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I sent bitcoins to the address I was given (double checked). The recipient is claiming they did not receive it. I sent them a different payment yesterday at 8:30p and they didn't get it until 4:00am so could there be a lag also with this payment? Or are they lying? Please see below for btc address. I sent it this morning at 8:30am.

1LGSCBLrrX8pBehwRxUvZU29UAmVAX6jjZ.


This is a canonical question for a frequently occurring line of questions regarding a recipient denying that they received a payment that’s confirmed. Please help by building out and revising the answers on this topic and using this canonical question as a duplicate target for new instances of these questions.

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  • Some of the answers on this question were originally written on other topics with the same line of inquiry. Please suggest edits, when you see how an answer could be improved to better fit the general case.
    – Murch
    Jul 31, 2023 at 15:30

6 Answers 6

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It's not completely clear what the situation is, but from what I gather it seems that you're the sender and the recipient is not acknowledging a payment you have sent. Given that you have already tried to clear it up, the most likely explanation is that you're getting scammed.

I assume that you have verified that the credited address 1Gouzjo9Jav1k4AmRoUJJMzidVfnMoSieS matches the one that you were supposed to pay to, and that the amount matches the invoiced amount.

The address 1Gouzjo9Jav1k4AmRoUJJMzidVfnMoSieS has received 0.02661900 BTC in transaction b36157a7ca9630a88d98125fca91de81f488ef7d9a60f9e57af055d4d91f7a50. This transaction has been written to the blockchain more than a day ago and is confirmed. Given that this is the correct address, the receiver did get paid, whatever they may be claiming. Secondly, the money already got spent again which means that they must be fully aware the money arrived.

Assuming that you have paid the right address, the issue is on the receiver's end: Either they gave you the wrong address which you paid correctly and someone else received the money (unlikely), they do not understand that they already got paid or incorrectly accounted for your payment (unlikely, since you already tried following up with them), or they're lying to you.

You should follow up with them and firmly assert that the requested address in question has been paid (after you have verified that it was the correct address) and ask them to check that their systems are working correctly. Perhaps that will prompt them to "suddenly find your payment".

Do not under any circumstances send them any more money if they don't acknowledge that your payment has succeeded and deliver their side of your agreement. Often scammers will make up nonsense excuses to get you to pay even more money. If they do not acknowledge your payment, you may need to decide to write-off that money, report the incident to law enforcement, and/or sue them.

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The address received 0.07014343 BTC in 3d727e3f4565e011c0348f813c2d5480210b6bae2003a0f7abaa949d1a7c599a. These coins have already been spent, so at the very least the recipient's wallet provider is aware of the transaction. Depending on the type of wallet, the recipient's account may not have been credited due to internal system issues.

Alternatively, the recipient has received the funds and is trying to scam you for an additional payment.

In either case, your initial transaction is successful, and the recipient needs to work with their wallet provider. You should not send them any more funds.


Checking if a transaction is complete

Due to the attention this question is receiving, I'll go through some of the best practices when checking the finality/completion/status of a transaction.

For a Bitcoin transaction to be complete and irreversible, it must be mined into a block.

To check if a transaction has been mined, you can check a block explorer. Block explorers are websites that read information from the blockchain and make it accessible to people who are not running their own node. Some commonly used explorers for Bitcoin are blockchain.com, blockchair.com, blockstream.info, and btc.com (no affiliation to any of these).

When you look up the transaction, such as with the link above, you're presented either with a page detailing the transaction, or some form of a not found error.

If a transaction is not found, it has almost certainly not been mined - in this case, you should aim to rebroadcast the transaction instead of sending a new one. It is possible that the transaction has actually been broadcast and just not picked up by the explorer yet, so sending a second one may result in a double payment.

If a transaction is found, it may be listed as unconfirmed. In this case, just wait until it is confirmed. If a transaction is already confirmed, you should see some indication of the block it was mined into (either in the form of a block number, or a block hash starting with a bunch of 0s). If a transaction is confirmed, then it is complete and irreversible.

The recipient says they didn't receive the coins

There are a handful of scenarios in which the recipient may not see the coins even after the transaction is complete:

  1. The recipient's wallet is out of sync/not updating correctly - this is a more common scenario when using exchange or other hosted wallets, or using a regular wallet with a spotty or weak internet connection. In this case, the recipient must check with their wallet provider to locate and credit the coins.
  2. The address is incorrect - Either you made an error while copying the address, or the recipient provided an incorrect address. In this case, you should work with the recipient to figure out who needs to absorb the loss as the coins are most likely irrecoverable.
  3. The recipient is attempting to scam you - once a transaction is complete, only the recipient can access, locate, or otherwise try to work with the coins. If they insist they haven't received them, it is not due to an issue on your side, and you may be getting scammed.

