Bitcoin Blockchain is Being Used for Storing Objectionable Content
The indigenously immutable and decentralized nature of blockchain has been two of the biggest advantages of this technology. But the same two features might prove to be trouble for anyone who possesses a Bitcoin blockchain. A team of German researchers recently published a paper that revealed that the Bitcoin blockchain contains potentially illegal content that include links to child pornography.
How can cryptocurrency blockchain store files?
The Bitcoin blockchain is an open-source distributed ledger that stores all Bitcoin transactions. Although it mostly contain information regarding the financial transactions, about 1.4% of the data stored are non-financial in nature. In fact, the first ever Bitcoin block (Genesis Block) had a message from Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor(s) of Bitcoin. It read, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. Other interesting data found on the blockchain include Bitcoin logo, Catholic prayers for miners, excerpts from Bhagavad Gita, Nelson Mandela and Len Sassaman tribute, Wikileaks data, Valentine’s Day texts etc.
This same feature is now being used by certain individuals to store and distribute potentially illegal content. The team of researchers recently analyzed around 1600 files stored in the Bitcoin blockchain. Titled A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of Arbitrary Blockchain Content on Bitcoin, this paper from RWTH Aachen University in Germany states that there are hundreds of links to child pornography within Bitcoin blockchain.
How does this affect miners?
In order to run a full Bitcoin node and mine Bitcoins, one has to download the entire Bitcoin blockchain. This means they will have to download the illegal content associated with it as well. By possessing the blockchain, one is prone to facing legal issues.
According to the researchers, there are several other content that could cause trouble to miners. Politically sensitive information, malware, and data that violates privacy or copyrights are a few of them,
The issue of Bitcoin data spam and evil data has been discussed by experts before. But we still don’t have a viable solution to the problem. As of now, this news is going to be a setback for the Bitcoin enthusiasts across the world.