Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Will Bitcoin Become Illegal After Child Porn Links Discovery?

People scrambling to delete their Bitcoin Blockchain ledgers due to the child pornography scare may want to hold off -- that is, if the Bitcoin.com folks can be trusted. As commentators have noted, Bitcoin's response discusses links to child pornography, and curiously omits discussing the image that the researchers claim to have found buried in the Blockchain.

It's no secret that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be favored by criminals for the whole "crypto" anonymous feature. But recently a team of researchers claim that downloading the Blockchain that Bitcoin is based upon is a criminal act because there is child pornography stored in the data.

Possession of Illegal Links, Images

While there are competing sources and allegations of misinformation, the one thing that is certain in all of this Blockchain child pornography madness is that Bitcoin is taking a serious reputational hit. The controversy also highlights one of the other issues that governments and financial institutions have with Bitcoin and other cryptos: the lack of a central authority to deal with these types of issues. However, this issue could be what prompts a sort of central authority to be created to maintain the integrity and legality of the Bitcoin Blockchain.

As such, currently, it may very well be that downloading the Blockchain will result in downloading links to, and images of, content that may be illegal to possess, or distribute. One can only assume that the likelihood of prosecution for doing so without ever viewing the files, or having other ties to child pornography, doesn't seem too high.

Spoiled Virtual Apples

It's all fun and games until someone bites into a spoiled apple, right? And sadly, when it comes to a cryptocurrency, a spoiled apple or two can ruin the whole lot. After all, if possessing the Bitcoin Blockchain becomes illegal, the distributed ledger concept that Blockchain is built upon could crumble.

Fortunately, cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology are still in their infancy, and as new issues continue to arise, problems like these can be addressed.

Related Resources: