The fate of the Bitcoin network in the event of a global internet outage

The fate of the Bitcoin network in the event of a global internet outage

By ... | World of Crypto | 22 May 2020


In late July, Iranian officials announced that the National Intelligence Network's launch plan had been completed by about 80 percent and would soon be operational, while about five months later we all faced a nationwide Internet outage. According to data published on the NetBlocks platform, it only took about 24 hours for the authorities to block all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic.
If the same thing happened in China, the Bitcoin network (BTC) would be in serious trouble, as more than 80 percent of Bitcoin mining farms are located in the country. Of course, if the miners can find a way to connect to the Bitcoin network, they can continue their activities, and after connecting to the World Wide Web, the local history of their transactions must be discarded so that they can join the global history.

But what if the Internet is cut off from the rest of the world, or the world's major centers such as the United States, Europe and China are disrupted simultaneously? In this article, we will look at possible scenarios and solutions for these issues.

An unimaginable event

The blackout and disconnection of the Internet around the world seems unthinkable at the moment, but keep in mind that things like being taken over by French citizens by controlling national television stations are now unthinkable.

To address such issues, which have irreparable consequences, large institutions such as the G20, Davos, the International Monetary Fund or the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have emerged, with officials from around the world actively participating.

We have seen over the past decade that high-ranking officials around the world have been very aware of important issues, but this level of awareness and awareness has only been formed this year among citizens and ordinary people.

What are the reasons for this increase in awareness?

Perhaps one of the possible reasons for the increase in public awareness has been the rise of French citizens and their resistance; A battle between the youth of this country and the police. As can be seen in the images of these protests, people are reacting to the behavior of the police.

The spread of this level of awareness and awareness among the people is very significant. This process may have started in Europe at first, but now we are seeing the voice of the people all over the world; From Hong Kong to Colombia, or even the Lebanese youth with revolutionary knots.

The European people are now waiting for Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, to make the "broad citizenship meeting" as promised.

If this does not happen and leads to a widespread uprising by the people of Europe, it is still unlikely that the Green Continent authorities will cut off the Internet, although it is worth noting that they have the potential to do so.

In that case, there is a possibility that the American people will revolt, so there will be a reaction to these movements, part of which will be to cut off the world's Internet to prevent coordination between the people.

Internet classification and access level

It may be said that before the formation of the Internet, we never saw a non-political popular revolution. According to Internet classification articles, "Tier 1 is at the forefront of the Internet networking hierarchy, which includes large telecommunications companies that connect directly to each other via high-speed fiber optic cables and through government agreements." are. The second-tier (Tier 2) and lower-level active sections also buy transit and Internet royalties from other providers to access at least some aspects of the global Internet, although second-tier operators may also cooperate. "The Internet Exchange (IXP) is also the point where physical connection to multiple Internet providers or ISPs is responsible for much of the traffic."

Apparently, infrastructure has been created in Iran so that these IXPs can be directly accessed so that the authorities can cut off foreign communications if necessary.

It will not be difficult to do this in a country like the United States, because there are only a few ISPs in the country that are generally owned by political officials. In Europe, the number of Internet service providers may be higher, but with the will of the political authorities, a nationwide Internet outage is possible.

Although Europe and the United States are key to the survival of the Internet, it will not be difficult for them to disconnect from the Internet.

Of course, there will probably be more to worry about and more important things than Bitcoin, but fortunately, since the Internet shutdown scenario is unthinkable and far-fetched, we can discuss bitcoin.

Litmus test

In many ways, bitcoin is a litmus test (a test that shows whether an substance is acidic or open), because on the one hand it has the feature of decentralization and on the other hand it has monetary and financial incentives. ; So much so that a bitcoin satellite has been built in an attempt to connect a node to radio waves.

The presence of such cases makes it possible for the network to continue operating at a slower pace if the Internet is down, but there will be another very big problem! The difficulty of the Bitcoin network is adjusted every two weeks, and given the recent internet outages in our country, it only takes 24 hours to access the Internet.

It is estimated that there are about 5 million Bitcoin bitcoins in the world, most of which are active in large firms. Even if one of these ASIC devices can continue to operate, the network can still be active (albeit at a very low speed), but (despite the reduction in the number of miners), the network's difficulty will not change for two weeks.

Although network hardware changes normally occur every two weeks, keep in mind that this also depends on when the Internet is down. The fact that the Internet is down will happen shortly before the network changes, or shortly after the change.

A simple example
In the worst case scenario, where the Internet is down shortly after the network has changed, the goal will be to reduce the network speed as soon as possible, but to achieve that goal you first need to find a block. Here is an example of a bitcoin cache (BHC).

On August 1, 2017, after much controversy over the ability of Bitcoin to increase its ability to respond to applications, a chain breakdown or so-called hardfork was formed without adjusting the network's hardness.

Just as it is not possible to find a way to upgrade nodes in order to regulate the network hardness if the Internet is cut off, the above example can show us what we mean by having minor and obvious differences. Although the network's situation has stabilized since then, there will certainly be no longer this current comfort after a global outbreak.

Network fragmentation

In 2017, the cost of extraction for the first block was about $ 10 million, but what is most relevant to our topic is that although this mining farm is very large, it is the only active farm. So, if a bitcoin mining farm can still connect and continue to operate despite sufficient nodes, the Bitcoin network will continue to operate, and then gradually the difficulty of the Tajayi network will decrease, which will continue to be extracted. Bitcoin is powered by a CPU.

In this case, the main problem will be the fragmentation of the network. There may be another bitcoin mining farm in another part of the world that does exactly the same thing, who knows, there may even be a third farm; Due to the lack of access to the World Wide Web, each farm is building its own history, a history that is no longer recognized by other farms.

So in such a situation, you temporarily turn off and wait for your mining devices for a week or more, because there will be no reason for people to continue working and trying to keep the network active due to people's lack of access to the Internet.

Will Bitcoin Survive?

Although efforts to launch and operate the Internet will culminate in this case, the question is whether Bitcoin can still survive and survive, assuming that the Internet is temporary. The answer is yes, because in such a case, Bitcoin is basically "frozen" and remains in a specific block, for example in block 1377101.

Bitcoin will not be destroyed, and cryptocurrencies will remain valid and unchangeable. Nothing changes, except that you will not be able to trade in a definite period of the Internet.

When the situation of the Internet returned to its original state, the network continued its work from block 1377101, and it seems that nothing happened. Therefore, it can be said that in the event of a nationwide shutdown, the Bitcoin network will not be in any danger, but despite the current situation and the fact that this threat is getting closer, it is time to think about alternative methods, which will cause the bit in such cases. Quinn will continue to work.

Maybe it's time to put the Internet aside. As political officials try to centralize and block the Internet, we may have to try to keep it out of focus so that it can be blocked.

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