Incoming payment transactions show up in your account almost instantly (within a minute after they were emitted), but will show as “pending” until there has been at least one network confirmation. The time it takes for a transaction to be confirmed depends on the fee used by the sender and overall network traffic of the Ethereum blockchain.
Once a transaction is verified on the network, the pending tag will be removed. This lets you know the transaction can't be reversed and the funds can be sent.
Occasionally, transactions are not accepted by the network and remain marked as “pending” for 2 to 3 days. Typically these transactions will never confirm. These problem transactions are typically caused by three main reasons:
- Receiving a transaction with insufficient fees - all transactions require a miner fee to be confirmed by the asset network. If the sender did not use a sufficient fee, your deposit may never confirm.
- Spending unconfirmed assets - if you are trying to send assets that appear as pending in your account your transaction will also remain in a pending state until your deposits are confirmed. You can think of this as a waterfall effect. Until the funds you receive are properly confirmed all of your sent funds will be marked with this same pending state.
- The network is experiencing high volume - sometimes there is 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.
Transactions that don’t get confirmed are returned back to the sender.