Russia Has Plans To Cut Country Off From The Internet In Emergencies, Would Cryptos Fork?
Russia has a very ambitious plan: to be able to cut the country completely off the international internet and still have the local internet running. The plan would allow the country to form a wide intranet that could keep things running in case something happens.
Basically, in order for the plan to work, Russian ISP’s would have to technically implement ways to re-route all Russian internet traffic to national routers, which are managed by Roskomnazor, the Russian telecom watchdog. This way, all the traffic would be inspected and prohibited content could be blocked from leaving the country.
The first tests are set to take place in April and some people are already comparing Russia’s move with the “great China firewall”, which allowed the country to cut off from the internet back in 2012.
Bear in mind that this is more like a contingency plan instead of a big master plan, so it does not have a lot of chances of actually happening. However, what would be of cryptocurrencies if Russia was cut off from the global internet?
Would Cryptos Fork?
Our main concern here is whether cryptos, by being cut off from their chains, would end up forking into another coin. At the moment, some people are considering the result to be unclear, especially if this happens just for a few minutes or a couple of hours.
Also, the effect would also depend on how many people are mining cryptos in Russia. Currently, not more than 3% of all major cryptos are mined on Russia, which is a very slim share. However, with satellite connection, something that is already becoming more common now, people would be able to get linked to the “main” blockchain.
Blockstream and GoTenna are starting services that will allow people to send Bitcoin by satellite and a single node could connect Russia, which greatly diminishes the risks of a fork happening.
This means that at least Bitcoin would probably not fork. Smaller coins, however, might. Even Ethereum and other big tokens could end up split if their Russian nodes were not connected to the rest of the network.
A Russian fork would certainly be a huge problem, unfortunately, as it would fragment the market and make tokens from inside and outside of Russia incompatible. Any split could have several negative influences on the local crypto market, which would probably lose a lot of value and harm the local investors.
Unfortunately, the only true way of knowing what will happen is to actually wait until it happens. The best hope is the fact that it looks like at least Bitcoin is secure.