World media, including the BBC, reported that researchers at the Rhine-Westphalian Technical University studied 1600 files in the blockchain and found eight files of a sexual nature, three of them contained content “objectionable for almost all jurisdictions.” Also, researchers found more than 200 references to content related to violence against children.
Garrick Hileman, a cryptocurrency expert from the University of Cambridge, said that the problem of illegal content was “discussed and known about for awhile.”
We would like to remind you that the former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik raised this problem in his blog in 2013, calling the possibility of adding “evil data” and the invariability of the records of “terrible” and “practically not subject to correction” feature of blockchain.
So can this unpleasant fact cause a ban on Bitcoin at the world level?
A professor of Princeton University and Bitcoin researcher Arvind Narayanan recalled a recent study on the distribution of child pornography and other illegal content in his Twitter post, noting that there were no banned images in blockchain, only references.
There's a recent paper about child sexual abuse imagery (and other illicit content) on the Bitcoin blockchain. https://t.co/Rm7w5B3X9S The ensuing press coverage has been (unsurprisingly) superficial. Here are a couple of important clarifications.
— Arvind Narayanan (@random_walker) March 21, 2018
According to the professor, this takes a very different meaning from the legal point of view.
Moreover, Arvind insists on the incorrectness of the very concept of “illegal content” as no content can be illegal, only people’s actions can be illegal.