Crypto pioneer and convicted felon Charlie Shrem believes that Bitcoin is “the most durable currency for a nuclear war,” according to a post he wrote. “If the unthinkable happens, Bitcoin would be a highly durable currency during nuclear war, as compared to fiat currency, which would fail for multiple reasons,” he added. However not everyone is convinced by this analysis.
The controversial Bitcoin evangelist, who was sentenced to two years in prison for aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money-transmitting business related to the dark web Silk Road marketplace, says nuclear warheads would decimate centralized banking organizations and render them useless. As a result, online bank balances would become meaningless once banks and computers get destroyed.
But Bitcoin would certainly survive such an ordeal: “As long as there is at least one node running Bitcoin, the Bitcoin network will continue to function. It is highly likely that many Bitcoin nodes would survive even the worst nuclear attack since nodes are scattered worldwide, and they could communicate with each other via satellite internet.”
Not only is Bitcoin “uniquely suited” to survive a nuclear war, but it would also thrive in those adversarial conditions. “Even in a small nuclear war the ensuing calamity could cause fiats to hyperinflate, as governments print tremendous amounts of cash to fund the war while economies simultaneously slow, and investors crash the stock market out of fear since they will be selling their stocks for the cash they need to survive. Bitcoin is completely decentralized, and a more durable type of money than fiat during nuclear war as explained above, so as hyperinflation devalues fiat worldwide, people would be buying Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s price would likely rise rapidly.”
Twitter users were not so positive about this analysis:
A nuclear war will destroy all electrical systems rendering blockchain and Bitcoin obsolete, Gold would be the standard again..
For the handful of people left alive..
— BlueNET Crypto (@BlueNETGaming) January 22, 2019
This is real hopium charlie, all will be devastated but bitcoin will survive. 😃
— Asad Khan (@asad_208) January 22, 2019
This is our only shot at it, if it goes down that way, you better just pray that you can reach a nuclear bunker in time, which many people won’t have access to. If bitcoin can not change the world before we destroy it, it will become irrelevant for a very long time.
— Karo Zagorus™ ₿⚡ (@karozagorus) January 22, 2019
BTC requires a ton of electricity to keep the network going. Where will this electricity come from in the event of global nuclear war when all of the power grids are wiped out? $Nano would fare better becaue the whole network can be powered from a single wind turbine.
— GOJlRA (@G0JlRA) January 22, 2019
Shrem spend almost two years in prison due to his involvement with the Silk Road marketplace – from December 2014 until June 2016. Additionally, in September 2018, the famous crypto entrepreneurs, Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, sued Shrem for USD 32 million, claiming he stole 5,000 bitcoin from them in 2012. “Either Shrem has been incredibly lucky and successful since leaving prison, or — more likely – he ‘acquired’ his six properties, two Maseratis, two powerboats and other holdings with the appreciated value of the 5,000 Bitcoin he stole,” the Winklevoss twins alleged in their lawsuit. However, Shrem denies these allegations.
He is also the founder of the now-defunct bitcoin exchange Bitinstant. In 2017, he joined digital wallet Jaxx as its director of business and community development. Later that year, he founded cryptocurrency advisory firm CryptoIQ.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies are not so bulletproof as Shrem would perhaps believe. Theoretically, quantum computers could steal your Bitcoin – but luckily, that is still some ways away. However, Bitcoin could well be made redundant by copycats in three scenarios brought by TechnologyReview last year.