As so-called “doomsday prepping” grows in popularity thanks to news of coronavirus lockdown in Chinese cities, red flag gun laws and rampant Fed stimulus in the U.S., preparedness enthusiasts are asking about the viability of bitcoin in a SHTF situation. From cautious, light investor, to vehement denigrator of the “NSA-created surveillance money,” there is no shortage of opinion. Still, as there are various possible scenarios, a one-size-fits-all proclamation doesn’t seem to work. Turns out, when it comes to money, what has survival value is ultimately a community affair.
Prepping: A Sensible Practice in the Current Climate
Preppers often get a bad rap in pop culture, laughed off as tinfoil hat-wearing, conspiracy theory-addicted alarmists. But to anyone who is paying attention to world events or has read a history book, there’s nothing ridiculous about being prepared for a worst case scenario when it comes to disaster and the collapse or throttling of vital societal infrastructure.
Recent videos surfacing from China appear to show police forcibly quarantining people who may or may not have the coronavirus. Venezuela’s Maduro is forcing residents of the country to transact with his petro shitcoin while people across the nation struggle just to eat. The U.S. Federal reserve continues to devalue the dollar while innocent people are extorted, jailed, and even killed for trying to preserve a little of their financial autonomy.
Should the state’s continued defecation-disguised-as-order finally and decidedly come into contact with the blades of reality, running to the hills or splintering off into micro communities could become a very real necessity for some.
Preparedness advocates have traditionally diversified into gold and precious metals, in case of hyperinflation or obsolescence of fiat currencies, but with the advent of bitcoin in 2009, the conversation began to evolve. Some preppers began to think bitcoin might also be a useful tool in the kit belt. Still, what good is an internet money without the internet, and isn’t the whole thing a creation of the U.S. government, anyway? It turns out there are multiple ways bitcoin could be leveraged, and these questions — as well as skeptical rebuttals — deserve careful examination.
Internet Money Without Internet
The first and most obvious reaction to suggestions of bitcoin as apocalypse survival money is the question of the internet and electricity. If bitcoin requires it, and doomsday destroys it or otherwise makes it unfeasible, it stands to ask how the hell bitcoin can be of any use to anyone in such a scenario.
This is a valid and obvious point. No electricity means no bitcoin transactions and no mining. Although people have gotten creative and sent transactions which initially do not require internet, cellular data, or electricity other than batteries, ultimately the system depends on a power source and network connectivity to function long term. So when it comes to the complete lights out scenario collapsitarians are envisioning, crypto would indeed seem to be a largely useless appendage. Read More...