I requested BTC from someone back in 2013. Its been in pending status ever since. It has nearly 500,000 confirmations. The value of transaction when initiated was only $200 or so. Now the value is over $40k.

  • How can I get the transaction to finally clear?
  • Can the BTC be stolen or redirected elsewhere to another wallet?
  • The good news is, if your transaction really has 500,000 confirmations, it's definitely not "pending". It is as "cleared" as it will ever be, but your wallet may be confused. Please give us more information about: what bitcoin wallet / software you are using; where you see "pending"; and where you see "500,000" confirmations (a block explorer?) Aug 1, 2021 at 23:05
  • Its on Coinbase. It says pending in my wallet history within coinbase. I see nearly 500,000 confirmations in the blockchain explorer.
    – S D
    Aug 1, 2021 at 23:52
  • 2
    Ah, I see. Unfortunately the only people who can help you with that are Coinbase support. There's nothing else you can really do about it. Aug 2, 2021 at 0:59
  • Coinbase support is a total joke. All they do is lock me out of my account, make me reset my password, try to log in, lock me out of my account, tell me to reset my password, etc. Its just a huge loop! The only recourse is to file a complaint about the open ticket and wait an indeterminate amount if time for a response.
    – S D
    Aug 14, 2021 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


Just to clarify how Bitcoin works:

How can I retrieve it?

You don't ever really retrieve Bitcoin money, it is always kept track of in the list of transactions that almost every Bitcoin user has their own copy of (or access to a trusted copy).

This list of transactions is a transaction-journal that is called the blockchain, but it isn't owned or controlled by any of the businesses that use the words blockchain or bitcoin in their name. Bitcoin was designed so that you don't need to use that sort of business, it was designed to do away with trusted intermediaries like that.

With a normal wallet, the wallet will keep track of the amounts under your control, If the transaction has 500,000 confirmations but your wallet has the amount marked as "pending" then there is something wrong with your wallet.

How can I get the transaction to finally clear?

Bitcoin transactions are never cleared. Clearance is not a thing in the Bitcoin network. Having more than 6 confirmations is the equivalent of being cleared.

Can the [BTC] be stolen or redirected elsewhere to another wallet?

Only by someone who knows the secret number called a private key that your wallet was designed to hold and protect.

Your money is safe so long as you are the only person who knows either the secret number or the "seed phrase" AKA "recovery phrase" AKA "backup phrase" from which that secret number can be calculated. You will have one of those two things written down somewhere as safe as the place you keep your regular backups of your wallet (i.e. not on your PC).

Bitcoin money is never really redirected in that you can't intercept it in transit (it is never really in transit). The recipient of the money can issue a new transaction to move the money elsewhere but that requires a wallet that knows the money is no longer "pending".

Update/Addendum based on comment to another answer:

Its on Coinbase. It says pending in my wallet history within coinbase. I see nearly 500,000 confirmations in the blockchain explorer.

The you likely have what I would call a bitcoin account and not what I think of as the normal sort of wallet. How exactly that account works is not part of the Bitcoin network or specification - it is an internal matter for that business. You'll need to ask Coinbase customer support why your account shows the amount as "pending" despite the 500,000 confirmations.

Check that you are accessing the website of the real Coinbase company at coinbase.com and not the website of some fake business like coińbase.com (with an accented n).

  • Thanks. I am concerned it may be stolen because an alleged btc day trader investor found me through linked in, and they have been sending me desperate emails like this for days....
    – S D
    Aug 1, 2021 at 23:43
  • @SD Any BTC day-trader/investor who sends desperate emails to strangers in LinkedIn is not what they claim to be but is almost certainly a scammer. Aug 2, 2021 at 8:14

lets start at the beginning.

can you see the transaction going into your wallet by checking a blockchain exlorer like blockchair?

If you are 100% sure the transaction was sent to your address, and you have the private keys in your wallet for that address, it should be fine.

There are ways to clear the transaction, but I don't know what wallet software you are using. Are you using the Bitcoin Core wallet?

If so, you should first of all make a backup of the wallet.dat file and, you can start the software with the -zapwallettxes=2 parameter. This will try to clean up stuck transactions.

Hope this helps a little bit!

  • It was on coinbase. I have no idea what you mean when you say zapwallettxes=2 parameter.
    – S D
    Aug 1, 2021 at 23:41
  • So what does that mean?
    – S D
    Aug 14, 2021 at 13:45
  • you are using Coinbase, so you don't have the private key. -zapwallettxes=2 parameter applies to a BTC Core wallet, with wallet.dat. You should ask Coinbase about this Aug 16, 2021 at 16:47

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