Transaction IDs are an integral part of all Bitcoin transactions. Anyone who has ever tried selling, buying, or exchanging a cryptocurrency would have come across the term transaction ID.
A transaction ID is basically a unique string of alphanumeric characters that can help track specific transactions happening on the Blockchain. The transaction ID offers proof of a transaction and can help validate it on the blockchain later.
We’ve got all the information on what a transaction ID is and how you can find it. Keep reading to get your answers:
What is A Bitcoin Transaction ID?
First ever Bitcoin transaction to Hal Finney in 2010
Based on our understanding, a Bitcoin transaction ID, also known as TXID, is a unique identifier that is generated for users whenever a transaction is performed and broadcasted on the Bitcoin Network.
The transaction ID is usually displayed in the details section of your Bitcoin Explorer or wallet. Finding a transaction ID is necessary, as it can help users keep track of delays in the transaction and if any follow-up processing is required.
As is the case with bank receipts, you can also use your transaction ID as proof of payment and for dispute resolution. If you ever need to authenticate a payment made through cryptocurrencies, you can show proof of transaction and prove validity.
Format of a Transaction ID
Transaction IDs are usually accessible through blockchain explorers. All details related to the transaction are tied to the ID. Our research shows that Bitcoin utilizes the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function to store and generate transaction IDs. The SHA-256 function is represented as a 64-character long number based on a hexadecimal format.
Below is an example of a Bitcoin transaction ID and the alpha-numeric combination it contains:
Methods to Find a Bitcoin Transaction ID
You can think of your transaction ID as an equivalent of a bank transaction receipt. The receipt not only keeps you informed but also gives all recipients with access to the information a chance to verify and track it.
Since we have discussed what a Bitcoin transaction ID is, we now discuss some of the popular methods of finding your transaction ID:
Method 1: Locating the transaction ID on a cryptocurrency exchange
Almost all crypto exchanges and marketplaces display your unique Bitcoin transaction ID at the end of the sale or exchange process. In layman's terms, when you finish the transaction, you will get your unique ID and you can save it.
However, if you have lost your ID after the transaction, you can either look it up in your email inbox or search for it in your wallet. Since most exchanges send the ID to your email once the transaction is complete, you can use the former to find it in your inbox. If your email doesn't contain the ID, you will have to access the transaction history and details. Here is how:
Accessing transaction history and details
Some exchanges maintain a transaction history mechanism where all recorded transactions are maintained. Therein, you will find your unique Bitcoin transaction ID alongside the specific transaction. Most exchanges usually have separate sections for transaction history, but if you're still unable to locate one, the step-by-step guide for the method below may help you.
Method 2: Retrieving the transaction ID from a Bitcoin wallet
Finding your transaction ID from a Bitcoin wallet can be a simple process once you understand the steps. We realize that newbies may not have the hang of the process yet, which is why we mention the instructions below:
Instructions for common Bitcoin wallet providers
Log in to your app and select ‘Funds’ from the icons available at the bottom.
Once you're in the section for Funds, you can navigate to the Blockchain for Bitcoin. If you are finding the transaction ID for another blockchain, click on the relevant title.
Once in the Blockchain, you will have to click on the specific wallet for the transaction. ‘My BTC Savings Wallet’ will display a list of your BTC transactions.
Once in the wallet, you can click on the specific transaction you need an ID for. The transaction will have additional information available.
Once you have the TXID, you can share it with anyone or look at all relevant details by entering the TXID into a block explorer.
Method 3: Exploring blockchain explorers for transaction IDs
Let’s now move towards the third and perhaps the most comprehensive method of finding your Bitcoin transaction ID. If all else fails, you may have to resort to this method:
Introduction to blockchain explorers and Their Functions
A blockchain explorer uses blockchain nodes and APIs within its core software operations to extract and present blockchain data in a readable and searchable format.
Users and crypto investors can input searchable items on the explorer and get organized results in return. In layman's terms, a blockchain explorer is the Google of the blockchain and cryptocurrency worlds. This is where you have information related to all newly mined cryptocurrencies and all transactions. A blockchain explorer will also feature a live feed displaying information about recently mined blocks and recent transactions.
Using blockchain explorers to search for transaction IDs
You can perform a common search on a Blockchain explorer through a transaction ID. However, since we are searching for the ID itself, we will have to play the system and use other search details.
Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies have thousands of transactions performed every second. Going through each transaction individually is simply not feasible. You can narrow the results down by searching for your public address or the date and amount of the transaction. Once you've narrowed the input, you may be able to find the exact transaction and the related TXID.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bitcoin Transaction IDs
We understand that some of you might still have direct questions related to Bitcoin transaction IDs and how to find them. We have compiled a list of answers to common questions to help you find your ID and understand its purpose:
What if I can't find my Bitcoin transaction ID?
If you still cannot find your Bitcoin transaction ID in your wallet, email, or exchange records, then chances are that you will have to take the deep route of looking it up on a Blockchain explorer. If you still cannot narrow the search down and find the ID, you may want to get in touch with customer support for the wallet in context. If the transaction is recent, they might be able to give you the ID for it.
Can I track transactions without a transaction ID?
Yes, you can! Despite it being easier with a transaction ID, Bitcoin transactions are public information on the Blockchain. You can use your public address or that of the recipient to track the transaction. Various Blockchain explorers — like BlockExplorer and Blockchain.info — help you track your Bitcoin transactions without a transaction ID.
Are Bitcoin transaction IDs confidential?
No, they're not. Although they appear random and complex, transaction IDs are public info. They don't reveal personal details, but they help track the transaction process. Their purpose is transparency and traceability in the Bitcoin network. So, while your personal info is secure, remember your transaction IDs are public.
How long does it take for a transaction ID to appear?
Usually, a transaction ID is generated instantly as you make a transaction. However, Bitcoin network congestion could result in slight delays. But don't be alarmed – it generally won't take more than a few minutes for your transaction ID to appear. If there seem to be major hiccups, checking in with your wallet provider is a good idea.
What if I sent my Bitcoin to the wrong address?
One of the essential features of Bitcoin is that transactions can't be reversed. So, accidentally sending Bitcoin to the wrong address might mean the loss of those funds.
If you sent it to another address in your wallet or a friend's address, ask them to send it back. If it's to an unknown address, try reaching out through your wallet provider. Remember to double-check addresses before confirming transactions to avoid these sticky situations.
As an investor/buyer/seller on the Bitcoin network, you should be aware of the challenges that come with tracking transaction IDs and how it is always good to store them in a safe manner when you finish your transaction.
However, calamity doesn't come with a warning, so we recommend following the methods mentioned above if you ever lose track of your Bitcoin transaction ID. Knowing the transaction ID can help you prove the validity of your transaction and even extract all details related to it.
Remember that you should start by checking your email and the transaction records on the exchange you invest through. Next, you can also check your relevant wallet. However, if those methods don’t work, we recommend running the blockchain explorer and using the different search metrics to identify your transaction and the specific ID.