Whenever you conduct a transaction within the Ethereum blockchain or simply want to do anything on decentralized applications (dApps) that run on top of the Ethereum blockchain that involves making a transaction, there is a wait time for each transaction that occurs.
To get a better perspective of how all of this works, today, we’ll be diving deeper into the Ethereum blockchain so you can have an in-depth look and perspective of what goes down exactly and why each transaction takes as long as it does.
The answer to how long do Ethereum transfers take depends on different factors. Today, we are going to be discussing some of the key factors, and hopefully, help you determine when the right time for making an Ethereum transfer is.
Every transaction that gets submitted within the Ethereum blockchain has to be accompanied by a fee known as a gas fee. A user can decide the amount they are willing to pay for this gas fee by selecting the gas price, which is the cost of each unit of gas, as well as the gas limit, which is the maximum total gas that the user is willing to pay.
When a user ends up submitting the transaction request, the transaction gets added to a pool of pending transactions. From this point onward, Ethereum miners essentially pick pending transactions and bundle them within a block of transactions.
This mining process is essentially a competition among miners to solve what’s a math puzzle, and the first miner that solves the problem can add the block of transactions within the Ethereum blockchain, after which they receive a reward for their work.
To see what determines how long Ethereum transfers take, we’ll go over the gas price, what determines it, and what might cause slow transactions or high gas prices. If you are curious where to trade Ethereum, you can find out here.
Only a specific number of transactions can fit within a single block, and as such, miners are incentivized to maximize their fees. They will typically include the transactions that have the highest gas price within the blocks. In other words, the transactions which pay the highest gas price will typically get included first, while the ones who pay a lower gas price will typically wait a bit longer.
This means that if a user were to, for example, be in a hurry and want to complete the transaction as quickly as possible, they would need to pay more than the average person. Otherwise, they could get confirmed within a future block. If a user ends up paying under the average gas price, they will typically wait a bit longer than average in order for the Ethereum transaction to be fully completed. If you are curious how can I sell Ethereum, you can learn so here. Note that you will need a wallet address, and you can learn how to get an Ethereum wallet address here.
The main reason a transaction might be slower to complete is the congestion of the Ethereum network. In other words, there is limited space within one block. However, the demand for transactions is not actually limited. As such, when the demand for getting a transaction included within a block increases, so will the cost required to conduct the transaction in terms of gas.
The more people that compete to get their transactions processed, the higher the gas price will be as a direct result of this. However, assuming the user in question is not in a hurry, they can pay less than the standard gas price and get verified at some point in the near future as well, just not as quickly as those who pay a high gas fee.
The main reason why gas prices might suddenly get higher than usual is due to the short-term price volatility of cryptocurrencies. When there are spikes in the value of a specific token, people will typically rush to protect their positions or jump on the opportunity. This will result in a lot of funds getting moved around from one cryptocurrency wallet to another cryptocurrency wallet, all of which interact with smart contracts such as decentralized exchanges.
In these cases, traders will typically accept the higher fees which might occur at the time of the transactions due to the fact that they can ensure that they do not miss a target opportunity for profit whenever a cryptocurrency token suddenly drops in value.
Then there are what are known as cryptocurrency airdrops. These occur whenever an application aims to distribute its tokens to a large number of users, typically throughout a limited time frame. What happens within an airdrop is essentially this process where tokens are distributed to a huge number of users, and as such, it will be common for a project to set high gas fees in order to complete this airdrop as quickly as possible.
The average transaction time on Ethereum can range from 13 seconds upwards to 5 minutes, depending on how congested the network is at the time of the transaction, as well as the gas fee which has been paid by the person making a transaction at the time. Note that these numbers and time-frames are valid only if a user were to pay the standard gas price, anything lower than that, and they can get bumped up significantly.
However, you need to be aware of the fact that, in normal circumstances, ETH transactions will typically be very quick. All transactions that occur within the Ethereum network will require you as a user to complete a predetermined number of confirmations for their completion, and the transaction time typically increases the more confirmations you will need to complete.
Additionally, depending on the exchange platform which is used for the transition in question, the transfer period can even take upwards of 30 minutes or more. Ultimately, try to make Ethereum transactions whenever the network is not congested and when there are fewer active people making transactions within it, as this way, you will have to pay the lowest gas fee and can get the transaction completed quickly.