Bitcoin Vs Nuclear War: How Would Blockchain’s Top Crypto Fair After A Full-Scale Holocaust Or WW3?
Ever since the US dropped two atomic bombs in Japan during the Second World War, the global population has dreaded the thought of another nuclear war. This piece explores the possible implications of a nuclear war on Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency that lacks a single point of failure.
However dreadful, it is impossible to entirely rule out the probability of a full-scale nuclear war happening in the world. This is because many countries have the required weaponry to facilitate this war. Specifically, the US has over 6,600 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, Russia has 6,800, and an additional 1,000 warheads distributed among China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, the UK, Israel, and France. Since each warhead can decimate a large metropolis, a full-scale war would render large areas inhabitable due to the harmful radiation.
Additionally, nuclear detonations also produce powerful electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) which have the ability to ionize the atmosphere. As a result of the ionization, electrons removed from the atmospheric gases blast onto the surface of the earth. This often interferes with or completely destroys electronic and telecommunication networks. Hence, a nuclear war can totally cripple an area’s power and communications infrastructure.
The Collapse Of Fiat Currencies
In addition to ruining the fiat payment system, a nuclear war can destroy the central authorities that oversee this money system. Given the enormous intensity of the nuclear blast, almost all of the physical cash would probably be completely destroyed, with the funds stored in bank vaults being the sole survivors. Such a scenario would create a shortage of supply. In turn, the global money supply would become unstable due to the absence of regulatory bodies.
As a remedy to the issues mentioned above, survivors would be compelled to turn to traditional means of storing value such as gold and other precious metals. These methods, however, would prove challenging due to their impracticality in long-distance transactions as well as the difficulties in storing them safely. In due course, the people would have to seek better and more convenient alternatives.
The Resilience Of Bitcoin
Since Bitcoins are fundamentally a form of electronic money, the destruction of the power grids and telecommunications system would lead to a massive loss of the cryptocurrencies. Only a few of the survivors would have access to the Bitcoin network, either using the satellites or using generators driven by batteries or fossil fuel.
Regardless of the extent of destruction, it is possible for some nodes connected to the Bitcoin network to survive the effects of a nuclear war, mainly because they are decentralized and spread all over the world. In such a case, the network can be repopulated using the information from the remaining computers. Theoretically, one computer is enough to reinstate an entire blockchain network to its previous stature.
As expected, the revived blockchain network would be more vulnerable to attack because of the fast reconstruction process. Consequently, users are likely to be hesitant while confirming transactions or impose server levels of confirmations as countermeasures.
Whole countries are recuperating from the effects of the nuclear war, Bitcoin could prove to the ideal payment solution. Nevertheless, this entirely hedged on the security and decentralization of the revived network.