Rich Freeman via plug on 21 Mar 2021 13:59:50 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Schneier: Illegal Content and the Blockchain

On Sun, Mar 21, 2021 at 3:46 PM JP Vossen via plug
<> wrote:
> Again, I know nothing about blockchain or bitcoin, but for a ledger transaction it seems like the minimum you need is: 2 account/wallet/whatever IDs, an amount, and a direction.  Assuming even trivial data validation, I do not see where you put that cat GIF in there.

Direction is probably implied by the field order.  However, you're
basically right on the first bit.

As I understand it you can stick whatever you want in a transaction as
long as you can convince a miner to include it (ie by paying them).
That is the controversial bit.

However, you could still just encode something like a gif with a whole
series of transactions.  The source account would need the funds so
you probably wouldn't want to mess with that.  The amount should
probably be very small, so you wouldn't want to stick more than a few
bits in that or it will get expensive.  The destination account number
is 160 bits in length, so you could make that whatever you want.

You could obviously send as much data as you want that way, but you'd
definitely churn through a lot of transactions.

I think there are also off-chain ways to do transactions that are
cheaper - I haven't really kept up (the idea is you stick a pointer on
the blockchain and then stick the details someplace else - presumably
with a hash in the blockchain for authenticity).  There are various
efforts to try to get bitcoin to handle higher transaction volumes as
the original design was definitely not up to anything resembling
global commerce.  Somebody else could probably chime in with the
details of how that works.

Something like botnet instructions would be a lot more compact than a
gif I'm guessing.

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