If you have ever made payments using the bitcoin network, you may have noticed how long it takes for the network to confirm transactions, depending on how long your transaction sits in the mempool it can be picked up in 10 minutes or much longer. In extreme cases, it can go days before you receive the confirmation.
Fortunately, there are several ways to speed up this process, but they range in how technical and involved you need to be to get it done. If you do feel uncomfortable with any of the options, you may want to pick certain times to use the bitcoin network, like over the weekends when block space might not be so in demand. That way, you can have your transaction processed within the next block or two, and you need not deviate from your current bitcoin transfer process.
If, however, you don’t have that luxury and time is of the essence, then here are a few options you can explore.
Increase your bids on fees
The simplest way to speed up a transaction fee is to boot up a block explorer and check the current fee for a transaction. If you are okay with paying above the median cost, open up your wallet and set a custom fee above that cost when broadcasting the transaction. There are a number of wallets in the market that allow you to set custom transaction fees to bitcoin while transacting. While some use this method to reduce fees and are willing to wait, others use the same method to increase fees so that they can be included in the next block.
Replace by fee
Replace By Fee or RBF is another way you can try to gain attention to your UTXO and have it cleared from the mempool. The method allows you to replace your old transaction with a new one with a higher miner’s fee.
Although many Bitcoin wallets support the RBF functionality, others do not so first check if your wallet supports this feature before setting it up, or you will have to migrate your seed phrase to a new wallet. You must also enable the feature before making a transaction if your wallet allows it. It usually appears in a checkbox on the Tools menu.
Check the “Use Replace-By-Fee” option to enable the functionality, and if you cannot find it check in with the community or team around that wallet to ensure you have the correct version of the software running.
Child Pays for Parent (CPFP)
Unlike the Replace-By-Fee method that works for delayed sent payments, the Child Pays for Parent option clears received transactions. When you use the CPFP method, you’re creating a new transaction (Child) using the funds of the delayed one (parent) and then resending it with a much higher fee. Both transactions must confirm the option to work, and miners usually include them into the block if the cost is high enough.
It’s important to remember that with the CPFP method it requires a wallet that supports the functionality, and you also need to enable the feature before making the transaction. The steps for implementation usually vary across wallets, so check the guidelines for the one you are using to be sure your wallet supports CPFP and how they have set it up in the wallet UI.
Transaction Accelerators are external services that you can use to speed up your transactions. These services are run by miners themselves, and you interact with them directly, and for a fee, you can get your transaction confirmed. The idea with transaction accelerators is to pay a miner either in bitcoin or in another accepted currency and encourage them to pick a certain transaction from the mempool and add it to the next block.
Bitcoin transaction accelerators are typically scams
While you might speed up your transaction time using a bitcoin transaction accelerator, it’s important to note the possible risks of the process and be aware of the many scam sites out there that are ready to take your payment without offering anything in return. They might try to advertise in search or social media or mimic the transaction accelerator site to try and perform a man-in-the-middle attack.
Use the Liquid network
If you and the recipient of the funds are both open to using second-layer solutions to clear funds, then you could use a side chain like the Liquid Network. This will require you and your recipient to have compatible Liquid network wallets. Since the Liquid Network has 1-minute blocks, you’ll receive your funds far faster, and six confirmations won’t take an hour.
Once you have the funds in your Liquid wallet, you can spend your L-BTC as you see fit or peg out that bitcoin into main-chain bitcoin later. If you’re happy with the trade off’s the Liquid network makes to provide you with the additional speed, you can move as much bitcoin as you can peg in without issue. Another benefit of Liquid is confidential transactions, where you can mask the amount of funds you transfer between wallets and makes it an attractive option for those moving larger amounts.
Use the Lightning network
If you’re not keen on using the Liquid Network, another option is to use a second layer protocol like the Lightning Network. If you and your recipient are willing to lock bitcoin into the Lightning network and use the compatible Lightning-enabled wallet. You will be able to create a channel between one another and transfer the bitcoin in an instant.
If you cannot establish a direct channel, you need not fret; you can still transfer bitcoin to another user as the Lightning Network will find the most efficient route between other Lightning users to reach its destination. The Lightning Network is ideal for those looking to do micro-transactions, frequent payments or those looking for an instant settlement.
Feed some speed to your transfers
Regardless of the method, you use to increase the speed of your bitcoin transaction, know that you will either sacrifice more satoshis or take on a bit of risk to secure that increase in speed. When transferring funds at speed, always ensure the safety of private keys before making any wallet or service you use to conduct these transactions. DYOR (Do your own research) before selecting a wallet and check whether wallets support all the features you intend to have.
Also, monitor the current transaction fee rates via a block explorer and ensure that the current fee bump doesn’t price you out of making the transaction.
Do you value speed?
Have you sped up your bitcoin transactions? Which method do you use? Let us know in the comments down below.