On the Bitcoin testnet, will transactions with higher fees get mined quicker?


I wonder if anyone here has spent enough time on the Bitcoin testnet to give me some insight on how the market forces there work. I am a teaching assistant in a university blockchain course with ~75 students, and I plan to start an assignment in a few days where students acquire testnet BTC from faucets and start crafting transactions. There are currently about 14,000 unconfirmed transactions in the testnet mempool, and I wonder whether you can avoid waiting long if you increase your fee. Larger fees would obviously help on the Bitcoin mainnet, but I'm less sure about how miners behave on the testnet.


Posted 2018-09-17T11:56:38.100

Reputation: 145

Another issue people have seen is apparently where the faucet doesn't include a high enough fee, and so you have trouble getting your testnet coins in the first place. In principle one could work around this with child-pays-for-parent, but this might be tricky for beginners. – Nate Eldredge – 2018-09-17T14:18:02.440

Personally, I'd think twice about this plan. There's a lot of possibility for frustration caused by issues outside the students' control, and frustration for you as you try to figure out how to address this while still keeping the assignment useful and not unduly penalizing students. So, a different option would be to create a private testnet just for the class. – Nate Eldredge – 2018-09-17T14:21:10.107



Because the testnet bitcoins have no financial value, the transaction fees aren't really an incentive for miners there. But we assume that miners will run similar software to that on the mainnet and make sensible decisions regarding the fees they put in a block, so higher fees should make the transactions mined faster yes.


Posted 2018-09-17T11:56:38.100

Reputation: 9 285

One thing about testnet, though, is it's much easier for one miner or group to effectively take over, either for testing or maliciously. They might be running non-standard software and decline to mine regular people's transactions. Likewise, it's also easier for someone to flood the network with high-fee transactions. – Nate Eldredge – 2018-09-17T14:15:24.667