2.6 Checking Transactions

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Section 2.5 (previous)
Send and Receive Bitcoin

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Hardware Wallets

Knowing how to check your transactions on the blockchain is an important aspect of using bitcoin. It is the way both the sender and recipient of a bitcoin payment verify that the payment has been confirmed and final.

In this section, we will learn how to verify and check the details of this transaction. This section is divided into the following sections, to check and access transaction details via:

Note: If any part seems confusing below, just skip that part and read on. Although we have tried to keep it as simple as possible, some advanced topics have been included for the benefit of more advanced and experienced users.

A. App Wallet on Smartphone

  1. Launch the Blockchain App Wallet on your smartphone.
    Screenshots on iOS and Android are shown below.

  2. blockchain app wallet transactions

    android blockchain app wallet transactions

     
  3. Click on Activity or Transactions [🅐] in the menu bar at the bottom.

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  5. On the Transaction page, you will see a list of all bitcoin sent and received on this wallet.
    Bitcoin transactions are shown by default. To view transactions of another cryptocurrency in your wallet, select to a different cryptocurrency at the top of the screen [🅑].
  6. Click on a transaction [🅒] listed to view a summary of the transaction.
    On the Android version, you can click on the BTC amount [🅓] to toggle between BTC and USD (or the currency of choice in your settings) based on the current exchange rate.

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  8. On the next page, the following information about the transaction is shown:
    • Quantity of BTC sent (or received) in this transaction
    • Value of the BTC at time of transaction
    • Transfer fee
    • Description (see below)
    • To and From addresses
      If you had sent bitcoin from this wallet, My Bitcoin Wallet may be shown instead of your address. To see your address, see From address in Step 8 below.
    • Date and time of the transaction
    • Status of the transaction, i.e. pending or confirmed
      See explanation on Bitcoin Confirmation further below.
  9. On this page at Description [🅔], it is recommended that you key in a description for future reference, e.g. transaction was made to or from who, for what purpose etc.
  10. To view further details about this transaction, click on View On Blockchain.com [🅕] on iOS or Verify On Blockchain.com [🅕] on Android.

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  12. On the blockchain.com page, a thorough detail of your transaction as recorded on the bitcoin blockchain is shown. Under Summary [🅖], the following information is shown:
    • Transaction hash ID
    • Date and time of the transaction
    • From address
      Total BTC (including all transfer fees paid) sent from this address is shown. This is also your wallet address that is listed as My Bitcoin Wallet earlier above. If multiple transactions had been made from this address, the amount shown here will be larger than the amount of the single transaction above.
    • To address(es)
      Total BTC sent to addresses from the From address above. Transfer fee is not included here as that is paid to the miners and not to the wallet of the Receiver.
    • Total transfer fees paid from this wallet address to the miners.
    • Total BTC sent from the From address (excluding any transfer fee paid)
      Tapping on the BTC amount here [🅗] toggles between BTC and USD for the entire page. You can also switch between BTC and USD at the top right of this page.

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  14. Under Details [🅙], other than the ones stated above, the following additional information is shown:
    • Status
      See explanation on Bitcoin Confirmation below.
    • Size of the transaction (in bytes)
    • Weight of the transaction (number of bytes multiplied by 4 or another factor based on the type of transaction e.g. SegWit etc.)
    • Block number this transaction was included in
      Tapping on the block number reveals more information about the block, including the miner/mining pool which validated the block, total number of transactions, transaction volume, block reward, fee reward etc.
    • Number of confirmations (represented by the number of blocks from the block of this transaction to the current block)
    • Fee per byte (in sat/byte) and fee per weight unit (in sat/WU)
      Satoshi is the smallest denomination of bitcoin, where 1 sat = 0.00000001 BTC.
    • Value when transaction (in USD)
  15. Click Done at the top of the screen (iOS) or back (Android) to return to the Blockchain wallet.

About Bitcoin Confirmations: When a bitcoin transaction is made, it is broadcast to the network to be validated by miners and included in blocks that are created every 10 minutes on average. Every subsequent block after that consist a hash of its previous block and makes the transaction deeper in the blockchain and thus “more” confirmed. A bitcoin that is just sent has 0 confirmation i.e. pending, and can still be reversed. A single confirmation is usually enough for most transactions, although the more confirmations there are, the better. In general, the following number of confirmations are suggested for the corresponding USD amounts:

  • 0 confirmation: For transactions up to USD10. Good enough for most casual transactions (e.g. between friends).
  • 1 confirmation: For transactions up to USD100.
  • 3 confirmations: For transactions up to USD1,000.
  • 6 confirmations: For transactions up to USD100,000.
  • 30 confirmations: For transactions up to USD1 million and beyond.

