What is a Mempool and How it Impacts your Crypto Transactions

29 May, 2020

Ever wonder why your cryptocurrency transaction is taking longer than usual to show up in your wallet?

Blame it on the Mempool, the digital “waiting room” that impacts the speed - and often the fee - related to your transaction.  Understanding how the mempool works can help improve your strategy for conducting trades and reduce the anxiety that comes as you wait, wait, wait for confirmation that your order was executed.

“Mempool” is shorthand for “memory pool,” the term used to describe the space where all unconfirmed crypto orders sit in any given network.  When traffic on a network is high, the mempool gets crowded.  A clogged network means it could take longer than expected for a miner to pick up your order, solve the complicated equation and turn your transaction into a block on the blockchain.

For example, the average Bitcoin confirmation time from 2018 to April was about 10 minutes, according to Statisia, with a low of under nine minutes to a high of more than 14 minutes.  For investors who are anxiously waiting for confirmation, those extra minutes can create doubt and uncertainty that their transaction will be successfully timed and mined.

With thousands of transactions occurring every second, there’s a good chance your order can get stuck in a mempool waiting room at any given time.  But the good news is, you can help move it along by monitoring exchanges and adjusting your transaction fees. Miners are like everyone else – they’re trying to make a living.  The higher the fee you assign to your transaction, the more likely it is that a miner will pluck it out of a crowded mempool and move it along.

That doesn’t mean you need to assign a higher fee to every transaction.  It’s best to weigh the need for speed against the cost of a higher fee.

You can also monitor a network’s transaction volume.  As each network works independently, the transaction times can vary by coin and are closely monitored by traders as well was crypto media outlets.  You can monitor the volume of more than 400 coins and trading partners right from the STEX trading platform.

You can also keep up with a coin’s mempool.  Many crypto sites offer daily statistics on mempool volume which makes it even easier for you to decide when to up the ante on your order.

As the number of crypto users continues to grow, the ever increasing volume of orders will certainly create crowded mempools.  Knowing how they work,  monitoring their volume and being ready to increase your transaction fee when necessary will increase your chances of success.

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