If you use cryptocurrency to trade or transact, you probably have dust. Dust is simply a trace amount of cryptocurrency that’s leftover after a trade or transaction. It typically has negligible monetary value, ranging from minuscule fractions of a penny to a few dollars. In the crypto world, dust is a byproduct of numerous trades and transactions and is found on most blockchains.
While Bitcoin dust can slow down network transactions, attempting to clean up Bitcoin dust can create a privacy problem, especially for small users.
A disadvantage—and more importantly, a risk—of bitcoin dust is the chance of de-anonymization, which is when a person’s identity can be linked to their Bitcoin transactions.
Hackers have developed a strategy called a dust attack where micro amounts of Bitcoin dust are sent to an unsuspecting user’s wallet. When the user spends the dust-tainted, hackers use software to analyze the user’s other transactions and develop an identity profile for malicious purposes.