Note that the above is only a guide. A transaction with 1 confirmation is already considered complete, just that a higher number of confirmation (and hence the deeper it is within the blockchain) makes it virtually impossible for a bad actor in the network to manipulate the blocks and data, or reverse the transaction.

Example: A merchant may be OK with 0 confirmation for selling a pack of cigarettes or chewing gum, but an online retailer may want to wait for at least 3 confirmations before shipping that $800 camera out.

How long does it take to reach 3 confirmations? Each block takes on average about 10 minutes in the mining process, so 3 confirmations would take roughly 30 minutes. Depending on the difficulty adjustments, sometimes a block may take as long as an hour, and sometimes as short as a minute.

To check for number of confirmations: See Step 9 above.


B. Web Wallet on Browser

  1. Click on https://www.blockchain.com/ to open this on a new browser tab.

  2. login to blockchain web wallet

     
  3. Log in [🅐] to your web wallet as done in the previous section.

  4. blockchain web wallet transactions

     
  5. On your wallet dashboard, to see your bitcoin transactions, select Bitcoin [🅑] in the list of cryptocurrencies in the sidebar menu.
    You may also select another cryptocurrency here to view all transactions in your wallet made in that cryptocurrency.
  6. Your transactions appear on the main section of the screen on the right.

  7. blockchain web wallet transaction info

     
  8. Click on the listed transaction [🅒] to expand it to reveal more details:
    • Date and time of the transaction [🅓]
    • Description of the transaction [🅔]
    • From wallet address (Sender) [🅕]
    • To wallet address (Receiver) [🅖]
    • Amount of bitcoin sent and current USD value [🅗]
    • Amount of transfer fee and current USD value [🅘]
    • Value of the bitcoin in USD when it was sent [🅙]
  9. The status of the transaction (pending or confirmed) is shown here [🅚]. Click here to view further details of this transaction on blockchain.com.

  10. blockchain.com transaction summary and details

     
  11. A new browser tab opens on blockchain.com showing the Summary [🅛] and Details [🅜] of the transaction, or all funds that have flowed through the wallet address.
  12. Clicking on the BTC amount here [🅝] toggles between BTC and USD for the entire page. You can also switch between BTC and USD at the top right of this page [🅞].

C. Block Explorer on Browser

You can also check and verify the status of a transaction without going through the wallet, as long as you have any of the following:

  • Sender’s wallet address
  • Receiver’s wallet address
  • Transaction hash ID

This means that a third party, i.e. someone who is neither the Sender nor the Receiver, can also check the details of the transaction with any of the data above. This makes bitcoin transactions very transparent, and the public ledger that is the blockchain makes that possible.

This makes bitcoin suitable for business transactions.

E.g. A salesperson can give out his company’s wallet address (Receiver) to a customer (Sender) so that the customer can make a bitcoin payment. The salesperson would then be able to perform a search using the wallet address of his company to verify if the payment has been made and its confirmation status.

  1. To check a transaction, go to https://www.blockchain.com/.

  2. blockchain search address

  3. Paste a wallet address or transaction hash ID in the search field [🅢] at the top of the page and click Enter.
    Note: You may also paste a BCH or ETH address here to check a BCH or ETH transaction.
  4. On the following page you will need to select whether to view BTC or BCH Address. Choose BTC Address to view a bitcoin transaction.
    If you are checking a bitcoin cash transaction, select BCH Address here.
  5. Details of the transaction and all transactions through that wallet address will then be displayed.

In this and the last few sections, we worked with a bitcoin wallet and navigated our way around it. We have also looked at using a block explorer to check the details of a transaction.

In the next section 2.7 Hardware Wallets, we look at a different type of wallet – a hardware wallet. While the Blockchain Bitcoin Wallet and other similar web wallets are generally safe enough for use, a hardware wallet offers the highest security level.

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Section 2.5 (previous)
Send and Receive Bitcoin

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Section 2.7 (next)
Hardware Wallets

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