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Can Bitcoin survive the apocalypse?

The nuclear apocalypse has been discussed since the ’50s. First by politicians and news outlets as fear-mongering and war propaganda and later by Hollywood and the gaming industry as a seemingly endless well of money. Of course, most of the discussion is centered around who and maybe what will survive. Charlie Shrem is a Crypto pioneer and he strongly believes that Bitcoin will have a leading role in a possible future devastated by nuclear war.

On January 22nd in a HackerNoon post, Shrem discussed why fiat would fail in such a dystopian future. Shrem takes note that in the event of a nuclear war, all banking organizations would be rendered useless. Contrary to the popular belief that only bankers, politicians, and cockroaches will survive the nuclear winter, Shrem believes that the most notable survivor would be Bitcoin.

Can Bitcoin survive the apocalypse?

Most people tend to agree that in the event of a nuclear apocalypse, uncontaminated food and water would be priceless. Shrem points out that, unlike physical assets, Bitcoin has absolutely no physical presence, it is decentralized and supposedly has no single point of failure. He states that:

As long as there’s a single node running Bitcoin, the network will continue to function. It’s very likely that many nodes will survive even the worst of nuclear attacks. This is because they are scattered worldwide and they can communicate with each other via a satellite internet connection

So yes, Bitcoin can survive the apocalypse.

How a blockchain works
How a blockchain works

According to Shrem, physical finance has physical limitations. He believes that decentralization makes it impervious to an economic calamity that would ensue from a nuclear war.

Of course, you don’t need to be an expert in nuclear warfare and post-apocalyptic finance to take Shrem’s views with a grain of salt. After all, back in 2011 he founded the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Bitinstant and went to jail in 2015. He was allegedly selling Bitcoin to people who would buy drugs on the legendary dark web market Silk Road.

A few months ago, Shrem was also sued by the Winklevoss twins. Cameron and Tyler claimed he stole 5000 Bitcoin from them way back in 2012. Shrem has publicly denied all accusations, but the lawsuit is still ongoing.

So whether or not people believe Shrem is up to them. That doesn’t change the fact that Bitcoin and other Digital Currencies might indeed have a leading role in a potential post-apocalyptic financial structure.

To restore trust in crypto institutions after the last few years will be challenging

Bitfinex was noticed by United States authorities about the retrieved funds a few months ago. The exchange is now working on converting the 27.7 BTC in USD and will distribute them accordingly across the RRT holders.

Bitfinex’s CFO Giancarlo Devasini praised the United States government and reached out to anyone willing to listen:

“We will keep assisting law enforcement with their inquiries. Additionally, we still give an open invitation to the attackers or anyone who possesses information about the security breach. Make contact in whichever medium you feel comfortable with and help us to finally resolve the situation in a mutually beneficial manner.”

Attacks on crypto exchanges and security breaches, in general, have been the main reason for low crypto confidence. A decade has passed after bitcoin launched and issues like these are still frequent. Of course, the recovered BTC represents only 0.023% of the total losses but it’s a small step in the right direction. There needs to be many more in order to restore trust in crypto institutions.

Attackers usually are one step ahead of the law when it comes to exploiting the vulnerabilities of centralized institutions. For now, decentralized exchanges like Binance are using cold wallets as a way to mitigate hacking potential but this will not solve the problem in the long run. All crypto trades must have 24/7 access to their funds, which means storing in exchange is essential.

Improved security will open the doors of mass adoption. When cryptocurrencies inevitably go mainstream, issues like this must be a thing of the past. To restore trust further, all eyes are on the governments.

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