GreenAddress becomes the first Bitcoin wallet in the world to include a replace-by-fee option. The move enables users to increase fees on their transactions with one click of a button. BitcoinMagazine informs that the new option “will help transactions get “unstuck” in case of heavy transaction load, and benefits fee market dynamics.” The news has already met some critic – some experts insist that replace-by-fee could have a bad impact on reliability of unconfirmed transactions. Indeed, sometimes payments can be reverted.
Aaron van Wirdum from BitcoinMagazine got an opportunity to test the replace-by-fee option on his own GreenAddress wallet several weeks ago. He presented his impressions in the blog post appreciating the option from his own perspective as a user.
Aaron describes the process of transaction processing. “After sending my first replace-by-fee transaction, I was automatically redirected to the “Transactions” screen, where all past wallet-transactions are displayed. And, underneath the (still unconfirmed) replace-by-fee transaction, a new tab had appeared: “bump fee”. Clicking on the “bump fee” tab opens a mini-menu. On top of the menu, text displays how fast the transaction is expected to confirm.”
Aaron underlines that GreenAddress offers additional option for the cases when a transaction is not expected to be mined in the first available block due to too low fee. In that case, users can include a fee big enough to have the transaction included in the next two, three or six blocks.
Once the fee is bumped, a user sees a new icon “updated” and a button to display the old transaction ID. The “bump fee” button is also available so that a fee can be bumped again.
Aaron describes the whole process as “very straightforward and easy-to-use”.
Aaron also touches the topic of security in his post. There is always a risk that users will maliciously revert unconfirmed transactions. To avert the danger, wallet software can warn users on the receiving end of a transaction if a transaction is flagged to potentially be replaced. Aaron underlines that only two of all tested by him wallets – Mycelium (on Android) and GreenAddress itself (Chrome app) – show such a flag. “Both wallets clearly visualize a replace-by-fee enabled transaction as such, giving users the option not to accept such a transaction until confirmed if they wish”, he says.
Replace-by-fee option offered by GreenAddress can incur displeasure of Bitcoin payment processors that effectively built their business on instant payments as well as of merchants who sell digital goods and physical goods.
GreenAddress has been standing up for replace-by-fee option since April 2014 and finally managed to implement it. Hopefully, it will prevent transactions from getting constantly stuck and unconfirmed for hours or even days, which is incredibly frustrating for bitcoin users.