A look at OP_RETURN and whether embedding arbitrary data into Bitcoin’s blockchain is spam

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin enables users and businesses to embed 80 bytes of arbitrary data into its blockchain through OP_RETURN transactions
  • Many in the community have debated whether people should be allowed to add this arbitrary data, believing these transactions should be considered spam
  • VeriBlock is a new startup leveraging OP_RETURN for their business and they have ignited a new wave of debates on what should be considered spam transactions

Bitcoin’s role as a data repository is often a topic of debate for many in the space. In the past, Bitcoin community members have argued the benefits of allowing arbitrary data unassociated with bitcoin transactions to be embedded into Bitcoin’s blockchain.

On one side of the debate, we have those that claim that as long as embedded data is paid for with transaction fees, any data should be accepted into the blockchain.