As strange as this may seem, one of the reasons that crypto-experts give for the staying power of Bitcoin and all cryptos, is that even though they are entirely virtual, they would work better in a connectivity crisis than any given government currency. There are several reasons for this.
First, the story of a species of cow that went exist in the 1500s should be digested. Aurochs were a large and cumbersome cow that was common in Europe until the last one died in a zoo in the mid 16th century. They were so important to commerce for their milk, meat, and ability to pull things that for thousands of years many kingdoms and empires made coins shaped like the horns of Aurochs. Communities that didn’t have cows of one kind or another had little they could trade.
The coinage was also a sort of branding. The shape of the currency communicated where the coin came from and the primary item of trade that particular community. Want a cow? Go to these people.
Today’s currency doesn’t communicate much about trade other than historical context. Paper currency has representations of architecture, national symbols, and former leaders. If any of these symbols were to vanish from history, lost in time and space, not much would change. Everything would function pretty much the same. The symbols found on currency are not our cows, so to speak.
So what are? Electricity and the Internet are two things that humanity has become reliant on to sustain our large populations. This makes a lineman at the side of the road more fitting for currency than a historical figure.
Think about if the Internet suddenly crashed, unrecoverable for at least a week. Probably the first thing most people would notice is that Netflix was suddenly gone. Everyone would have to go digging into their VHS and DVD collections to watch movies. But what about more essential things.
What about the grocery store?
Most retailers today rely on the Internet for what is called ‘just in time inventory’. That means goods are loaded onto trucks and drive to stores every night stocked with inventory that was automatically calculated and sent to the warehouse via the Internet. It’s ‘big data’ that determines what gets stocked on store shelves, not a worker with a clipboard. If the Internet goes down, who decides how many boxes of Fruit Loops gets shipped from the warehouse.
Self-driving trucks are less than a decade away. These trucks will rely on the Internet for guidance and communication. Driverless trucks may not be able to drive anywhere in the event of a major outage.
Even if you did find your favorite cereal at the grocery store, how would you pay for it?
Around 95% of US Dollars are electronic. Similar numbers are true for other major currencies. In an extended Internet or even electrical outage what would happen to them. Bank to bank transfers would have to be done with physical currency.
Such a thing could be done, but not immediately, and not even overnight. Wells Fargo continues to keep a stable of horses. That’s true. The Pony Express would be looking for riders in this scenario.
So when the power or Internet goes out so does 95% of currency, and that would mean your currency that you keep in the bank.
That is why cryptos are better. They can be kept offline, independently stored on a device, at least if a wallet is being used that stores locally instead of the cloud. Emergency situations are the number one reason experts will recommend an offline wallet to an online wallet.