The Bitcoin protocol is a monumental leap towards a peer-governed future, but what happens when the Internet goes down? This is a common question, and a very valid one.
Any large-scale Internet outage or blockage would surely be very bad for any software that relies on blockchain verifications. Right now cryptocurrencies are the only major use of blockchain technology, but usage will soon see explosive growth as new applications are being realized each day.
The question is, what happens to such a distributed verification systems when certain parts of the network become isolated? Imagine a widespread global conflict in which all satellites and undersea cables are sabotaged. The Internet’s distributed nature is designed so that connected computers will remain so, but no longer would they remain connected to computers outside of their region.
In such a scenario, blockchain verifications would only take place regionally, with the result being that each region develops forked versions of the blockchain. When the regions became connected again there would be no global consensus possible for any transactions that took place during the disconnected period, and therefore such transactions would only be recognized regionally. This is obviously unacceptable for any global digital currency.
To combat this scenario the Bitcoin Foundation and all other interested parties should collaboratively build and maintain a global network of solar-powered mobile blockchain servers connected to HF modems. These units would be stored in undisclosed locations, connected to the Internet, designed to automatically begin transmitting the blockchain via HF modem in the event of an Internet failure.
It must be assumed that these units would be targeted by sophisticated weapons during warfare, including conventional explosives and frequency jamming systems. Please comment with any technical corrections and/or ideas how these units would be designed and secured.