Things to note

  1. Do not use an explorer recommended to you by the recipient - it is trivial to build an explorer that hides certain transactions and makes you believe they are not complete when they are. Always use multiple third party explorers if you must. Ideally, you should run your own instance of Bitcoin Core with -txindex enabled and check the transaction yourself, but that is not feasible for many users on short notice.
  2. If you really do need to resend the coins, first make a transaction to your own wallet that sends the entire balance to yourself and wait for that to confirm. This prevents you from accidentally paying twice if the initial transaction was simply not broadcast properly.
  3. Be patient - transactions with low fees can take a couple of days to confirm during high network activity periods - if you see an unconfirmed transaction, just wait.
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    This has a lot of upvotes, but it would be nice for future readers to know how you figured this out. As it stands, this doesn't help anyone but the OP.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 2, 2019 at 22:12
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This is mainly adding to @Raghav Sood's answer:

A quick google search brought me here from which I found this:

https://blockexplorer.com/

Searching your bitcoin address in this website gives some data related to bitcoin transaction concerning this particular address (including the one mentioned on the other answer), plus some more statistics. For your bitcoin address specifically, click here:

https://blockexplorer.com/address/1LGSCBLrrX8pBehwRxUvZU29UAmVAX6jjZ

Here's some information on what all the statistics in the blockexplorer website means (search for the title "Analyzing the Address"):

https://bitfalls.com/2017/10/03/read-bitcoin-blockchain-data-blockexplorer/

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The Blockchain is the only truth

At the time I wrote this, that transaction has 204 confirmations. That means it was absolutely definitely received.

If the address is correct and the recipient says they didn't "receive" it, they are wrong. Either their wallet isn't properly synchronised or they are mistaken (or lying to you)

Note that Bitcoin doesn't actually send money from wallet to wallet, it isn't a process that takes time between sending and receiving. At no point in time is money really out of one wallet and "on its way" to another wallet.

The only thing transmitted is a new block being transmitted to every node (wallets etc) in the Bitcoin world roughly every ten minutes. So long as you have the latest block, you know exactly which address has the money.


What follows is to clarify my point about the process taking no time. You should skip it unless you are interested in this detail or find it controversial.

Duration of transaction

Let's consider in a little more detail what happens when you make a typical Bitcoin payment. Note that Bitcoin is pretty complex, so I'll be simplifying. There are exotic forms of payment I won't cover (RBF, n of m, ...). My knowledge is limited but I think I can shed a little more light on this subject.

When you make a payment in your wallet, what happens is that your wallet constructs a kind of proposal for a transaction. This proposal is sent out into some nearby nodes in the Bitcoin network.

After sending that proposal, your wallet will mark the input amount as reserved for that transaction and won't let you try to spend it again. Your wallet will however know that this amount is still under your control and still as much "in your wallet" as it ever was and not yet in anyone else's wallet.

After a short time your proposed transaction will have been passed from node to node, being checked at each, and will reach some miners. Eventually a miner will incorporate your proposed transaction in a block and successfully mine that block.

Before this instant in time, the miner considers the money to be yours. After this instant in time, the miner considers the money to be the recipient's. There is no time when the miner considers the money to be in transit.

The miner transmits the new block to nearby nodes. As each node finishes checking the new block, that is the instant that particular node stops believing the money belongs to you and starts believing the money belongs to the recipient.

The new block is passed from node to node until it reaches your wallet, At the instant in time it finishes checking that block your wallet ceases believing the money is yours and starts believing (provisionally†) that the money now belongs to the recipient.

There is no time in between. No time when your wallet believes the money is in neither wallet, in transit between wallets, sent but not yet received. None of those are really possible.

There is time during which the proposed transaction is circulating, but during that time all nodes consider the money to be yours. All nodes will accept other proposals from you for another transaction involving that money. This is because until one of those proposals gets included in a mined block, the money is still yours, still unspent.

The circulation of a proposed transaction takes time. Mining takes time. The Bitcoin network is large, so there are times when some nodes have the latest block and some don't. We say the network has not reached consensus - although each node has no doubt about whether the money is yours or the recipient's.

The change in ownership of money is instant (at each node separately) and money is never really "in between wallets".


†Blockchain Forking

Since there are many independent miners (and mining pools), it can be that there are two or more blocks mined at about the same time competing to be accepted as the generally accepted next block. This means that sometimes a recently accepted block is discarded in favour of another block which has a greater number of subsequent blocks mined "on top of" it. This is why nodes generally wait for at least five blocks to be mined on top of the block containing your transaction (six blocks in total) before they accept the change of ownership of money as being fully confirmed.

