The time required for each transaction on Ethereum can vary widely because the speed of transactions is determined by many factors. This is why many users are surprised when some transactions come through very quickly while others take so long.
In this article, we go over the factors that affect the time required for a transfer and examine how long it takes on average to send Ethereum.
- ETH transactions can vary based on several factors
- Transfers between wallets usually take less than 15 minutes
- Transferring ETH from an exchange to a wallet can take up to 30 minutes
- Network congestion can increase transfer times significantly
How Long Does it Take to Transfer ETH Between Wallets?
The factor with the biggest impact on the time required for an ETH transfer between wallets is the type of Ethereum wallet you are using.
If you are sending assets from a hot wallet connected to the internet, all transactions should be a bit faster. However, transactions from a cold wallet are likely to take longer as the cold wallets need to be connected and unlocked for transactions to proceed. Once both wallets are connected, the wallet-to-wallet transaction can take between 1 to 15 minutes.
While the transfer speed on the Ethereum blockchain is not as fast as Solana and Ripple for instance, it does have one of the fastest average transfer speeds.
How Long Does it Take to Transfer ETH Between a Wallet and an Exchange?
For wallet-to-exchange transactions, the transfer speed may take a bit longer. This is because most exchanges require several confirmations on the blockchain before the assets can be transferred. These types of transfers can take between 5 and 30 minutes.
What are Confirmations?
A confirmation occurs when the data is validated by the Ethereum blockchain before a transaction can happen. ETH will only be transferred when the required number of confirmations is reached. The number of confirmations required varies depending on the address.
Factors That Affect Ethereum Transaction Times
All transactions within the Ethereum blockchain are divided into groups called blocks. Each new block in the blockchain is added by a miner. A miner validates transactions and broadcasts them to all the miners inside this network. There are several factors that affect how long it takes for an ETH transaction to happen. These factors can be divided in two categories – internal and external factors.
Internal Factors That Influence Transaction Times
- Block size: The block size refers to how many transactions can fit in one Ethereum block. The block size of Ethereum is far from uniform and can vary on network usage. Ethereum developers limited the gas limit of an average block to 15 million gas, which is a bit less than 1 MB. Based on data the Ethereum blockchain explorer collected, the block size in the first quarter of 2022 averaged 90 KB.
- Block time: The average block time for Ethereum ranges between 12 and 14 seconds. Block time represents how much time it takes for a new set of transactions to be added to the blockchain.
- Gas price: Every transaction within the Ethereum network is paid in ETH and accompanied by a gas fee. The gas fee is composed of the priority fee, also called tips, and the base fee, the minimum amount to include a transaction. However, tips are optional and by adding them you are making sure that the transaction is completed faster.
External Factors That Influence Transaction Times
- Destination Address: Another factor that has a significant impact on the transaction time is Ethereum wallet addresses. While some are linked to exchange-based wallets, others are linked to personal ones. Exchanges on Ethereum are most likely going to require the highest confirmation requirements, ensuring the accuracy of transactions.
- Network Congestion: The Ethereum blockchain is a very popular network and thus it has always struggled with handling the demands from end-users and dApps; transaction times aren’t as stable when the network is crowded.
Is Ethereum 2.0 Going To Increase The Transfer Speed?
Ethereum 2.0 is not only going to speed up transactions, but also reduce energy requirements dramatically and improve scalability. Once Ethereum 2.0 is fully implemented, it should increase the speed from 13-15 transactions per second to an estimated 100 transactions per second.
Even though the time required to send ETH is far from consistent, it is still much faster compared to other networks such as Bitcoin. Priority gas fees, network confessions, adaptive block sizes and confirmations are factors that play an important role in the overall transaction speed. This is why the transaction time for end-users can vary a lot.
All in all, the fastest transactions are wallet-to-wallet transactions and they usually take up to 15 minutes. However, wallet-to-exchange transactions can often take up to half an hour. Keep in mind that during high network congestion, the transaction times could easily go beyond 30 minutes.
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