Inspired by a comment attempting to answer the question of using Bitcoin without internet access, Buttcoin has launched a brief investigation into how Bitcoin might work if the grid were to go down:
One of our ham radio pals advised us that “the fastest/most common digital protocol on the ham bands is 300 bps.” That’s right: bits per second. How long would it take to download the Bitcoin blockchain (currently approaching a size of 15 GB) at these rates? After some careful calculation (punching things into Wolfram Alpha) we came to 12.6755 years. But this isn’t the end! Taking into account the estimate that you’d only have acceptable propagation about half a day at best, this time would then double to 25.351 years. Add in an estimated 25% for noise-induced errors and you’re now up to 31.68875 years. Add to this the fact that we are coming off the peak of a 22-year solar cycle and that in approximately 11 years, shortwave communications will be drastically hindered compared to our current transmission ability so it wouldn’t be outlandish to estimate 40+ years for this step alone.
Provided there is uninterrupted power and reception for over forty years and that the cheap radios bitcoiners would by last that long, you can now spend your Bitcoin. Don’t forget to wait for your six confirmations, and watch out for the FCC!
Thanks jonny290 for helping us with this stupid and terrible thought experiment!