Published On: Tue, Feb 7th, 2017

Non-Monetary Use Could ‘Negatively Affect’ Bitcoin Network – Study

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Italian academics have released research warning about the growing use of non-monetary use cases for the Bitcoin blockchain.
‘Negative Effects’ on Bitcoin Network 
The research, authored by Massimo Bartoletti and Livio Pompianu from the University of Cagliari, Italy, focuses on the multiple use cases for Bitcoin that extend beyond its most basic function, the transfer of value.

Dubbed “An analysis of Bitcoin OP RETURN metadata,” it investigates the use of one of Bitcoin’s transaction fields, the OP_RETURN metadata feature. Introduced in 2014, it allows the data to be broadcast and recorded on the blockchain without the need for it to be calculated, thus saving time and computing power.
Since then, many projects have come to use the feature as a means to store information and to power decentralized applications on the blockchain, leveraging its transparency and immutability.
The practice, however, is discouraged by some members of the Bitcoin community and has become one of the many points of debate regarding the scalability of the virtual currency.
 The research paper reads:
A point of debate in the Bitcoin community is whether loading data through OP RETURN can negatively …

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