All Bitcoin software will by now have dust no matter what. This is simply matter of fact – one of a few technical glitches of the program. These very small pieces of bitcoin – although tiny in monetary value – require as much capacity as the higher value transactions. As frustrating as this is, the system automatically produces this so-called dust when there are multiple transactions. Inevitably, this dust reduces the overall performance of Bitcoin and slows things down somewhat.
Historically this was not so much of a concern, however, with ever-increasing fees for Bitcoin transactions, customers are now noticing how expensive it is to use the system.
Customers can remove their own dust easily by “consolidating” their small “transaction outputs” into one larger transaction. Sadly, it is not a given that clients will be able to complete this successfully. A lot will ride on whether the dust can be found in the first place and whether the client’s wallet is able to perform the task. Those in the know suggest using SPV wallet Electrum. This app can support the end user by validating transactions but by using less data. Two very quick steps can be taken – choose the “Change addresses” option and then select “send from”. This produces one single transaction. This path does, however, come with one major fault in the fact that there is a distinct possibility that further details on your financial history will be out in the open. Although this seems to be mainly where a customer uses the KYC filters, there is still anxiety that it is not just restricted to this parameter. What is of paramount importance is that once one address for a user has been shared than all other dust addresses will be shared too. Recommendations for the use of Monero have been made to the market to overcome the above data protection issue. This is because it is naturally a more private piece of engineering. However, once again, complete privacy is not sure-fire.
Industry experts are currently debating whether it is better to remove the Bitcoin dust now while the transaction rates are low. This would be a lot more profitable for the end user especially if they have collected a lot of dust. However, as with all industries, there is never any guarantee that fees will increase or decrease in the future so the discussions continue. What is for certain is that if an end user would rather lose their dust they should follow the advice above but in full knowledge that their privacy will be most likely compromised.
Having said that, a well-renowned software engineer has hinted that the amount of dust around is on the decline and has been since the rise in transaction fees at the beginning of the year. Many of the larger Bitcoin companies took the decision to clear their dust – amongst other things – to ensure their fees were not escalating out of control.
Who knows what the future brings, but it will for sure be an interesting journey for Bitcoin dust.