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Images of child abuse uploaded to Bitcoin SV blockchain

Thu, 07 Feb 2019, 11:19 am UTC

An incident underscoring the risk of blockchain use for illicit activities has come to the forefront as someone added images of child sexual abuse to the core ledger of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), also known as the blockchain, BBC News reported February 06.

According to the report, Bitcoin SV developer increased the amount of data that could be added to the blockchain last month, allowing users to store large files such as images, audio, and video, among others.

Jimmy Nguyen, founder of crypto-cash company nChain, which oversees the BSV currency, told BBC News that they have "zero tolerance" for illicit use of the system.

"The Bitcoin SV blockchain is not a place for criminal activity - and if you use it for illegal purposes, you will leave a digitally signed evidence trail that cannot be erased," he said. "We stand ready to work with global law enforcement authorities to stamp out this and any other illegal misuse of Bitcoin."

In an online post dated January 31, payment system Money Button confirmed that the illegal content was added to the blockchain using its service. It clarified that it does not provide any mechanism to interpret or display this content.

“BitcoinFiles.org received a notice from their local authorities about the nature of the illegal content viewable on their website. BitcoinFiles.org removed the content from their website and then contacted us suspecting that Money Button may have been the tool the criminals used to write this content to the blockchain,” it said.

“We have confirmed that was the case and we have banned the user responsible for creating those transactions.”

In addition to banning the user, the person’s information has also been passed on to relevant authorities. Money Button has also rolled out filtering systems to help detect if anyone attempts to upload such illegal content.

Roman Matzutt, from the University of Aachen, in Germany, who studied this issue of uploading illegal content to the blockchain, said that research is currently ongoing to explore ways to remove such content from blockchains. However, the methods of doing so are not yet mature, he added.

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