Todays question that I wanted to address is what is a Bitcoin confirmation? A Bitcoin confirmation is a bit of a misnomer. It is a block confirmation to begin with, though its often ascribed to a transaction itself. So theres a couple of different components to this question and hopefully we can get through them all. So with a Bitcoin blockchain, what we have are blocks that are appended in succession onto the chain at regular intervals tenminute intervals in fact.
And as these blocks are assembled, the further down from the newest block that you have a block is the number of confirmations that you have. It is synonymous with block depth. So the depth of the block is, roughly speaking, the confirmations of a block. But its typical that we use this confirmation term with transactions themselves. Thats more often where it matters.
For any transaction, some buy, sell, transference, counterparty issuance and on and on, we have to assemble that transaction into a block at which point it is now some distance from the present and the present work of the miners. That distance can be zero, that distance could be 300, 000. But that number, that number of blocks away from the current state of the network is the number of confirmations.
Its important because this confirmations add security to the transaction. If you think of Bitcoin as a settlement engine, the number of confirmations is itself an attestation of the security of that settlement.
How secure we are in knowing that that settlement has been processed and that the moneys have been accounted for and are secure. Theres a bit of a nuance in the notion of a zero confirmation transaction. That is a transaction typically that is in the mempool, which weve addressed in another article, but in the mempool, these are transactions that are waiting to be processed by the miners and put into their very first block. These transactions typically have significantly less security in terms of their settlement attestation. It doesnt mean that they are insecure.
It mostly just means that they are a pending some amount of processing by the miners to be secure. Now there are certain things in the Bitcoin protocol that make them more secure that is probably outside of this article, in particular, transaction insurance, but that is roughly what a confirmation is and why it matters. It is a statement of security for any given transaction or any given block in a settlement ledger that is Bitcoin. Thats it.
Thats all there is to confirmations at the highest levels. Theres only more to it if you get into the source code, but I hope I answered your question. If I didnt, why dont you ask me where youre stuck at, why cont you leave a comment below, or tweet me on Twitter derosetech.
I hope you enjoyed my articles. If you want to see some more questions answered, subscribe to the channel. Later party people!p