This topic is probably slightly off-topic, since it doesn’t directly involve Peercoin, but I would really like to know ideas from the local community, because I know that people around Peercoin are very serious with the long-term sustainability of the crypto-coins and there is a lot of very clever decisions behind the Peercoin network done by Sunny King.
My question is essentially this: With the current know-how about crypto-currencies, is there some reasonable way, how the crypto-currency could operate in really bad conditions? Consider a scenario, in which government of some country shuts down the Internet. People would, in general, have smartphones and computers with their wallets and they could connect locally. Technically, the blockchain could still spread just by local networking, but it would have to be much less centralized than now. Would coin that has, for example, very long block generation time (1 day), help? (It seems the double-spends would be very serious problem in general, but maybe I am wrong.) The blockchain could also serve for sending messages by the local-connections of the smartphone devices.
I’m not really into those disaster scenarios. I understand that Namecoin is developed to address the doom scenario that websites would be blocked at the domain level as it has its own DNS. So with that coin you would probably be able to continue a bit longer assuming you are still be able to synchronise blockchains across the clients. You could do that with local wifi spots chained to each other, but it would result in very local solutions which will create problems with double spending or what would be practically local forks. Bringing them together after the disaster will be very messy if not practically impossible.
A lower block generation cycle would reduce the risk of double spending as it increases the chance that other clients stay synchronised. But you would have very large blocks as you have to put all transactions into that single block. This might also create issues for people trying to synchronise with low grade connections.
Just my views, but again I’m just thinking on my feet here. Happy to stand corrected as others might have thought this through for a longer time. You might also try a search on the bitcointalk.org forum. I would be surprised if there isn’t a thread about this topic. Hard part is usually finding it!
There isn’t an easy answer, because it isn’t an easy question. It is quite a complex problem. As usual when a need arises, a solution is usually found. Heck, even MtGox imploding never stopped Bitcoin, and I’d consider that a major disaster.