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The Antifragility of Bitcoin: What Happens If The Internet Goes Down?

The Antifragility of Bitcoin: What Happens If The Internet Goes Down?

Mar 7, 2024
Bitcoin Basics

The Antifragility of Bitcoin: What Happens If The Internet Goes Down?

In exploring the resilience of Bitcoin, a common concern among users and investors is it's dependency on the Internet. Questions often arise about what would happen to Bitcoin if there were a significant disruption to the global internet infrastructure.

Bitcoin and the Internet: An Indestructible Bond?

Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency, operates on a global network of computers. It relies heavily on the Internet for the execution of transactions and the maintenance of its blockchain ledger. However, the idea that there is a central "Internet switch" that could be flipped to disable the entire web is a misconception. The Internet is a vast, decentralized network designed to be robust and resistant to single points of failure. It was created with the intention of surviving substantial damage, such as that from a nuclear war, and can reroute around damaged areas.

Despite this, governments have been known to intentionally disrupt Internet access to control information flow. provides insights into such government actions worldwide. Nonetheless, these interruptions are typically temporary, as modern governance and societal functions heavily rely on the Internet.

Theoretical Internet Shutdown: Bitcoin's Response

In the unlikely scenario that the Internet could be shut down globally and maintained in that state, Bitcoin would effectively enter a state of "hibernation." The network would cease to process transactions, but the currency itself would not vanish. Bitcoin's data is redundantly stored across a vast network of nodes. Once Internet connectivity is restored, even if after a prolonged period, the Bitcoin network would be capable of resuming operations using the data from these nodes.

Data Redundancy and Network Distribution

The Bitcoin blockchain and the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) set are replicated across potentially hundreds of thousands of nodes worldwide. The network's data is thus highly secure and decentralized. Additionally, alternative methods of broadcasting the Bitcoin blockchain have been developed, such as satellite systems like Blockstream Satellite and Internet services like Starlink, which can provide connectivity in the absence of traditional Internet infrastructure.

Bitcoin's Antifragility

Bitcoin is often described as "antifragile," a system that gains strength from stress and disorder. The more challenges it faces, the more the network adapts and strengthens. This contrasts with traditional financial systems and physical assets, which may not have the same resilience to global crises or technological disruptions.

Bitcoin is Antifragile - Unchained
Bitcoin benefits from disorder, stress, volatility and randomness. What doesn’t kill bitcoin only makes it stronger.


The resilience of Bitcoin in the event of an Internet outage is considerable due to its decentralized nature, redundant data storage, and ability to use alternative communication methods. While the complete and permanent shutdown of the Internet is highly improbable, Bitcoin's design ensures that it could potentially survive and recover from extreme disruptions. This resilience may be a factor for individuals considering Bitcoin as part of their financial strategy, particularly in comparison to traditional currencies and assets.


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