The concept of Bitcoin often seems to cause some confusion. People still believe it is possible for governments to shut down the Bitcoin network. They will never be able to, as long as the internet exists.
Governments Can’t Control Bitcoin
Unlike traditional financial systems, Bitcoin is not controlled by middlemen such as banks, governments, politicians, or technology companies. Instead, it is a decentralized and globally distributed network powered by individual users. These users can be quantified as node operators, miners, service providers, and regular enthusiasts. It is simply impossible for any government, politician, or bank to shut down the network.
More importantly, Bitcoin has never been hacked before, nor will that ever be the case. It is true there have been hacks affecting companies who deal with Bitcoin. That is very different, as every company presents a single point of failure in the technology industry. The Bitcoin network itself, called the blockchain, has never been tampered with by nefarious individuals.
As long as the internet persists, Bitcoin will be alive and well. All it needs is the internet, which is – by default – global and unlimited. Even if individual Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were to block access to the Bitcoin network, there will always be alternatives.
To make any lasting impact on the network, all ISPs around the world will need to block access to Bitcoin at the same time. Even then, there is mobile internet, or even internet via satellite to explore. In the future, we may very well get an internet connection from space, adding another interesting layer to the Bitcoin network.
No Solid Plan to Shut it Down
Truth be told, there have been proposals to attempt and shut down Bitcoin. These proposals were put forward when the Bitcoin network was fairly new and posed little threat to the financial system. Even then, there was never any real support for the idea whatsoever. Governments and banks cannot influence the Bitcoin network in any capacity, no matter how hard they lobby.
What can happen, however, is governments curbing the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Again, this is not the same as shutting down the actual network. It is possible governments will prevent domestic companies from dealing with Bitcoin. Even so, those changes are never popular, and often reversed eventually.
There is no need to worry about an impending collapse of Bitcoin’s network now, or in the future. What will happen if and when quantum computing comes around, is anyone’s guess at this point. A lot can happen to threaten the current encryption standards, including those used by the Bitcoin network.
Until that happens, things will remain as they are today. Bitcoin is the dominant cryptocurrency and will not go away ever again. The same cannot be said for the current financial system, however, That seems to be on its last legs, without even realizing it.