There is somewhat recent research (PDF) which has found there to be at least links to child pornography on the bitcoin blockchain with also one one explicity file on the blockchain which may be classified as actual child pornography.

Now, assume there is actually a clear and indisputable case of child pornography on the bitcoin blockchain. This means that everyone who a) mines bitcoins and b) verifies the blockchain themselves have a copy of this file on their machine.

This raised (at least for me) the interesting question:
Is there any country / jurisdiction in which it is not illegal to own child pornography (on your personal computer)?

  • A quick google gives me Legal Status of Child Pornography by Country.
    – cHao
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 19:58
  • @cHao would you mind quickly building an answer around this?
    – SEJPM
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 20:02
  • Eh. GImme a second. I need to come up with more than just a link. :P
    – cHao
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 20:09
  • @cHao So basically most of sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Laos, and several Latin American countries and possibly a few other tiny countries.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 20:26
  • 2
    @ohwilleke: Basically. As always, it's more complicated than that. :P In Finland and the US, for example, virtual child porn (where there's not an actual child being abused) is legal, while real CP isn't. In a couple of others (like Argentina and South Korea), possession is legal but distribution isn't.
    – cHao
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


According to this chart i googled and the associated table, child porn is actually not explicitly illegal in most of the world. Basically, a bunch of countries in Africa, and a couple in Latin America and Asia, don't appear to regulate kiddie porn at all.

A couple of others (like Argentina, Russia, and South Korea) allow possession, but not distribution.

A couple of countries protect "virtual" kiddie porn (cartoons, computer renderings, etc where no actual child is being abused). The US is among these. (Pretty much has to be, due to the First Amendment.) Obscenity laws may apply, though.

  • 1
    FWIW, there has been at least one child porn conviction under federal law in the U.S. involving a hentai (i.e. comic book drawing) book ordered on paper from Japan, but it didn't create precedent because it arose from a plea bargain that wasn't appealed.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 0:36
  • 3
    @ohwilleke: Obscenity is the tipping point -- it's not illegal til it's also "obscene", whatever that might mean. I think even most innocent people would have considered the plea deal, though. US law says minimum of 5 years per offense. Seems the defendant got 6 months and wasn't even required to register as a sex offender. Pretty sure prosecutors wouldn't offer that kind of deal unless they were desperately trying to avoid appeals. :)
    – cHao
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 2:28

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