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The Evolution of Embedding Metadata in Blockchain Transactions

Faisal, T; Courtois, N; Serguieva, A; (2018) The Evolution of Embedding Metadata in Blockchain Transactions. In: 2018 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN). IEEE: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Green open access

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Abstract

The use of blockchains is growing every day, and their utility has greatly expanded from sending and receiving crypto-coins to smart-contracts and decentralized autonomous organizations. Modern blockchains underpin a variety of applications: from designing a global identity to improving satellite connectivity. In our research we look at the ability of blockchains to store metadata in an increasing volume of transactions and with evolving focus of utilization. We further show that basic approaches to improving blockchain privacy also rely on embedding metadata. This paper identifies and classifies real-life blockchain transactions embedding metadata of a number of major protocols running essentially over the bitcoin blockchain. The empirical analysis here presents the evolution of metadata utilization in the recent years, and the discussion suggests steps towards preventing criminal use. Metadata are relevant to any blockchain, and our analysis considers primarily bitcoin as a case study. The paper concludes that simultaneously with both expanding legitimate utilization of embedded metadata and expanding blockchain functionality, the applied research on improving anonymity and security must also attempt to protect against blockchain abuse.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The Evolution of Embedding Metadata in Blockchain Transactions
Event: International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN)
Location: Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL
Dates: 08 July 2018 - 13 July 2018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1109/IJCNN.2018.8489377
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/IJCNN.2018.8489377
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, blockchain, cryptographic key management, embedded metadata, anonymity, privacy, ransomware, multisig
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121161
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