No – There Isn’t Any Child Porn On Bitcoin’s Blockchain

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The sheer volume of Bitcoin-related BS circulating the news is staggering. The latest (but not actually new) is about alleged Child Pornography (CP) permanently encoded in the bitcoin’s blockchain. According to the news, anyone downloading the blockchain is automatically guilty of accessing the CP.

100% fake news

The news is old as much as it’s fake. It wasn’t true when it first surfaced in 2013 and it is still completely untrue today.

The false hypothesis came from the fact that it’s possible to encode information within blockchain. This is how Satoshi encoded a message in the genesis block. However the amount of data that can be stored in this way – is extremely limited.

The OP-RETURN option was where the child pornography was supposed to be hidden. Only 80 bytes of data can be stored there and that information is subject to deletion by bitcoin nodes.

As Kai Sedgwick of bitcoin.com explains:

“Anyone wishing to use the bitcoin blockchain to seek out child pornography would need to perform the following convoluted process:

  1. Download the entire bitcoin blockchain and sift through 251 million transactions to find the 1.4% that contain some kind of arbitrary data encoded in them.
  2. Ensure that the version of the blockchain you were using had been subject to no pruning that might have removed OP_RETURN data.
  3. Extract any web links that might be concealed in the data using some sort of steganography.
  4. Type the links into your browser until you eventually found a website that was still accessible.”

It just makes no sense

“Asserting that there is child pornography on the blockchain would be like strolling through the U.S. Capitol Building, dropping a scrap of paper containing a deep web address, and then claiming that the American government is storing obscene content.” – Sedgwick concludes.

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