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Contribution Details

Type Bachelor's Thesis
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Opening Pandora’s Box: An Analysis of the Usage of the Data Field in Blockchains
Organization Unit
  • Sebastian Küng
  • Eder John Scheid
  • Muriel Figueredo Franco
  • Burkhard Stiller
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Faculty Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics
Date 2022
Abstract Text Since the inception of the Bitcoin blockchain in 2009 with the inclusion of the message "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks" in its genesis block, blockchains have been used to store generic media. These include text, images, and documents. However such media is often not easily discoverable in the blockchains and is embedded deep within their binary data structures. The main goal of this thesis is to design and implement a tool that scans blockchains for their media content. The software tool developed for this work, the blockchain-parser, is capable of detecting text strings and files embedded in blockchains. The blockchains of the Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum cryptocurrencies were examined to find commonalities and differences between different blockchains in terms of their generic media storage usage. Prior related work has focused on the methods for storing media in Bitcoin. This thesis provides statistics and examples of the blockchain parser's detected media across Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum, which are presented and discussed herein. It concludes that Ethereum has been the most-used blockchain for media data storage of the three and might also be the best-suited blockchain for this task.
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