A transaction on the Ethereum blockchain is technically initiated by an external account owner, not a contract. This means that when User A sends 1 Ether (ETH) to User B, the blockchain’s state changes as the funds are debited from one account and credited to another. These changes take place on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Types of Transactions on the Ethereum Network

There are different types of transactions that can occur on the Ethereum network:

  • Regular transactions: These are transactions that occur between two accounts.
  • Contract-execution transactions: These transactions interact with deployed smart contracts, where the “to” address is a smart contract address.
  • Contract-deployment transactions: These transactions do not have a “to” address and are used to deploy the code of a smart contract.

How to Check the Status of an Ethereum Transaction

If you want to track the status of an Ethereum transaction, you can follow these steps:

Step 1: Select an Ethereum blockchain explorer

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There are several blockchain explorers you can choose from, such as Etherscan, Ethplorer, EthVM, Blockchain.com, and Tokenview, among others. These explorers allow you to search for information based on various criteria like wallet address, transaction hash (txid), block, token, or domain name.

Step 2: Enter the transaction hash into the blockchain explorer’s search field

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Once you have selected a blockchain explorer, locate the search field. For example, on Etherscan, the search field is located on the top left-hand corner of the screen next to a dropdown menu labeled “All Filters.” Enter the transaction hash, which is a unique identifier for the specific transaction you want to track. The hash is usually a string of random letters and numbers and can be found in the transaction details.

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Step 3: Click the icon for “search” or “enter” on the blockchain explorer

After entering the transaction hash, click the search icon or press enter to initiate the search on the blockchain explorer. This will retrieve the information related to the transaction you are tracking.

Step 4: Check if the transaction was successful or not

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Upon searching for the transaction, you will see the details indicating the state of the transaction. If the transaction was successfully validated and added to the blockchain, it will be labeled as “success” or “successful.” This means that the funds have been transferred to the intended destination.

If there are no error messages displayed, it indicates that the transaction was completed successfully. The Ethereum (ETH) should be credited to the destination wallet or exchange account within 24 hours of sending.

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If the transaction was unsuccessful, several error messages may appear:

  • Error message or symbol: A red exclamation point or an error message such as “bad instruction” or “out of gas” indicates that the transaction was unsuccessful, and the funds did not reach their intended destination. In the case of an “out of gas” error, users can try doubling the initially specified gas limit and resending the transaction.
  • Reverted: This error message suggests a smart contract user error. Users should double-check the details of the transaction in such cases.
  • Transaction not found: If a transaction did not go through or is not appearing on the blockchain explorer, try using another explorer. If it still doesn’t appear on multiple explorers, it is likely that the transaction did not go through.
  • Pending: When a transaction is still waiting to be validated or processed, it will be labeled as “pending.” These transactions can still be canceled or replaced by the user.
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Processing Time for Ethereum Transactions

An average transaction on the Ethereum blockchain typically takes between 15 seconds and five minutes to process. The processing time depends on various factors, including the transaction fee paid and the network’s congestion at the time.

Although Ethereum transitioned from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake blockchain after the Merge, the transaction speeds remain relatively the same. The Ethereum Foundation clarifies that the Merge did not significantly speed up transactions as many presume. However, there is a minor difference, with slots occurring every 12 seconds post-Merge compared to every 13.3 seconds pre-Merge. Nonetheless, the change is not noticeable to most users as processing time still depends on network congestion and transaction fees.

When a transaction is initiated, it is logged into Ethereum’s memory pool (mempool), where pending transactions wait to be picked up by validators. Once a validator adds the transaction data into a block and appends it to the blockchain, the transaction is considered complete. It becomes finalized and irreversible after six additional blocks have been mined and added on top of it.

Why Should Traders Check the Status of a Transaction?

Checking the status of an Ethereum transaction is important for the following reasons:

1. Monitoring network usage and transaction costs

Participants in the Ethereum network need to pay gas fees to transfer funds or deploy smart contracts. The fees depend on the number of participants waiting to execute transactions. When network congestion is high, transaction costs increase. By checking the transaction’s status, traders can monitor the cost of using the network and make informed decisions.

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2. Determining sufficient gas fees

Gas fees play a crucial role in transaction confirmation. Low gas fees can result in truncated or delayed transactions, especially during high network congestion. By checking the status, users can ensure that the gas fee they paid is sufficient for their transaction to be confirmed. If a transaction remains pending due to low gas fees, resending the transaction with a higher gas fee can help expedite its processing.

3. Optimizing network usage

Understanding a transaction’s status allows users to adjust their spending habits and optimize their network usage. By keeping track of confirmed transactions, users can ensure smooth transfers of funds and efficient deployment of smart contracts.

By using Ethereum blockchain explorers, traders can access additional helpful information such as the transaction’s timestamp, block confirmations, transaction fee, ETH price at the time of processing, base fee, gas limit, and nonce. This comprehensive data empowers users to stay on top of their ETH transactions, make informed decisions, and optimize their network usage.