Pending transactions

This article is about transactions sent to or from your Coinbase primary balance. Learn about pending purchases or bank deposits here.

Incoming transactions show up in your account almost instantly but may show as Pending for a variety of reasons.

Common causes of unconfirmed transactions



Losing sync or not being accepted by the network

Coinbase runs its own digital currency nodes that communicate with the rest of the network. When you initiate a transaction, we broadcast it to the rest of the network so it can be confirmed.

Our nodes may lose sync with the rest of the network for short periods of time, which can cause transactions to remain Pending longer than normal. Usually the delay is under an hour and the transaction will eventually go through normally.

Occasionally, transactions aren't accepted by the rest of the network and therefore are never considered confirmed.

Insufficient network confirmations

Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions require a certain number of network confirmations before they are considered final. Transactions appear as Pending until the required number of network confirmations has been reached.

Sending a very small amount with insufficient fees

Transactions require a miner fee to be confirmed by the network. When sending an asset, you'll be prompted to add a miner fee to make sure the transaction gets confirmed. If an insufficient fee is included, your transaction may never confirm.

Spending unconfirmed coins

If you're trying to spend coins that are still Pending in your account, your transaction won't generate until the coins confirm.

High network volume

Sometimes there's a high volume of digital currency being sent globally, and there are more transactions than there is space available in each new block to include the transaction. High demand for block space can delay your send.

Double-spending the same coins

Although transactions generated by Coinbase have backend systems that prevent this, it's possible that if two transactions try to spend the same coins, one of them will never by confirmed by the network.

Once a transaction is confirmed, it will show Completed, indicating that the transaction can't be reversed and the funds can be withdrawn.

Transactions sent to a phone number or email

If you've initiated a send to a recipient's phone number or email and the transaction is in a pending state, it means the recipient hasn't accepted it yet. You can cancel the payment to return the funds to your account by following the steps below. This process can only be completed via the web (not the mobile app).

  • Go to using a web browser.

  • Sign in to your account and select the asset of your pending transaction.

  • Locate and select the pending transaction to display the Cancel payment option.

  • Select Cancel payment.

Once the transaction is canceled, the funds will be available in your balance again.

Alternatively, if funds aren't accepted by the recipient within 30 days of the send, they'll be returned to your account.

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