Why is my transaction 'Pending'?

Jul 21, 2016
This article is for digital currency transactions sent from your Coinbase wallet. If you're wondering about a pending purchase, you can learn more here.

Incoming transactions show up in your account almost instantly (within a few seconds) but will show as 'Pending' for about 30 minutes until they are verified by the network.

Once a transaction is verified, it will show Complete in green.  This lets you know that the transaction cannot be reversed and that the funds can be withdrawn. 

Coinbase runs its own digital currency nodes that communicate with the rest of the network. When you initiate a transaction, we broadcast it to the rest of the network so it can be confirmed.

Our nodes may lose sync with the rest of the network for short periods of time. This can cause transactions to remain in the "Pending" state for longer than normal. Usually the delay is under an hour, and the transaction will eventually go through normally.

Occasionally, transactions are not accepted by the rest of the network and therefore are never considered to be 'confirmed'.

Common causes of unconfirmed transactions

  • Sending a very small amount with insufficient fees
    Coinbase pays miner fees for you on all transactions except very small transactions. If you are sending a tiny amount you will be prompted to add a miner fee to make sure the transaction gets confirmed. If an insufficient fee is included, your transaction may never confirm.
  • A double-spend of the same coins
    Under normal conditions this should not occur with transactions generated by Coinbase (our backend systems are designed to prevent this), but in general if two transactions try to spend the same coins, one of them will never be confirmed by the network.
  • Trying to spend unconfirmed coins
    If you are trying to spend coins that appear as pending in your account, your transaction will not be generated until these coins confirm.
​If you have a transaction in your account that has gone unconfirmed for more than 24 hours, Coinbase will remove it and notify you by email. If you are the sender of the transaction, the coins will always be restored to your account so there is no loss of coins when this happens.

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