The English word dust, literally translated as dust. But the appearance of Bitcoin originated a new meaning for the term. The community uses the noun dust to refer to transactions seen as spam within the Bitcoin network. It refers to a measure that helps protect the network from very small transactions that may compromise its stability and operation. In this situation you can surely ask yourself, if it is impossible to process then why does it exist? What implications does it have? In this article we will examine these and many other questions.

Origin of the Dust

During the creation of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto was able to foresee situations on the network in order to protect it from DoS attacks and spam. This was how he introduced a series of measures to avoid this situation. This is the reason why the payment fees. Commissions that users pay to use the network in order to incentivize the work of miners.

Among these protections, there was one in particular that took care that the transactions were large enough to guarantee the payment of the transmission and verification fee in the network. This was the first protection against dust in Bitcoin. In the source code Released by Nakamoto, within the main function of Bitcoin, were the function GetMinFee. This function is responsible for ensuring the minimum fees for each transaction. In the code as a note of its operation, Nakamoto commented:

Transaction fee requirements, only primarily necessary to control overflow. Below 10K (about 80 entries) is free for the first 100 transactions. The base rate is 0.01 per KB.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Original source code of Bitcoin - 2009

Since then, one of the developers' concerns has been to guarantee that Transactions in the network they can be as small as possible, without this threatening the stability of the network. This is intended to allow Bitcoin users to make micropayments, without having to spend more on transaction fees than on micropayment as such. A situation that has not always been very successful. Hence, to resolve it, options such as lightning Network o followed.

Blockchain reminder: transactions

When we make one transaction en Bitcoin  or in any other cryptocurrency, its authenticity needs to be validated. In this way, the network ensures that the transaction is valid and that it is processed reasonably. Those responsible for this are the miners or the network participants (in case of networks PoS, DPoS o PoA). They are paid a small fee (transaction fee) for the work of validating the transaction made.

But due to the blockchain working mechanism, there are times when the mining fee may be higher than the actual amount of the transaction. This is related to the concept of inflation. And is that, if there is a high demand for transactions, and there is little capacity to meet it, the transaction fee increases. This is caused, because the miners will request a higher payment to prioritize and attend to the transactions quickly.

Evolution of the dust concept in Bitcoin