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Author Topic: Bitcoin - Nuke Attack hypothetical  (Read 601 times)
Tripmode
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April 09, 2013, 10:31:30 PM
 #1

Lets say hypothetically there is a nuke attack on the world and the Internet is serverely gimped.

Now lets also say the hashrate plummets. The difficulty was adjusted for pre-nuke levels and once the rate falls, solving a block could take days or months or years.

This could be a major problem. There are other disaster type scenarios which could cause the hashrate to fall. How would bitcoin survive?

Obviously this is a hypothetical scenario and am no way and I saying bitcoin is no good because of this slim possibility.

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April 09, 2013, 10:34:27 PM
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Hedge your btc investment in ammo.

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April 09, 2013, 10:39:00 PM
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If the internet were to be destroyed due to some kind of disaster, I think the survivors would have much bigger problems to worry about than bitcoin.

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April 09, 2013, 10:56:57 PM
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People's lives > Bitcoins

Hope you realize that. If a nuke attack happens, money won't be a thing anymore.

My current dream for Bitcoins/Litecoins is to open a music related business such as a venue or a recording studio.
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April 09, 2013, 10:57:50 PM
 #5

more likely, a government joins, spikes the difficulty 100x then they leave!
Tripmode
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April 09, 2013, 11:45:37 PM
 #6

Ok let me rephrase: if some sort of world event like an energy crisis caused the hash rate to plummet, solving the next block could be impossible. Any mechanism built into bitcoin to protect it?

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DeathAndTaxes
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April 09, 2013, 11:58:06 PM
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Simple answer ... no.  Longer answer the hashrate will adjust in time.  So a reduction in hashpower of 50% would only be a minor effect.  The average block time would be 20 minutes, time to next adjustment would be 2 to 4 weeks.  Certainly survivable.   Even a 75% reduction wouldn't be fatal.  It would take 1-2 months to adjust to normal and 40 minutes blocks means the network would limp along until the adjustment. 

If something took 99% of computing power offline then it probably means Bitcoin is done, then again "it" probably took you offline too making the point kinda moot.  If you think it is a major concern then either support an alt-coin which has a shorter adjustment window or build a new one.

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April 10, 2013, 12:19:44 AM
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I'd argue that nuclear war would only impact the internet's total bandwidth, not its existence. Like someone else said, if the internet is dead and buried... chances are so are you.
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April 10, 2013, 12:34:39 AM
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The answer is yes. Sort of. If a massive EMP blast or a large number of smaller ones knocked out a big chunk of the network then somebody like ASICminer could easily control the majority of the blockchain if they are lucky enough to be unaffected. They could initiate a 51% attack soon pretty easily even without an EMP blast knocking the network out.
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April 10, 2013, 01:26:19 AM
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If we have very little energy then we have very little economy.  We can go back to bartering with bone fragments.  We'll call it bitbone

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. - Thomas Jefferson
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April 10, 2013, 04:37:12 AM
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Lets worry about surviving before we focus on what could happen to our bitcoins if something like a worldwide EMP blast/nuke happened.
dafridge
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April 10, 2013, 04:47:21 AM
 #12

Ok let me rephrase: if some sort of world event like an energy crisis caused the hash rate to plummet, solving the next block could be impossible. Any mechanism built into bitcoin to protect it?

no. someone sort of did this attack on the 'testnet' and they had to reset it
bitexchanger
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April 10, 2013, 05:44:41 AM
 #13

If there was a nuclear attack that wiped out the entire internet, bitcoins would probably be the least of your concerns.

Interested in handling private sales of bulk BTC. Buyers and Sellers. For people who wish to do these transactions privately instead of via an exchange. PM for details. Escrow is mandatory.
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April 10, 2013, 07:17:40 AM
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more reasonable question: if north korea nukes america tomorrow, it will not wipe out the internet, but it might cause some serious havock.  how will Bitcoin respond?
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April 10, 2013, 07:51:16 AM
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more reasonable question: if north korea nukes america tomorrow, it will not wipe out the internet, but it might cause some serious havock.  how will Bitcoin respond?

"route around the damage"
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