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Author Topic: if i put a wallet.dat file on a stick in a safe  (Read 1665 times)
paulie_w (OP)
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February 15, 2013, 09:05:28 AM
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will the bitcoin client even recognize the format in 8-10 years, assuming that the satoshi client is still even supported?

how much has the wallet.dat format already changed?

is there any chance that it might not import extremely old wallets and that i would be screwed?
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luffy
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February 15, 2013, 09:19:24 AM
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this is a question fro BTC developers.
But i don't think it needs to be changed or even if it is, it will be backward compatible,
hopefully.
Of course, this is my opinion  Smiley
Jouke
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February 15, 2013, 09:22:34 AM
 #3

will the bitcoin client even recognize the format in 8-10 years, assuming that the satoshi client is still even supported?

how much has the wallet.dat format already changed?

is there any chance that it might not import extremely old wallets and that i would be screwed?
Put a tool that will be able to extract the private keys out of the wallet.dat on the stick as well.

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paulie_w (OP)
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February 15, 2013, 09:24:03 AM
 #4

will the bitcoin client even recognize the format in 8-10 years, assuming that the satoshi client is still even supported?

how much has the wallet.dat format already changed?

is there any chance that it might not import extremely old wallets and that i would be screwed?
Put a tool that will be able to extract the private keys out of the wallet.dat on the stick as well.

sure, and the whole OS as well? maybe a computer too? will the network still be compatible with an old client?

who knows where the software/hardware ecosystem will be at that point.

would love to hear from some devs about this.
asdf
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February 15, 2013, 09:57:31 AM
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don't store the wallet.dat. just export the keys into some raw format. The satoshi client can to this.
DannyHamilton
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February 15, 2013, 10:21:02 AM
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don't store the wallet.dat. just export the keys into some raw format. The satoshi client can to this.

If you are not going to keep an eye on the major developments in bitcoin during that time, then that would be your best bet for having a universally supported archive.  Extract your private keys.  Save them somewhere human readable (can you find ink and paper that won't degrade?  Maybe etch or engrave it into something durable?)

If you put it on a USB stick, there is a chance that in 10 years it will be difficult to find a computer that can still read a USB stick even if the wallet format is the same. How would you access a wallet that is stored on a 5.25" or 3.5' floppy disk right now?  What if you stored the wallet on a device that connected via Centronix DB-25 pin parallel port, or DE-9 serial port?  I still have programs for my old TRS-80 32k CoCo stored on audio cassette tape in my attic.  I have no idea how I'd ever get them off if I wanted to.
paulie_w (OP)
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February 15, 2013, 11:05:09 AM
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don't store the wallet.dat. just export the keys into some raw format. The satoshi client can to this.

If you are not going to keep an eye on the major developments in bitcoin during that time, then that would be your best bet for having a universally supported archive.  Extract your private keys.  Save them somewhere human readable (can you find ink and paper that won't degrade?  Maybe etch or engrave it into something durable?)

If you put it on a USB stick, there is a chance that in 10 years it will be difficult to find a computer that can still read a USB stick even if the wallet format is the same. How would you access a wallet that is stored on a 5.25" or 3.5' floppy disk right now?  What if you stored the wallet on a device that connected via Centronix DB-25 pin parallel port, or DE-9 serial port?  I still have programs for my old TRS-80 32k CoCo stored on audio cassette tape in my attic.  I have no idea how I'd ever get them off if I wanted to.

a little googling maybe?

http://www.trs-80.com/wordpress/info-transfer-tapes/

i doubt such information will be harder to come by in the future. but your point is taken anyway. i'll put a cdrom and an sd card in there too.
DannyHamilton
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February 15, 2013, 11:16:52 AM
 #8

- SNIP -
but your point is taken anyway.
 - SNIP -
For those who may not have caught on, the point was that it is likely to be as difficult/inconvenient to use old media as it is to be difficult/inconvenient to use an old wallet format.  In either case you are likely to have to go through some manual steps to convert from the old media/format to the new.  There is no guarantee that there will always be a way to access the data on the old media, and there is no guarantee that there will always be a way to access the data stored in an old format.  If you have a large enough sum that your are concerned about it, it would be wise to check up on any significant developments every few years.
Scrat Acorns
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February 16, 2013, 01:20:42 AM
 #9

If you're serious about your wallet try 3+ sticks plus a few CDs. USB sticks have a high failure rate. As others have said, storing just the private keys on a piece of paper is a better idea. Storing them on CDs encrypted is an even better idea!

If the format changes (unlikely) there will be a tool to convert to the new format, you can count on that.
deepceleron
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February 16, 2013, 02:37:10 AM
 #10

The concern would be bit rot on a cold storage flash memory. For power-off data retention in flash, the charge that is the store of a bit degrades over time, and thus far storage times have only been estimated based on accelerated testing, since MLC chips have only been out a short while. Manufacturer estimates vary from 1 year to 10 years, but in many cases are not given at all.

This paper details some testing, "we typically target three months of data retention time for solid-state in enterprise applications".
http://storageconference.org/2011/Papers/SNAPI/1.Sun.pdf
SlickTheNick
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February 16, 2013, 03:19:40 AM
 #11

Just print or write it down on a peice of paper, laminate it or something and store it somewhere safe. Like a safe.

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