How long would Bitcoin take?
Under perfect circumstances, Bitcoin transactions would take only 10 minutes.
The network is, however, not devoid of faults and transaction times may vary depending on the situation it is faced with.
Bitcoin Transaction Flow
Bitcoin transactions are faced with 2 phases before they are recorded and made official on the Blockchain.
Phase 1: Mempool
After a transaction request is sent, it gets verified by all Nodes that are available on the Bitcoin network.
These requests are then sent to a pool of data, where they await further processing by Miners.
This is known as the Mempool (Short of memory pool).
Phase 2: Mining into Blocks
Transactions that have been sent to the Mempool will get picked up by miners to be organized into a block. This is known as 'Mining' in the Bitcoin world.
These blocks - that are arranged by the Miners - are like your bank ledgers, which is a list of transactional records. This is achieved by Miners running software on their computers to solve maths problems to publish the block. These computers are tasked to solve these maths problems.
The transaction then becomes official and will be recorded on the Blockchain. The recipient address should have the sent amount reflected in their wallet.
Some merchants allow for instant confirmation if you are transacting in small amounts.
If you wish to find out more about Bitcoin, you can read its Whitepaper here.