An Ethereum token approval is when the Ethereum network validates a token transaction. This means that the transaction has been processed and is now official.
The term “token approval” is often used interchangeably with the term “transaction confirmation”.
When a user makes a transaction on the Ethereum network, that transaction is first sent to what are called “mining nodes”. These mining nodes then group the transactions together into something called a “block”.
Each block can contain a maximum of 15 transactions.
Once the mining nodes have created a block, they then compete with each other to see who can validate that block the fastest. The node that validates the block fastest is rewarded with a certain amount of Ether (the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network).
This process is known as “mining”.
Once a block has been mined, the transactions in that block are considered to be approved or confirmed. Each transaction in a block has its own unique “confirmation number”.
The more confirmations a transaction has, the more secure it is considered to be.
A single confirmation can take up to one minute on the Ethereum network. However, most exchanges and wallets require at least 3 confirmations before they will credit a user with their tokens.
This means that it can take up to 3 minutes for a token transaction to be fully approved.
The Ethereum network is constantly processing transactions and creating new blocks. As such, confirmations can happen very quickly or they can take some time depending on how busy the network is.