As a responsible crypto trader, you may wonder if your crypto will stand the test of time. When you turn on the news today, every station seems to make appear like the end of days is approaching. Many people are now starting to prepare for some sort of disaster. As part of their strategy, they are positioning their crypto holdings and networks to ensure they still can operate even when the internet goes down.
There has been so much gloom and doom reporting that many people are now worried if the world is heading towards another major disaster, conflict, pandemic, or worse. From asteroids hitting the earth, to AI taking over, there are plenty of incidents that could make it very difficult to use your crypto in the future.
Luckily, crypto developers have long pondered this exact scenario and there are some solutions developers believe could help the blockchain survive in adverse environments. Here is some valuable insight into if crypto could survive an apocalypse and how to prepare in 2023.
Can there be Crypto without the Internet?
The first question that you must answer is, can crypto exist without the internet? The answer to this question is a bit complicated. There are going to be many variables involved. However, some methods have been proven effective to conduct blockchain transactions without direct internet or with very limited access.
People often go through their day with little to no regard for the overall sensitivity of the global internet. There are key choke points in today’s Internet. If any of these conditions failed, it would lead to a complete loss of internet for the majority of the world. Remember, the internet isn’t untouchable.
Notably, even one day without internet access would create massive disruptions in the crypto market. Miners, users, and other network participants would be instantly cut off from transactions. At this point, they would need to seek out alternative methods to keep these decentralized networks afloat.
One of the first ways in which the internet could fail and cause massive issues for crypto users is via a loss in electricity. During major disasters or wars, it’s common for power outages to cause major issues. In some instances, such as during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, people were left without electricity for 100 days. In these conditions, few options can help.
One of the key components to preparing for a loss of electricity is to create alternative means for generating it. Solar, wind, and geothermal power are all options that miners have embraced. In a sort of ironic twist, the power-hungry nature of many blockchain networks has led miners to already seek out sustainable energy options.
A large percentage of miners rely on green energy as part of their strategy. This strategy wasn’t adopted to prepare for the end times, but to save a ton of funding on overhead. Electricity prices aren’t cheap, and with some networks using more energy than developed nations, miners have pioneered methods of making their nodes resistant to power disruptions.
One thing that crypto developers in the past understood was to always expect the unexpected. This saying is especially true when going up against the centralized financial system. The centralized government and financial system have been together since their inception.
These groups have worked together in one way or another to ensure the power remains within the group. There are many governments today that see cryptos as a threat. As such, they have made unfriendly regulatory climates as a part of their strategy to snuff out the technology.
Governments will have to make a decision shortly on how they stand on cryptocurrencies. On one hand, you will have nations like El Salvador that made Bitcoin legal tender and support it throughout the country. On the other hand, you have authoritarian nations like China that have banned citizens from participating in ICOs or hosting exchanges.
However, the government has issued its own cryptocurrency as a CBDC (central bank digital currency) called the digital yen. This digital asst has been issued to millions of Chinese citizens in major metropolises with great success.
How Developers Attempt to Protect against Tyranny
Early crypto developers understood that they may face backlash from the powers that be and planned their networks accordingly. You can see this thought process in the very first cryptocurrency in the world, Bitcoin. The protocols developer chose to remain anonymous. Nobody can say for certain why this decision was made but it has helped shield the protocol from any type of government intervention.
Another prime example of a crypto firm taking protection to the next level is META 1 Coin. The network’s founder, Robert P Dunlap, needed to insulate token holders from the influence of anti-crypto centralized regulators. As such, the project felt it was best to incorporate outside the jurisdiction of centralized regulators. As such the network can offer open access to its many wealth-generation features.
The first step you need to take regardless of your financial capabilities or location is to switch to noncustodial wallets and platforms. This designation means that your crypto will remain in your control. The recent FTX fiasco demonstrated, yet again, the importance of keeping control over your private keys and not letting third parties hold your crypto for extended periods.
In the FTX fiasco, the firm secretly funneled billions from the exchange to support failing firms in the market. The reports following the exchange collapse revealed that the exchange had used its token as collateral to get and make loans. This led to a collapse and the disappearance of +$2 billion in customer funding. All of these issues could be avoided by using a non-custodial DEX like the META Exchange.
What are the Best Ways to Keep a Decentralized Network Up During the Chaos
As a responsible crypto owner and someone who wants to survive under all circumstances, it’s in your best interest to learn a few different ways to keep the blockchain up if the need arises. These strategies range from requiring a lot of skill and resources to leveraging old-school technology to make it all happen. Here are some of the best options available to consider.
