The Bitcoin blockchain has gotten a lot of attention over the years, albeit not always for the right reasons. It now appears there have been traces of child abuse imagery found on Bitcoin’s blockchain. It is possible to introduce a lot of data on Bitcoin’s immutable ledger, including data not linked to transactions.
The Bitcoin Blockchain Child Abuse Imagery
As one would expect, there is a lot of information to be found on the Bitcoin blockchain. In most cases, it will contain the time at which a transaction occurred, as well as the sender and recipient’s information. At the same time, there is a lot of room to build on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and embed other types of data in the process. Companies can do so for very specific purposes, although this particular story took a turn for the worse.
More specifically, researchers claim to have discovered child abuse imagery on the Bitcoin blockchain. Although it is a bit unclear why anyone would embed such information in this particular blockchain to begin with, the evidence is there regardless. Close to 1,600 files are currently stored on the Bitcoin blockchain, which is a lot more than one might expect. Even so, eight of those files have been identified as containing sexual content.
Although “just” one of those eight images contains child abuse, it is evident this file should not exist in the first place. Nor should it be stored on the Bitcoin blockchain, even though one could argue the immutable aspect of this particular ledger will attract people with less than honest intentions. There are also two files in place which contain hundreds of links to child abuse content, including information found on the darknet.
As such, the question has been raised as to whether or not Bitcoin may face legal repercussions due to this information. As the hosting of child abuse imagery is deemed illegal in virtually every country, it is evident the Bitcoin blockchain will face a whole new set of challenges in the weeks and months to come. It is not impossible that the Bitcoin blockchain could be deemed illegal in its entirety, which would certainly have a big impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem and all services linked to it.
Furthermore, revelations like these will only spur further discussions as to whether or not the Bitcoin blockchain is illegal. As governments around the world are working on cryptocurrency regulation as we speak, this will give them another tool to effectively “ban” Bitcoin in the future. Child abuse imagery should never exist in the first place, and the people responsible for embedding this information on the blockchain should be punished first and foremost.
It will be interesting to see how things play out for the Bitcoin blockchain in this regard. This new development is not positive by any means, yet it also shows how making technology accessible to everyone in the world can lead to consequences that no one foresaw. For now, no official repercussions have been issued, but rest assured this discussion is far from over.