What happens to your Bitcoin if the internet shuts down?
When you sit at home checking your Bitcoin wallet and all of a sudden the internet stops working in your region. You won’t have access to your BTC. However, your Bitcoin is not gone, as it is stored on the Bitcoin blockchain.
In this blog, we take a look at what happens when to your crypto when the internet and electricity go out. How most of it is not a problem and when it would be.
But first “what happens to your Bitcoin if the internet shuts down?”. Well, if the internet goes down where you are that does not mean that the internet went down everywhere. So when this happens the Bitcoin blockchain just keeps ongoing. With only you not having access to it. Meaning that your BTC just resides in your wallet address like normal. During this time you would be disconnected from it so you can not transact or use your BTC at all. But the ownership of the crypto stays with you.
There are other ways to interact with blockchains besides the internet, like Bluetooth and simply paper transactions. However, not all blockchains and their nodes open up these network channels as the majority of people use the internet and it is the easiest to use.
In case the internet does go down near you. You can best just wait for it to come back online. Because your crypto/BTC just stays where it was in the meantime.
Can Bitcoin survive without electricity?
Electricity works as the main and only way to keep Bitcoin and all other blockchains running. Without it, blockchains would be unable to verify transactions. Because the devices that do so require electricity to run. This goes for Bitcoin with its POW (Proof Of Work) algorithm that requires electricity to mine BTC. But also for POS (Proof Of Stake) blockchains. But at a much lower quantity.
If you were to be without electricity for a moment, your crypto would be fine. Just like if you didn’t have internet for some time. However, if this would happen on a global scale. Each and every blockchain network would grind to a halt. And no new transactions would be added to the blockchain(s).
This doesn’t mean that the whole blockchain is lost. No, even though the network doesn’t add new transactions. The data that makes up the network would still be stored on thousands of devices. Meaning that once the internet and/or electricity comes back. The network could just continue where it left off. This might not go super smooth but the network would at least survive and secure your funds on it as well.
Can I send a crypto transaction without internet?
Yes, you could send a crypto transaction without using the internet. But it will not be as easy as you hoped.
To send a crypto transaction without the internet, you would have to find a way to get a message signed by your private key/crypto account to one of the blockchain validators. You could get this message there in many forms as long as the validator is willing to receive your form of submitting a transaction.
So if you would want to send that message via a Bluetooth connection or a handwritten letter, you could. However, these more old-school methods do not really make it easy as there is (almost) no infrastructure built for these methods, and most operators within blockchain systems do not accept them.
The best and probably safest way, if you have not sent a transaction without internet before. Is to just wait till your connection comes back. Or find a place or person that does have a connection and send it from there.
No, your BTC is not really stored on your wallet but rather on the blockchain. Meaning that if you lost your connection or even lost your device. The BTC would still be at the same address. Safely recorded on the Blockchain. If you happen to lose your device though please make sure you have a backup. To restore it on another device.
So if the internet would fall away. You will not lose access to your BTC but would just have to wait till you can access it again. If you do not need it right away this shouldn’t be a problem. Your crypto will safely resite in on your address, till you can connect again.
Only if the Bitcoin ledger/blockchain would be destroyed, you and everyone else would lose their coins.
Does blockchain need internet?
Like we said before, you could transact on a blockchain without using the internet. But in the current system that just is very difficult because everyone uses the internet. If you know how to use Bitcoin and have done so before, you will know that basically, all crypto wallets rely on an internet connection. For now, this is an almost necessary connection. But if we would all switch to another type of network in the future. Most blockchain networks could adopt another network as well. As long as the validators and nodes of that specific blockchain network can keep talking to one another they can store the blockchain and keep consensus.
Most crypto/Bitcoin networks are very useful and will hold value for humans for a long time. Meaning that society and the crypto community will do all they can to keep the network around and running. So if problems with network connectivity will occur in the future. We will be able to innovate with time as the networks can adapt and upgrade, along with us.
We hope this article helped you get a better understanding of crypto’s dependency on the internet and electricity. Which is very high but would on a small scale not be problematic for the networks.
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