By its nature, Bitcoin is immune to the coming and going of the rest of the world that is unrelated to it. No centralized authority or country can affect it by its outward politics. But, does that mean that should World War Three strike or an apocalyptic event strike, Bitcoin will survive?
Bitcoin has shown on a few occasions that not much politically can scare it. On a more micro scale as well there are indications that those who know a thing or two about the end of the world, have backed the Bitcoin horse.
While many think that Doomsday Preppers are a bit looney and that their measures are unnecessary, what they do have on their side is planning and knowledge. People disregard Preppers because they are planning for something that has a low chance of happening but they are planning.
Among their stores of canned food and bottled water, there are more and more instances of Preppers stockpiling Bitcoin, rather than other valuables – such as the traditional gold.
“Alarm bells immediately ring in that if there is a global catastrophe, the Internet as well as electricity, may be knocked out rendering Bitcoin useless, but that hasn’t dissuaded them. Even staunch survivalists are convinced Bitcoin will endure economic collapse, global pandemic, climate change catastrophes and nuclear war.”
“I consider Bitcoin to be a currency on the same level as gold,” Wendy McElroy, who lives on a rural Ontario farm with her husband, said. “It allows individuals to become self-bankers. When I fully understood the concepts and their significance, Bitcoin became a fascination.”
There are huge flaws in their reasoning about the use of Bitcoin in a post-apocalyptic world, but the logic is sound. Bitcoin is pretty apocalypse-proof.
Collapse of countries, rather than nations
If the world reached a stage where there was no electricity, power, food and water for that matter, Bitcoin would hardly be on anyone’s minds. But taking a step back, Bitcoin has shown its ability to resist in political upheaval, as well as aid.
There have been a few instances just this year where Bitcoin has come to the fore. The first bit of evidence was when the US was threatening North Korea and all global markets – barring one – felt the sting.
In August, almost across the board, markets dropped by about one percent with the escalating tensions between North Korea and the US, but Bitcoin only continued to rise.
With the recent peaceful coup in Zimbabwe and even a long time before that, the troubled African nation showed how important a non-centralized currency can be. The economy collapsed a long time ago, forcing Zimbabwe onto Dollar bonds, but now with a digital alternative, the demand has skyrocketed.
The South American country is also going through a political crisis where its currency has essentially become worthless. This has seen a massive surge in interest in cryptocurrency, especially mining it.
Strong survival tactic
It is clear that while there is a society and some semblance of an infrastructure, Bitcoin can be a lifeline to those downtrodden by economic turbulence and political upheaval. However, for it to truly stand the test of an apocalyptic time, there will need to be some lucky breaks.
“I doubt Bitcoin is a safe haven from an extreme-risk environment. In that sense, Bitcoin isn’t gold,” said Charlie Morris, the London-based chief investment officer at Newscape Capital Advisors Ltd.
However, in counter to that, Rob Harvey, a Bitcoin investor who prepares for natural and nuclear catastrophes, makes an interesting point about the Blockchain.
“It may be difficult, if not impossible to access for a while, but once things start returning to some level of normality, then the blockchain will return as it was before the disaster,” said Rob Harvey, a bitcoin investor who prepares for natural and nuclear catastrophes by learning and teaching survival skills, like making a fire. “The blockchain does not need a specific place or a specific person to survive—that’s a strong survival tactic.”
“It is a people’s currency”
Interest in cryptocurrencies has started permeating the mainstream. When Morris surveyed hundreds of executives attending the London Bullion Market Association’s annual conference last month, one in 10 said they’d rather own bitcoin than gold following a nuclear war.
Along the fringe, the 20,000 libertarians expected to converge on New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project are also switching from precious metals. They like bitcoin because it isn’t created by a government, unlike conventional currency.
“You can use bitcoin for economic transactions in a way that gold was never designed to do because it’s a physical thing—it’s heavy,” Matt Philips, the project’s president, said by phone. “A lot of people don’t know what the heck to do with gold if you give it to them in exchange for a cup of coffee.”
Whatever doom-and-gloom scenario unfolds, McElroy, from Canada, has faith in bitcoin. She’s writing a book called Satoshi Revolution, inspired by the pseudonym of the person or people who created bitcoin in 2009 as an answer to the financial turmoil wrought by the global financial crisis.
She says the digital currency breaks society’s dependence on a state that uses its monopoly over the issuance of money to dominate the economy, making it a natural hedge against disaster.
“It is a people’s currency,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “Bitcoins move seamlessly through a world without states or borders, obeying only the command of individuals who choose to deal with each other. Immune to currency manipulation and inflation, they do not serve the powerful elites at the expense of average people.”