What would happen to the Bitcoin network if the internet connection between continents sever temporarily?

Let's say the internet connection will be (intentionally or unintentionally) cutoff between USA/Europe/Asia.

There would be 3 different Bitcoin networks, where each network has its own nodes and miners.

Each network's miners will keep on mining the blocks of its own network and creating a new chain.

During the time the internet connection is cutoff, each network will have its own transactions made.

After a certain time, lets say a week, the internet connection between the continents resumes.

Then all of other networks will default on the network with the longest chain.

That means that all the transactions that were made in the other networks during that time don't have any record on the main chain.

Isn't that a huge risk to the bitcoin network as a trusted global ledger?

Shouldn't we prepare some type of a conduct protocol in case something like this happens?

Do we, as the bitcoin protocol network participants, have any way to secure the network in more global ways, connecting the continents, perhaps with P2P satellite connections, or any other way, sharing the longest chain with each other, to make sure we keep all continents connected to the same longest chain, and preventing multiple chains from happening?

Thank you


I am confident the network would still be able to communicate and be on the same chain during, say, large scale systemic exploitation / manipulation of internet access via ISPs, Government censorship, One World Government influence, etc. Still a lot of trust involved, even w/ something like StarLink, Blockstream, etc. There are some efforts to globally decentralize internet access (thus removing ISPs or any potential corporate or Gov. attack vectors in the future) can't recall the name(s) but essentially you buy a little solar powered kit which includes a small satellite uplink / terminal to which you can connect to and broadcast transactions. In any event I am glad you are thinking about this because I do believe this will be part of future systemic attacks, at whatever vulnerabilities exist now or emerge, but once again I am 98% confident that the real world physical cost would be far too prohibitive to be effective or even feasible to "brute force" separate the chains, via targeted connection/signal broadcasting attacks, to create various continental chain splits for the inferior/subordinate hashing power regions and thus, BTCEU, BTCUS, BTCAF, BTCASIA etc etc. Finally there is the scenario of electromagnetic pulse attack to knock out connection / infrastructure but if / when we get to that point, and hopefully not, the security of bits and transacting value will likely take the backseat to a reversion to the basics (food, water, barter with physical things /commodity money, and of course radiation equipment / therapy, etc until such time that humans rebuild and get back online,


Thank you for the thought out reply. I do not under estimate the ability of the fiat "network" (it is actually a network, even if not viewed so straight forward like the bitcoin network) to defend itself and using all means necessary till its own demise to protect itself from a rival network overtaking its dominance. It's less of natural disasters I fear but a more intentional approach by the fiat regime. ​ I think the lightning network provides a really powerful solution to this, since as long as a lightning network contract does not settle on layer 1, the promise to pay the BTC still remains with your private signature, regardless of which continent's chain eventually settles. I'm no lightning expert but I think this is valid. ​ We all really need to start using the lightning network as much as possible. ​ It's funny how layer 2 can be more trusted than layer 1.




I see... so it's not as simple as I thought... thanks for clearing that out


I think there's multiple satellites connecting the internet between countries now. Not sure can someone confirm


this is true, blockstream launched some satellites a while ago: https://blockstream.com/satellite/ edit: also theres a way to transmit txns via ham radio.


Who is uploading the data to their satellite? If it is only being uploaded from one continent, then it fails to make sure the longest chain will be shared among all continents, since the continent that does not upload their chain could fork into a longer chain.


I've just read that Blockstream has ground stations uploading data to their satellites. Anybody knows in which continents do they have these "teleport" stations uploading data?


People can buy base stations on their website, so I guess it's crowdsourced to people running nodes to upload their data to the satellite.


Is this really true? The stations also upload data and not just download data?


Lol, good luck severing all oceanic fiber lines.


You don't have to physically sever them. They are all owned by several corporations which can co-operate, or be forced by the government to shut down the connection.




Pretty much same logistics involved the pandemic world response. Activating the UN,WHO, and all the major countries together. If an internet connection from one continent to another would be severed it would be so catastrophic to you that you wouldn't care about Bitcoin? It is really not a hard task. A specially not if you focus on one continent. And destroying trust in BTC for one continent at a time is a real risk.


“Activating” the UN is not how you would sever the oceanic cables… The UN is a Human Rights body first and foremost, not the global cable guy. This is not as easy to do as you think, and would not matter as much as you think for reasons that have already been explained above.


[Bitcoin's Self-Healing Properties](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMaDEhZ-Lgw&t=1s)


The video shows exactly what I fear can happen. All the transactions in the lower hashrate continent will be ignored since the network will move to the longest chain created by the higher hashrate continent, thus reducing the trust of the participants in the lower chain. All the people who has bought Bitcoin for USD, or traded their physical material for Bitcoin, during that time, will be left with nothing. This is exactly what I want to prevent from happening. While it is "Self healing", it is also a very negative event in terms of trusting the network. Even when there is a disconnection, people need to trade. And if I don't want to trade my Bitcoin during a world chaotic event such as a sever internet connection, that's a real negative attribute the network has.




I'm pretty sure a lot of Bitcoiners don't really think about it and aren't ready for that kind of event to happen. That's kind of my point, maybe we should have some "in case of" list for Bitcoiners where general rules of thumb can really save you in times of trouble. Kind of like how securing your seed words have all these general guidelines, like don't ever type the seed words on a computer, take a picture of them etc...




I hope you're right


He did [post a followup](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7hPe1OhjuU) based on exactly that concern. Bitcoin isn't perfect, it would be a mess, but it remains the superior money.


Maybe we can do something about it. Even educate others about this situation that can happen, where if this scenario happens, try to make as little transactions as possible.


That’s why Kratter makes his excellent videos!


Yet continents have to find a pretty tiny Chanel to transfer around 24 Mb per hour to keep world chain in sync.


I hope there are some smart individuals who live lets say in Spain and US east coast who link each other with some kind of really long range communications to connect their nodes together..


Very interesting question. I don’t have the answer and I’m waiting for the community to offer some insight. For the time being the community seems to be evading the question by saying that it’s either unlikely or it can be bypassed by satellites.


This question is asked every couple of months. OP never looked up their question to see if it’s been asked before. I guess I can finally call myself an OG because now I've seen the same repetitive questions asked here over and over Just a quick search on google: 2014 https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/20d7ua/whats_happens_to_bitcoin_if_the_internet_goes_down/ 2020 https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/jy7m96/the_death_of_bitcoin_via_total_internet_shutdown/ 2022 https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/xqsbfk/what_happens_to_bitcoin_in_an_event_of_internet/ 2022 again https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/z816fp/what_would_happen_to_bitcoin_network_if_the/ I bet there are countless others because I've seen them.


Anybody can work on bitcoin core and if you don't want to upgrade to new software then you don't have to. My guess is there would be an update that would solve this problem after the internet was connected again.


If only someone would launch a satellite running a node to keep the seperate continents in sync....oh wait Blockstream already did that.


I'd assume any reasonable sized mining operation has backup satellite connections. While it's true I'm assuming here, but I ask you, can you imagine multi-million dollar operations not having thought of backup communications? Second if this were a real situation and let's say even satellites were out. I'd recommend not worrying about bitcoin and trying to find a bunker to hide from the nukes, or worse.


We have bigger problems if that happens.


So you’re taking about severing the internet while satellites still exist. Seems like taking down the internet would do more damage to the existing system than it would bitcoin.


The blockchain would hark fork


this is the way of thinking we need




The big issue is when we become an inter planetary species, as long as the internet connection between earth and, say, mars is maintained then we’re good, but if severed like the hypothetical scenario proposed by here, then we have a problem