I wonder if anyone here has spent enough time on the Bitcoin testnet to give me some insight on how the market forces there work. I am a teaching assistant in a university blockchain course with ~75 students, and I plan to start an assignment in a few days where students acquire testnet BTC from faucets and start crafting transactions. There are currently about 14,000 unconfirmed transactions in the testnet mempool, and I wonder whether you can avoid waiting long if you increase your fee. Larger fees would obviously help on the Bitcoin mainnet, but I'm less sure about how miners behave on the testnet.

  • Another issue people have seen is apparently where the faucet doesn't include a high enough fee, and so you have trouble getting your testnet coins in the first place. In principle one could work around this with child-pays-for-parent, but this might be tricky for beginners. Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 14:18
  • Personally, I'd think twice about this plan. There's a lot of possibility for frustration caused by issues outside the students' control, and frustration for you as you try to figure out how to address this while still keeping the assignment useful and not unduly penalizing students. So, a different option would be to create a private testnet just for the class. Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Because the testnet bitcoins have no financial value, the transaction fees aren't really an incentive for miners there. But we assume that miners will run similar software to that on the mainnet and make sensible decisions regarding the fees they put in a block, so higher fees should make the transactions mined faster yes.

  • One thing about testnet, though, is it's much easier for one miner or group to effectively take over, either for testing or maliciously. They might be running non-standard software and decline to mine regular people's transactions. Likewise, it's also easier for someone to flood the network with high-fee transactions. Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 14:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.