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Pending Transactions on Ethereum


Pending transactions are those that haven’t yet been processed by the Ethereum network. You can speed up pending transactions by replacing them with a new transaction with a higher fee.

Why is my Ethereum transaction pending?

Transactions in Ethereum will be pending (not confirmed) when either (1) you haven’t paid a high enough transaction fee, or (2) other previously submitted transactions from the same wallet are also pending.

Regarding (1) fees, the Ethereum network has limited capacity to process transactions. In order to ensure fair access to that limited space, Ethereum adopts a market solution. This means that transactions that include higher fees are the first ones to be processed by validators. If the fee you attached to your submitted transaction is too low and network congestion remains high, there’s a chance your transaction will stay pending for hours or even days. If you’re ok with waiting, in most cases your transaction will eventually go through. However, if you’re in a hurry to have your transaction confirmed, you may need to take action. There’s also a small possibility that your transaction will stay pending indefinitely. In that case, you’ll need to resubmit the transaction. Please see “How to override or cancel a pending Ethereum transaction” below for instructions on how to do that.

As for (2) transaction sequence, Ethereum is designed such that transactions can only be processed in the order they were submitted. This means that, as long as a previously submitted transaction remains pending (for whatever reason), even if you submit another transaction with a higher fee, that transaction can’t go through until your previously submitted transaction is successfully processed.

How do I know what the right fee is for making an Ethereum transaction?

The Dolphin Wallet constantly monitors the market rate for ‘gas’ (which is how fees are measured in Ethereum) to arrive at the optimal gas price (and therefore fee) for your transaction. We provide you with three convenient preset modes:

Low → means you’ll pay a lower fee, but your transaction will take longer. Estimated confirmation time: 5-15 minutes.*

Medium → strikes the optimal balance between cost and speed. Estimated confirmation time: less than 2 minutes.*

High → optimizes for speed over cost. Estimated confirmation time: less than 30 seconds.

In all cases, estimates are for normal network congestion conditions. When there’s a sudden demand for block space, the time it takes for miners to get to your transaction may change significantly.

What should I do if my transaction is pending for too long?

If your transaction status is listed as pending for significantly longer than the above-described estimates, the most likely explanation is that the market rate for gas increased suddenly at the moment you submitted the transaction. When your transaction is pending, you have three options:

  1. Wait longer. If you chose one of the three presets, your transaction most likely just needs a bit longer to confirm. In most cases, your transaction will confirm within a few hours at most. If you’re in a rush, or if after a day, your transaction still hasn’t confirmed, you can:
  2. Resubmit the same transaction with a higher fee
  3. Cancel the current transaction.

How to override a pending Ethereum transaction?

  1. Determine the nonce of your pending transaction.
  2. Initiate a new transaction using that nonce.
  3. For the new transaction, increase the gas and:
    3.1 To cancel the pending transaction, change the send amount to the smallest amount possible (eg 0.00000001 ETH)
    3.2 To speed up the pending transaction, keep the send amount the same.

As mentioned, when you resubmit a transaction, what you’re actually doing is replacing your previously submitted transaction. Assuming the gas price for your new transaction is high enough (and assuming the transaction you’re resubmitting is the first in line for your wallet) the transaction will get picked up by a validator and the transaction it replaces will disappear forever.

IMPORTANT: transactions can only be processed in the order they were submitted. This means that no matter what gas price you choose for subsequent transactions, you’ll have to wait until your previously submitted transactions are first picked up and processed by validators.

IMPORTANT: We have updated the web version and released the Speed up/Cancel function; This feature is not yet available in the Browser Extension version.You can import your mnemonic phrase to the web version, and wait for a while to see your pending transactions, and then you can Speed up/Cancel Buttons.
web verison:
Browser Extension version:

What should I do if I can’t find the pending transaction?

You shouldn’t find your transaction if you had reseted account or you had changed your dolphinwallet’s device.This is because your transaction’s gas fee is too low and miners ignore it or this transaction doesn’t sent to the blockchain.

In this case, we can create/fire a new transaction, but it should be noted that the nonce number must be the same with your last Pending transaction.

Below we explain the specific operation steps:

1) Find your wallet’s newest nonce number.
Find the latest transaction under your address on the, and then find the nonce of this transaction,we define it as NONCE.
Note: Navigation transaction detail page and click “+Click to show more” to find Nonce:X.
If the latest transaction is your pending transaction, the NONCE should be X.If the latest transaction is not your pending transaction,the NONCE should be X+1;

2)Create a Ether transfer transaction to override your pending transaction.
We should change “Custom nonce” to Yes in Common Settings if you can’t find None input filed.Asset Type: ETH,Amount:0, Nonce: NONCE. Estimated gas fee:we select High level.

3)Click “Submit” button and waiting for this transaction change to Success.

For a single wallet, the blockchain confirms transactions strictly in nonce order, so we overwrited the previous transaction with the same nonce.The previous pending transaction will be discarded.

IMPORTANT:The random numbers must be consecutive, don’t try to skip. Don’t forget to change “Custom nonce” to No in Common Settings.