So there is a period of time between the first block being mined and the sixth block being mined when a node might regard the change of ownership of the money as not sufficiently confirmed. This doesn't mean a node is unsure about who has the money. It doesn't mean the money is in transit. It doesn't mean the Bitcoin network can issue a second transaction to take money back out of the recipient's wallet. It just means that there is a tiny possibility the Bitcoin network might collectively decide your proposed transaction never got mined in the first place, that it never happened, nothing to see, move along. In most cases where this happens, the forgotten proposed transaction automatically gets included in some subsequent block and everything is OK and everyone forgets there was ever a hiccup.

This doesn't happen to every transaction, this is rare, it isn't really a case of money being "in transit" or "not in either wallet" or "not yet received".


Terminology and philosophical aspects

Proposed Transactions

Above I talk about proposed transactions and proposals. Those words are not generally used in the Bitcoin community. Mostly people talk about transactions, unconfirmed transactions and confirmed transactions. I wanted to use a different word to clearly distinguish a transaction which is circulating which has not yet been mined.

What is in your wallet?

The reason I put "in your wallet" inside scare-quotes the first time I mentioned it is that Bitcoin wallets don't really contain money. They contain a secret number, called a private-key, that can be used to prove you control some money (own some money). Anyone else who knows that secret number can take money "out of your wallet" from afar without any access to your wallet! Money isn't stored inside Bitcoin wallets but we go along with the charade because it is a useful shorthand that makes it easier to talk about Bitcoin. It is a useful way to explain Bitcoin to beginners even though it is misleading and unsafe.

This is weird!

Other people will feel my description of the way Bitcoin works places too much emphasis on the underlying dry technical (scary?) nature of transactions and that it is better to describe the process as if paper banknotes were taken out of your leather wallet, moved through an intermediary organisation and then placed into someone elses leather wallet. I agree this view has some utility but I worry it gives the impression that there is time in which banknotes are not in the senders wallet and not in the recipient's wallet but in the hands of some intermediary who can be asked to return them or intervene to change the outcome. Consider a literal reading of the original title of the question at the top of this page.

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  • thanks you alot for your answer RedGrittyBrick. Is there anything I can do like canceling or asking for help ?
    – son nguyen
    Feb 5, 2020 at 23:48
  • I get what you meant, but it's misleading to say "it isn't a process that takes time between sending and receiving". The transaction has to be get incorporated into a mined block. And that takes time -- depending on the fees, it might not happen for a while. Not relevant for this case, however. Feb 6, 2020 at 2:18
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    @sonnguyen your transaction is not going to be reversible, I'm afraid. Perhaps show them the transaction in a block explorer: blockstream.info/tx/… so you can help them understand they got their payment. Incidentally, I noticed there are two outputs, one of which is extremely small. The other one is almost the full amount. If that's your recipient, s/he's already spent it. Feb 6, 2020 at 2:26
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    @Chan-Ho-Suh: I'll expand the answer to make the point about timing clearer ... Feb 6, 2020 at 9:17
  • @RedGrittyBrick that's awesome! I actually thought your answer was great and that part could probably just be omitted, but given the OP's question, it's probably best to expand as you did so people can refer to it in the future. Feb 6, 2020 at 14:54
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The receiving address has received and already spent the coins, which results in a 0 balance.

The receiver should still be able to see the transaction in their wallet history, if they are using a consumer wallet. They may or may not see it with an exchange wallet or some other kind of payment processor.

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  • How can I verify that the receiver already goy it? Here is the screenshot of his message that he still not yet received it. Thanks Aug 11, 2019 at 20:12
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    The blockchain is public. The link to the block explorer verifies it. Aug 13, 2019 at 6:19
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even though the transaction shows as confirmed the receiver has not received the funds.

That isn't possible with Bitcoin. As soon as the transaction is confirmed, the recipient has received the funds. Even if their computer was turned off the whole time. Even if they, their computer and everything they ever owned or touched was already atomised in a nuclear explosion last Wednesday. When receiving money, no action whatsoever is needed by the recipient or their wallet. They or their ashen or vaporous remains now have that money.

Remember, wallets don't contain money. Money doesn't travel anywhere. A transaction in the blockchain is a record of change of control over some amount of money. That is all there is. The blockchain is the only truth.

If the address is correct, either the recipient is mistaken or lying.


If the receiver's wallet is offline, broken or unsynchronised, that is their problem not yours. They still have the money, no-one else.

If the receiver uses a custodial wallet, the custodian has the money. That is the receiver's problem, not yours.

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