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How to avoid getting your transactions stuck.

Lately, hundreds of people are flocking to bitcointalk, asking for help because transactions they created are “stuck”… They just keep on “hanging” in the mempool, without ever getting confirmed.

Since i’m a stronge believer in preventive measures, here is a quick checklist you can follow while creating transactions, so your transaction gets a confirmation in a record time 🙂

  1. ALWAYS use a decent, up-to-date desktop or hardware wallet… This one is really important. I’ve seen a lot of online wallets make a big mess of their fee policy, and to make things even worse: if you use an old, bad or online wallet, nobody might be able to help you in case you screw up.
  2. Don’t cheap out on the proposed fee… If you use a good desktop or hardware wallet, and it tells you to add a 0.0005 BTC fee for a high priority transaction, don’t go changing these numbers! If you think the fee is to high, just postpose creating your transactions and wait for a time where the fees are lower.
  3. Double check the proposed fee! https://bitcoinfees.earn.com/  tells you how much the fee for an *average* transaction *should* be… If you’ve been hoarding dust inputs, realise your fee will probably be a LOT higher! Take the fees on the website i posted as “minimum” fees in case you want a 95% chance of getting your transaction in the next 3 blocks.
  4. Make sure you have enough unspent outputs from CONFIRMED funding transactions available… I’ve seen people creating unconfirmed chains by using the output from unconfirmed transactions as input for the next transaction!
  5. Make sure you don’t leave dust outputs
  6. Segwit has been activated a long time ago, and has already been heavily vetted by senior members… Switch to a segwit wallet ASAP! If you don’t own a hardware wallet, switch to electrum… Electrum versions 3+ all give you the option to generate a free segwit wallet using a decent type of wallet software
  7. Opt-in RBF people, it’s a feature most modern wallets are adopting… Allways create your transactions opt-in RBF enabled. This way you can easily bump the fee IF (or when) your transaction becomes stuck
  8. Last but not least, it breaks my heart to give this advice, but during times of high network congestion,consider not creating small (in value) transactions. If you positively NEED to pay somebody during this time of congestsion, consider an altcoin like LTC…

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