Simple question...

What are all the factors (all of them!) that determine how much time X number of confirmations of a transaction takes?

2 Answers 2


How many miners are currently mining, how fast they are mining, how much of a fee you paid, and whether you're a well connected node or not (only matters for first confirmation).

  • 1
    You missed one factor: the random variance as blocks aren't solved exactly every 10 minutes. I suppose you could say this is "how fast they are mining", but it's independent of the hashrate. Apr 5, 2013 at 6:53
  • Really, the current total mining speed matters little as long as it hasn't changed significantly since the last difficulty change. Random variance and fee paid are by far the most important factors.
    – BinaryMage
    Apr 5, 2013 at 16:54
  • 1
    That's not really a factor because nothing has control over it.
    – lurf jurv
    Apr 6, 2013 at 23:54

There's an estimated block generation time of 10 minutes, however, due to the randomness of finding the block, there may be an hour gap between blocks followed by 3 within 10 minutes. It's never predictable at a specific given time.

Additionally, miners prefer transactions with fees attached, because the fees are paid back to the miners. This incentive will become more important as the mining reward continues to halve.

There are other factors that do contribute, but the two above are by-far the most influential.

  • Why do you say there may be an hour gap when the chart at blockchain.info/charts/avg-confirmation-time clearly shows it to be under 15 minutes for almost 99% of times?
    – Pacerier
    May 23, 2014 at 15:04
  • It's possible to have a long gap between blocks followed by several blocks being solved in rapid succession, illustrating that there are few factors under the control or influence of anyone on the network, including how long confirmation takes. Aug 10, 2014 at 16:20

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