Blockchain Blog

Quick Bit: Understanding Bitcoin Transaction Fees

*The latest versions of our wallet now use a dynamic fee structure (which you can read about here) to determine appropriate fees for your transactions, so some of the information in this post no longer applies.  *

*If you have a pending transaction that is taking an abnormally long time to confirm, it may be due to network congestion. To find out more about how network congestion can affect your transaction, check out this article in our Support Center. *


This is a Blockchain Quick Bit, where we cover the basics of a topic, or product, to help you understand it better. This Quick Bit is intended to help you learn about bitcoin transaction fees. Bitcoin transaction fees are one of the many benefits for consumers and merchants to utilize bitcoin, and is an attractive aspect of the digital currency. Currently bitcoin transaction fees can average to around .04 cents USD (or 0.0001 BTC) per transaction.

[![Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 12.26.33 PM](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2014/10/Screen-Shot-2014-10-29-at-12.26.33-PM.png)](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2014/10/Screen-Shot-2014-10-29-at-12.26.33-PM.png)
An example showing the inputs & outputs of a transaction, that included the minimum recommended fee: http://bit.ly/1tDkeiO
Bitcoin transactions are in place as an incentive to miners when validating bitcoin blocks. One of the reasons there is a fee is because the larger the transaction data size, the longer and more energy it will take miners to validate the data. Transactions with higher transaction fees tend to be validated faster in the blockchain. Conversely, transactions with low or zero transaction fees tend to be validated more slowly, or eventually will get rejected.

It is extremely important to note that a transaction may be safely sent without fees if these conditions are met (source: Bitcoin Wiki)

  • It is smaller than 1,000 bytes.
  • All outputs are 0.01 BTC or larger.
  • Its priority is large enough (see the Technical Info section below)
[![Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 12.00.07 PM](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2014/10/Screen-Shot-2014-10-29-at-12.00.07-PM-e1414598492435.png)](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2014/10/Screen-Shot-2014-10-29-at-12.00.07-PM-e1414598492435.png)
Our Custom Send feature allows you to specify your own fee; we recommend 0.0001 BTC as a minimum fee.
If you are unsure about the size of your transaction, it is very affordable and worthwhile to include transaction fees with your bitcoin transactions. It helps to increase the likelihood that your transaction will be processed quickly. Technically, a transaction can be processed with zero mining fees, but there’s a chance that miners won’t validate the transaction, as there is no incentive for them to do it.

Luckily, the Blockchain Wallet by default includes the appropriate amount of transaction fees using Quick Send. If however you are using Custom Send, you will have to enter in the transaction fee amount manually. To read more about sending bitcoins through the Blockchain Wallet, please read our tutorial.

If you have a suggestion for a Blockchain Quick Bit, please reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook!