How can you cancel an unconfirmed BTC transaction?

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21.01.2021
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Cancel bitcoin transfer – IQeon

Blockchain can modernize many areas of our life, from logistics to voting systems. The uniqueness of the technology allows making operations unchangeable and irreversible. In particular, this also applies to financial transactions.

However, we can exclude the human factor, which can lead to mistakes in the process of conducting transactions. Unfortunately, the process of canceling Bitcoin transfers is much more complex than just pressing one button.

Today we will tell you why crypto operations can be delayed and how to avoid mistakes when sending assets, as well as share possible ways to cancel a Bitcoin operation.

Can you cancel a BTC transaction?

It’s not possible to cancel a confirmed transaction. Crypto enthusiasts have repeatedly stated how inconvenient this is: there were cases when a user carefully checked all transaction data, but accidentally sent assets to the wrong recipient. Unfortunately, in such a situation, it’s impossible to return the money.

Bitcoin system is not subject to central control. The transfer of funds is carried out exclusively between the sender and the recipient without the participation of third parties. Moreover, the movement of assets in the blockchain cannot be tracked, just like the name and surname of the wallet owner. Only its ID and the sum of money are publicly available. Of course, you can try to follow the recipient by doing your own long investigation and ask him to return the coins. But this is as likely as the fulfillment of promises by the notorious John McAfee.

However, there are still cases when you can reverse a transaction and get your assets back. For example, if the operation is pending.

Why do transactions become suspended?

The reasons for that may be different: poor Internet connection; the user completes the next transaction without waiting for the completion of the previous one; wrongly selected commission and heavy transfer weight.

Any transaction has a weight that depends on the number of inputs (sender addresses) and outputs (recipient addresses) of the operation. If the sender tries to make many transfers during one transaction, its weight will make the network process the request a bit longer. Therefore, multiple operations should be separated.

Operations are confirmed by bitcoin miners, who set the priority to transfers with higher rewards. Today, traders themselves determine its size, so the higher the established fee, the more likely the transaction will be confirmed earlier than others.

Blocks on the blockchain are generated every 10 minutes, however, due to the huge popularity of bitcoin, the network is often busy. Because of this, the average request processing time is reduced to 60–90 minutes.

In this case, you can use transaction accelerators.

How to force the processing of a BTC transaction?

If you’re too impatient and you need to make the payment as soon as possible, we offer to pay attention to several accelerators.

  • ViaBTC mining pool 

Source: ViaBTC.

One of the most popular accelerators in the Bitcoin community is the ViaBTC mining pool. To make the exchange of cryptocurrency faster, you need to go to the service website, insert a unique transaction ID and indicate the commission for the accelerated transaction.

Important: it should not be lower than 0.0001 Bitcoin per kilobyte!

Registered users can use the paid service which provides even greater acceleration, the fee for which will be debited from the Bitcoin Cash balance of the pool account.

  • Child Pays for Parent method

An alternative to accelerator services is the Child Pays for Parent (CPFP) method. The sender of Bitcoins creates an additional operation using the funds that remained in the account after the suspended transfer.

 

Algorithm of the Child Pays for Parent method.

To speed up the transaction via CPFP, you need to create a new “child” transaction with an increased commission, which compensates for the low cost of the “parent” operation.

With CPFP, miners will be more willing to process lucrative sets rather than well-paid transactions. Thus, they will choose the deal with low commission if the associated transaction offers sufficient commission to compensate. In this case, the miner will include both transactions into the block. The funds of the second one, by the way, can be sent to your account.

  • Increasing scalability through the Segregated Witness soft fork

Another way to speed up a transaction is to increase the scalability of the blockchain. The Segregated Witness soft fork from the Bitcoin Core wallet developers can help. Whereas previous methods focused on manipulating fees, the updated SegWit protocol optimizes transaction size. Thus, a larger number of transactions will fit in a 1 MB block, which will also speed up their recording.

Of course, the most reliable solution is to wait for the completion of the bitcoin payment. However, if your patience is running out, you can try canceling the transaction and launch its processing once again.

How can you cancel an unconfirmed transaction?

Before canceling the transaction, you need to make sure that the cryptocurrency transfer is actually pending.

Check if you received an identifier – a long numeric code that the wallet system sends after the transaction is completed. It must be entered on the explorer website, which allows you to view key information about the operation in the blockchain. We recommend using Blockchain.com or Block Explorer services.

If the number of confirmations in the search is greater than zero, then the transaction was completed and became irreversible. However, if there are no notifications or the transaction is still pending, there is a chance that it can be cancelled.

There are several basic methods that you can use to reverse a transaction without confirmation.

1. Commission replacement

Some wallets support the Replace-By-Fee function, which allows you to replace an existing transaction with a new one by increasing the commission. Replacement doesn’t imply duplication of translation, because a new operation will have the same data as the old one. Thus, only one block with a transaction will be added to the blockchain.

The only flaw is that the Replace-By-Fee feature is available in very few cryptocurrency wallets and services – Bitcoin Core, Trustee Wallet, Electrum, BTC.com, Bitcoin.com and Coinb.in.

2. Rolling back the transaction

If you are convinced that the exchange operation is really frozen, then there might be hope. We suggest taking the following steps to try to get your funds back:

  • Log into the account of the wallet you are working with.
  • Go to the debug console via the Help tab.
  • Enter the walletpassphrase <pass> command and the wallet password. It is necessary to access it.
  • Get the private key from the desired address via the dumpprivkey <address> command (replace <address> with the one that was used to send funds) and copy the received key.
  • Export the private key.
  • When finished, close the client and delete the wallet, or rename its installer and move it to a different folder.
  • Restart the client. Thus, a new wallet will be created. Then you need to import the previously obtained key using the importprivkey <privkey> command.
  • The new wallet will display the account with the restored transaction. Locked assets will be available again. Now you can send them. Don't forget to set the recommended commission.

This guide is suitable for all cryptocurrency wallets except cloud apps.

3. Retrievable Transfer tool created by Kirobo

Recently, the Israeli company Kirobo has developed a technology that protects coins accidentally sent to the wrong Bitcoin wallet.

The company has developed a blockchain addition that assigns an encrypted code to the transaction, which must be entered by the recipient of the cryptocurrency transfer. Until the code is used, the sender can cancel Bitcoin transaction.

You just need an Internet connection to access the tool. In addition, the technology may not be available in case of a technical problem with the Kirobo servers.

To prevent the transaction from pending, set a higher commission in advance

The demand for Bitcoins is increasing every year. At the same time, the block size in its network remained the same – 1 MB. That is why transactions have to “fight” to get into the block.

The most common reason for unconfirmed operations is low fees. The network members are interested in transactions with high rewards, which is why usual deals wait for their glory hour all day long.

To ensure that the transfer operation doesn't freeze, try to set an adequate reward for its processing. The current cost per byte can be viewed in the block browser, for example on Blockchair website. If you think that you have set a decent commission, try increasing the transaction processing speed.

Remember that a blockchain is a chain of blocks, and each operation in it is closely intertwined with the previous one. Therefore, if you have several frozen transactions at once, then you need to speed up the last one in the chain.

The main rule is that before accelerating or canceling an unconfirmed transaction, you need to make sure that the operation really became suspended. You shouldn't panic in advance: maybe your transaction's queue just didn't come up.

And remember: when transferring funds to someone, be as careful as possible!


Disclaimer: IQeon.io employees are not representatives of organizations mentioned in this and other materials as well as in publications on other information channels. Before you use the mentioned services we strongly recommend you to read Terms&Conditions.

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