If you have sent Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to someone but they say the funds did not arrive, you can easily check the status of the transaction. As long as the transaction has at least one "confirmation" on the blockchain, you can rest assured that the transaction is valid and completed. Depending on the blockchain, it may take between a few seconds to beyond an hour for a transaction to be confirmed.
Table of contents
How to check a cryptocurrency transaction's status
From the app's home screen, tap on the "Funds" icon in the bottom toolbar.
Select the blockchain of the transaction you are looking for. For example, if your transaction was on the Bitcoin blockchain, select Bitcoin.
Choose the wallet of the transaction you are looking for (eg. "My BTC Savings Wallet.") This will display a list of all transactions for this wallet.
Select the transaction. This will display information about the transaction.
Select "View transaction on block explorer." Confirm that you have sent the cryptocurrency to the correct address, and that the transaction has at least one "confirmation." with the recipient that the transaction has been sent to the correct cryptocurrency address. As long as the transaction has at least one "confirmation" on the blockchain, you can rest assured that the transaction is valid and completed. If necessary, you can send the block explorer URL link to the recipient as "proof-of-payment". To do this, select "Share transaction" on the transaction information screen in the app.
What is a confirmation in the context of cryptocurrencies and blockchain?
The concept of confirming the transaction is a fundamental element of blockchain technology. A confirmation signifies that a cryptocurrency transaction has been verified by the network and included in the blockchain.
When a cryptocurrency transaction is made, it first gets broadcasted to the network. Then, miners (in proof-of-work systems like Bitcoin) or validators (in proof-of-stake systems like Ethereum, Avalanche, and Polygon) work to verify and include the transaction in a new block of transactions. When a block containing your transaction is added to the blockchain, the transaction is said to have one confirmation.
Each new block added to the chain after your transaction adds another confirmation, making the transaction more secure by making it harder to reverse or double spend. This is because altering a transaction would require redoing the work for that block and all blocks that come after it, which would require immense computational resources.
For smaller transactions, one or two confirmations may be sufficient. For larger transactions, vendors or individuals might require more confirmations (for example, six confirmations is often considered very secure in the Bitcoin network) to ensure that the transaction is valid and irreversible.
The time it takes for a transaction to get confirmed depends on the network congestion and transaction fees.
What happens if I sent cryptocurrency to the wrong blockchain?
If you have sent to the correct address but the recipient cannot see the bitcoin in their wallet, then it is possible you have mistakenly sent BTC to a BCH address (or vice-versa).
Bitcoin (BTC) can usually be recovered from a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) address (or vice-versa) but this can only be done from the receiver's end. Here are instructions for how to do it in the Bitcoin.com Wallet app. If the recipient is not using the Bitcoin.com Wallet app, they will have to contact the support center for the cryptocurrency app they are using.