher prices for Bitcoin transactions. You might also need to wait for 30 minutes or longer in order for transactions to be verified. This can be a burdensome time frame for anyone who is on a tight schedule. 

The benefits of BTMs can be observed once you use high-quality service providers with clear fees and a long history of excellent customer service. 

How to Send and Receive Bitcoin

If you want to send and/or receive Bitcoin, you will need to first create a wallet. This can be compared to a bank account, or a “place” to send and receive funds. Wallet creation is a very straightforward process. You can set up a cryptocurrency wallet through an online provider with just the click of a button. 

However, it’s actually the next step where most people mess up. The Golden Rule of cryptocurrency security is to simply guard your private keys. When you set up a Bitcoin wallet you will be given a private key or a passcode (a series of words that enables access to the wallet). 

Make sure you secure and save two copies of them (perhaps a physical copy written out and a picture taken on your phone and later transferred to a USB). Otherwise, you could lose access to your cryptocurrency wallet forever.

After this step has been completed, users can rest assured. Sending Bitcoin from one account to another is a very easy process. Each Bitcoin wallet has a unique identifier, in the same way that each bank account has an identifier such as an IBAN. The difference is that a crypto transaction only needs the identifier. With a bank transfer, you need the IBAN and the person's name.  

Just copy the wallet address that you need to send the Bitcoin to, select the amount, select the network fee, and click the send button. The crypto funds will arrive within 60 minutes (on average). 

Using Crypto Dispensers For Bitcoin Transactions

An easy way to send and receive Bitcoin is to use the Crypto Dispensers cash-to-crypto platform. You cannot send BTC if you don’t have any, and Crypto Dispensers offers a number of convenient ways to first gain access to Bitcoin. It also has over 50 physical Bitcoin ATMs where you can convert your cash to cryptocurrency. The steps include:

  1. Locate the nearest Crypto Dispensers Bitcoin ATM. 
  2. Key in transaction details (amount, wallet address, type of cryptocurrency).
  3. Insert cash when prompted. 
  4. Wait for funds to arrive in your Bitcoin wallet. 

With Crypto Dispensers, the time taken for the Bitcoin to arrive is minimal. You will only wait for around 10 minutes, far below the average time. If you don’t already have a Bitcoin wallet, you can set one up through their online platform. You only have to fulfill KYC requirements when the amount you wish to purchase is above $900. And this is typically just a scan of government-issued identification. Bitcoin ATMs are usually located in major urban centers. You can check using online tools to find the one closest to you.

You can also purchase Bitcoin by depositing cash at Rite Aid or CVS, where it will be sent to your Crypto Dispensers wallet. When the Bitcoin is in your Bitcoin wallet, you can send it to whatever address you wish. Once funds are into your online account, you can easily convert it to BTC and transfer it to any wallet you choose. Crypto Dispensers is an excellent way to gain quick and easy access to the world of cryptocurrency, having facilitated over $100 million in crypto transactions since 2017.

Avoiding Bitcoin Hacks and Scams

One item to be wary of when sending and receiving Bitcoin is hacks and scams. The industry is rife with online criminals who actively prey on people who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency. This fraudulent activity is why there are many laws surrounding Bitcoin transactions.

Many of the scams are extremely simple. The scammers pretend to be from customer support of a given platform and then ask you for your private keys or to send your cryptocurrency to a specific address. Many innocent people fall for these basic scams – by sending either their private keys or actual crypto to a hacker’s address. Investment scams are also becoming more prevalent in the crypto community. There are tokens that are invented that promise sky-high returns. But when you send your cryptocurrency to this address, the founders vanish with all of your cryptocurrency. 

These problems are easily avoided by deploying some basic common sense. Providers like Crypto Dispensers offer a secure and easy way to set up a Bitcoin wallet and make secure transactions. When you use a Crypto Dispensers ATM, you are assured that you are going to receive your Bitcoin. If and when there are issues, you can easily contact support. When you use other platforms, you might pay money to a seller that never gives you BTC in return. This happens very frequently despite the many warnings telling people to be careful with their cryptocurrency. 

Summary: How Long Does Bitcoin Take to Send?

Sending Bitcoin from one wallet to another depends on two main criteria:

  1. Network congestion
  2. Total fee paid

Users can expect to wait 60 minutes on average for transactions to be confirmed. It can take longer, even up to a whole day if the network is particularly congested, but is still far more efficient than the traditional banking model. Since the traditional banking model keeps people waiting for days to receive their funds, and all the while making them pay an additional cost. 

Firas Isa

Founder and CEO of Crypto Dispensers. Crypto Dispensers provides financial services that make it more accessible to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more.

Our Bitcoin ATMs take the confusion out of buying Bitcoin.

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