Category Archives: “cyberwar” internet shutdown tests

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Miners Concerned Over Russia’s Planned Internet Shutdown Test

There are growing concerns is Russia’s cryptocurrency community that the cyberwar internet shutdown tests scheduled to take place before 1 April could impact Bitcoin mining.

The Digital Economy National Program, a new law recently drafted, will require Russian ISPs to be able to operate if the country is isolated online and as such the government is planning to monitor its effectiveness through the internet shutdown. The law suggests measures including building a Russian version of the net’s address system, DNS (Domain Name System).

Leonard Levin, the chairman of a Russian government technology committee says argues, “The calls to increase pressure on our country being made in the West oblige us to think about additional ways to protect Russian sovereignty in cyberspace.”

How will the shutdown impact Bitcoin miners who are totally reliant on internet connectivity? Bitnodes figures suggest that there are 10,476 Bitcoin nodes of which 291 (2.78%) are located in Russia, compared to 271 nodes (3.02%) on the Ethereum network.

In theory, Bitcoin mining could connect to Blockstream’s satellite network and circumvent disruptions. The Blockstream satellite is a one-way network, but the user still needs a connection to the Bitcoin network to send transactions, which can include SMS gateways. The network comprises four satellites across six coverage zones including the Asia and Pacific region, allowing users to send data over its network.

The Russian government has agreed to cover any costs for the shutdown, which will be backed up by an intranet, to compensate internet provers needing to modify systems by installing servers to redirect and filter web traffic.

 

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