Usually when you send a Bitcoin transaction you trust the fee settings to the wallet you use. One of the strong sides of the Electrum wallet is that you can set the fee of your choice depending on how fast you want the transaction to be confirmed.

In this article you will learn how to manage fees in Electrum Bitcoin wallet, specifically:

  1. Electrum Bitcoin fees settings (ETA/Mempool/Static)
  2. Speed up transaction
  3. Cancel transaction

Electrum Bitcoin fees settings

Let’s send a test transaction with the Electrum wallet and find out what fee options do we have.

  • Launch your wallet and go to “Send” menu.
Send menu Electrum Bitcoin wallet
  • After pressing “Pay” confirmation window appears along with fee settings.
Bitcoin fee settings Electrum

Let’s explain what we see in this transaction summary window:

  • Amount to be sent. This is basically how much BTC/$ we want to send.
  • Advanced. If toggle on, this screen will go into advanced mode where you can see input/output address, change address and fee settings also.
  • Mining fee. Transaction fee we pay. This will change if we adjust “Fee rate”
  • Fee rate. This is where we can modify our fee depending on estimated confirmation time (ETA). Right now, you can see the fee is set to 14.2 satoshis/byte and estimated confirmation is 10 blocks or 1 hour 40 minutes. 1 block ~ 10 minutes. You can lower the fee as little as to 25 blocks confirmation, and increase it up to 1 block confirmation. Important! All times are estimated, meaning that if the Bitcoin network load increases dramatically, you transaction will take longer to confirm.

Mempool and Static Electrum fee option

Besides ETA, we have two other fee modification settings – Mempool and Static.

mempool and static fee in Electrum
Mempool and Static fee options in Electrum

Mempool

On the picture below you can see how mempool fee setting drastically lowered the transaction fee. But before you use this option, let’s understand what it means. Mempool is the “line” of unconfirmed transactions and by setting Mempool fee option you are entering this line. Imagine a line, of 1000 people where you can pay some fee to enter it at, say, 555 position or pay higher fee and enter the line at position 50.

Electrum Mempool fee option

On the image above we are going to enter the “line” 5Mb away from top or 5 blocks away from top. And do not forget that all of them are low-fee transactions which will only occupy free space of every new block. So, do not expect your transaction to confirm earlier than in few hours. In our experience it’s OK to set this type of fee if you are not in a hurry with your transaction and can wait up to 1 day.

Static

This is the option when you simply set the fee you want. We recommend this only for advanced users who has the experience and knows which fee and during what times can result in required confirmation time. You can also check current mempool load before setting the static fee. Mempool option gives you better understanding about how busy Bitcoin network currently is and what fee will be best for your needs.

Static Bitcoin fee in Electrum

Speed up Bitcoin transaction

If you have set a very low fee or network load increased and transaction is not confirming, you can bump fee to improve your transaction position in the mempool. For example, on the picture below we have a transaction with minimum fee of 1 sat/byte.

Low fee transaction

This transaction above is 4.38Mb away from top and can take a while to confirm. Right click on the transaction and select “Increase fee”.

speed up tx bitcoin fee
Bump fee Electrum Bitcoin TX

Bump fee dialogue window will appear where you will be able to increase your transaction fee. Again 3 options will be available – ETA, Mempool and static.

electrum bump fee Bitcoin
Bump fee

On the picture above, we set ETA and bumped fee so that transaction confirmed within the next 2 blocks (~20 minutes). Press OK, then Sign and Broadcast. You will see how your transaction move up in the line.

Resulting transaction after speed up

Cancel transaction (Double-spend)

If your transaction has been sent with RBF option (replace-by-fee), you have an option to cancel it. Transaction can only be canceled if it’s NOT yet confirmed. All confirmed transactions are final on the Bitcoin network.

In theory cancellation works the way that you basically resend same money to your wallet but with higher fee. In this case when the order comes to original transaction, there is nothing left to be sent.

How it works practically in Electrum

Right-click on the transaction and select “Cancel (double-spend)”.

Cancel transaction in Electrum

Familiar dialogue window will appear where you will be able to set new fee for the double-spent transaction. The new fee should be higher than original tx’s fee. We have sent our tx with 1 sat/b and now we will double-spend it with 5 sat/byte.

increase bitcoin fee to cancel tx
Double-spend with a higher fee

After “Sign” and “Broadcast” you will see how original transaction is removed and new transaction appears for the amount of fee only.

Result of the double-spend (cancellation)

On the receiving wallet after cancellation this transaction will look like on the image below.

View of canceled Bitcoin TX on the receiving wallet

Conclusion

Bitcoin gives you numerous possibilities including managing how much you want to pay for your transaction depending on how fast you want it to be confirmed.

Mass-wallets usually do not give options to manage your fees because if a person does not know what he is doing, the transaction can stuck for a long time. But the more you familiarize yourself with Bitcoin, the more freedom you have in your hands. And today you did a little step forward.