Since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan during World War II, the planet has feared nuclear war. Consider the possible consequences of a nuclear conflict for bitcoin, a digital currency deprived of a single center that can fail.
Many countries have nuclear weapons. For example, the US has 6.6 thousand nuclear warheads, Russia has 6.8 thousand, another thousand warheads are distributed between China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Great Britain, Israel and France.
Each warhead is capable of destroying an entire metropolis, so a full-scale war will make vast tracts of land uninhabited due to destructive radiation.
In addition, nuclear explosions will create powerful electromagnetic pulses that can ionize the atmosphere. As a result of ionization, electrons from atmospheric gases will “rain” down on the Earth’s surface. This will disrupt or destroy electronic and telecommunications networks. Thus, a nuclear war could completely disrupt the communications and energy infrastructure of the Earth.
A nuclear war will not only destroy the classical financial system, but also destroy the central authorities that control it. Given the incredible power of a nuclear explosion, almost all of the cash is likely to be burned out immediately. Only bills will remain in the underground bank vaults. This scenario will lead to a cash deficit. In turn, the global money supply will become unstable due to the lack of supervisory bodies.
To get out of this situation, the survivors will switch to traditional means of storing value – gold and other precious metals. However, this will be challenging due to their impracticality, the difficulty of moving over long distances and the problems with secure storage. People will have to look for better and more convenient alternatives.
Since bitcoin is an electronic form of money, the disruption of energy and telecommunication networks will result in a huge loss of cryptocurrencies. Few will have access to the bitcoin network via satellites or fossil fuel generators.
Regardless of the degree of destruction, some nodes in the Bitcoin network can survive the aftermath of a nuclear war, mainly because they are decentralized and scattered around the world. In this case, the network can be restored using the data from the remaining computers. In theory, one node is enough to recreate the entire blockchain.
The reborn network will be more vulnerable to attacks due to the fast and incomplete recovery process. Consequently, users will take great care when conducting transactions and expect more confirmations.
For countries recovering from the aftermath of a nuclear war, bitcoin could be an ideal means of payment. Moreover, its existence will be entirely determined by the security and decentralization of the restored network.
The so-called survivalists (they equip bunkers and buy canned food in case of the end of the world) are sure that any management structure that emerged after the crisis will first of all take up the restoration of communications. Rob Harvey, bitcoin investor and survival skills expert, says:
“For some time it will be very difficult or impossible to use bitcoins. But when the infrastructure is at least partially restored, the blockchain will return to the same form it was in before the disaster. For its work, the blockchain does not need a specific place or a specific person – it is perfectly prepared for survival. “
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