Local Networks Would Help
The most prepared crypto minds have already figured out a few ways to set up local networks that could make the use of cryptocurrencies still possible with the most minimal internet connection. Theoretically, one at-node and one Internet-connected device can produce an entire network using these strategies.
Mesh networks are local networks that connect nodes directly to operate. These networks would be crucial to the functionality of digital currencies during any type of major disaster or war. The upside to this approach is that only one node would need to connect to the internet for the entire network to process transactions. The downside would be the limited range of the transmissions. In this setup, you could get around a 4-mile radius for each node maximum.
There has been a lot of research on how to keep blockchains like Bitcoin afloat via ham radio. Amateur radios are still in abundance in many parts of the world. Like mesh networks, they could provide support for the network if used with some cool software available today.
Notably, the concept of using amateur radio to support crypto transactions emerged in 2014. The Finnish firm, Vertaisvaluutta.if proposed a P2P CB/HAM radio crypto. Their concept was expanded upon by Kryptoradio. Today, there are amateur radio systems that can broadcast Bitcoin transactions, blocks, and even currency exchange data to keep these networks alive no matter what troubles the world faces.
The main thing to understand is that the concept is still in the works and some improvements need to be made for it to become a viable option. However, it has proven to be an option that is worth exploring further. Notably, there are already multiple examples of people using this tech to send transactions using a 7Mhz (40m) antenna.
Another option would be to turn your Wi-Fi router into a repeating antenna for the network. There are now Wi-Fi rebroadcasting options that leverage SMS technology to send data about crypto transactions. A smart option that supports this is the low-powered messaging system called goTenna.
The goTenna system could enable users to leverage their Smartphones to make transactions. The transaction would be sent via Wi-Fi signals through the network and back to the mainnet. The primary drawback would again be the limited range that would require a lot of Wi-Fi systems to reach significant distances.
IoT (Internet of Things) technologies are another way that decentralized networks can remain valid. These systems are set up to leverage minimal power requirements. IoT devices are any device that is considered smart. To qualify as a smart device you simply need to have internet connectivity and a sensor that can communicate data online.
There are currently billions of IoT devices in operation across the globe today. From smart cars to Smartphones, there are tons of these devices available to leverage. Today, there are smart devices in nearly every home.
Recognizing this near-endless potential, blockchain developers have started to create options that would leverage IoT devices if needed. This option makes sense considering they’re readily available and low-cost to operate.
One option is the Low Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN). This system was created to function using minimal electricity requirements. The advantage is that there is so many IoT devices available. As such, it would be easier to overcome any range limitations versus Wi-Fi setups. Imagine your smart toaster doing its part to keep your crypto transactions up to date.
The downside to this approach is that it would be very slow at this time. The reason for many of the delays would be the extremely low bandwidth of many IoT devices. In the future, more capable IoT devices could hold the key to keeping blockchain networks up if the internet becomes very difficult to access.
Blockchain Satellites Would be Key
Blockstream provides one of the best options to the market via its satellites. The company successfully launched four geostationary satellites around the Earth to support the Bitcoin network. Notably, the positioning of these satellites enables them to broadcast Bitcoin blockchain information to nearly all parts of the world in real-time.
There are a lot of advantages to this approach. For one, even in the event of massive natural disasters or nuclear war, these satellites will remain in orbit. As such, they might be the best option to consider if the going gets tough. Additionally, anyone can capture this data using common methods and there are no bandwidth limits which will enable the system to expand to another network if needed.
One of the biggest advantages of this strategy is that it’s very cost-effective. Anyone can purchase the material needed to capture these Bitcoin broadcasts from outer space. The equipment costs less than $100 and can be set up in minutes using various online video tutorials.
To get your satellite Bitcoin node up and running you will need a standard TV satellite dish. You will also need an SDR (software-defined radio). This radio cost around $24 on Amazon which makes it a great option. You’re also going to want a basic computer, like a Raspberry Pi. The satellite system would prove to be crucial as mesh networks and Wi-Fi rebroadcasts only require a single node to access the internet.
Crypto isn’t Impervious to Interference
All crypto users must understand that this network relies on a host of other technologies to stay afloat. As the world increasingly heads toward the unknown, it’s wise to start considering how you would handle a major disaster or conflict. Already, nations like Ukraine have found cryptocurrencies to be a smart alternative when there are no banking options available. In the future, your survival may depend on your ability to keep your crypto networks afloat.