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Will Bitcoin Become Illegal After Child Porn Links Discovery?

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By Molly Zilli, Esq. on March 26, 2018 1:10 PM

When it comes to bitcoin, you either follow the virtual currency religiously, or your eyes gloss over at the mere mention of it. And if you've invested in it, you may be dizzy with all the ups and downs it's had in terms of value. Now, some researchers say they discovered links to child pornography in bitcoin's blockchain, and that anyone who downloads a blockchain could be legally responsible for the illegal images contained in it. But is that true?

Child Pornography Linked to Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is described as a crypto currency, and the blockchain is the digital ledger for that currency. Researchers in Germany say they discovered files within the blockchain and that these files contained hundreds of child sexual abuse imagery. That would mean that if you download bitcoin and have records of the files stored on your computer, you could be breaking the law since possession of child pornography is a crime.

Critics Say Claims Against Bitcoin Are Fake News

However, Kai Sedgwick at Bitcoin.com argues that these claims are disingenuous at best. He states that this claim has been around since 2013 and that while it is possible to encode information in the blockchain, it's a complicated process. He explains that it would be even more difficult to actually extract it, making Bitcoin's blockchain a very poor choice for those seeking child pornography.

It's also important to note that simply using Bitcoin as a currency -- spending it to purchase something -- would not necessarily put you at risk. It's only people like Bitcoin miners, who download all or parts of the blockchain, who need to be concerned about these allegations.

If you're worried about material you downloaded or you've been accused of wrongdoing, contact an attorney today to protect your rights and interests.

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