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Author Topic: Feature Request: Printed Wallet Backups ("Bearer Bonds")  (Read 7062 times)
Anonymous
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November 11, 2010, 03:04:30 AM
 #21

Could you print a certificate that represents a certain number of bitcoins that you hold? You then have to redeem it for value if it is presented to you.
Back when their was a gold standard gold certificates were issued that represented an amount of gold a bank had in storage and these certificates became money for a few years. Bitcoin could be the digital gold standard so therefore printed certificates could be issued by a bitcoin holder.




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November 12, 2010, 02:47:31 AM
 #22

Could you print a certificate that represents a certain number of bitcoins that you hold? You then have to redeem it for value if it is presented to you.
Back when their was a gold standard gold certificates were issued that represented an amount of gold a bank had in storage and these certificates became money for a few years.

That was because the exchange of certificates was a lot more convenient than exchanging the gold.

No similar incentives operate with bitcoin.

ByteCoin
Anonymous
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November 12, 2010, 04:39:23 AM
 #23

Could you print a certificate that represents a certain number of bitcoins that you hold? You then have to redeem it for value if it is presented to you.
Back when their was a gold standard gold certificates were issued that represented an amount of gold a bank had in storage and these certificates became money for a few years.

That was because the exchange of certificates was a lot more convenient than exchanging the gold.

No similar incentives operate with bitcoin.

ByteCoin

Some people like to hold a physical item in their hand.They perceive this as more valuable for some reason,maybe its the human need for visual stimulation or something.

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November 12, 2010, 05:01:43 AM
 #24

Some people like to hold a physical item in their hand.They perceive this as more valuable for some reason,maybe its the human need for visual stimulation or something.


It's perfectly normal to be willing to own physically something.  That's why I think gold and bitcoins are so complementary.  None of them will replace the other.  You can't hold bitcoins in your hands, nor can you pass gold through copper lines or electromagnetic waves.
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November 12, 2010, 07:10:11 AM
 #25

Some people like to hold a physical item in their hand.They perceive this as more valuable for some reason,maybe its the human need for visual stimulation or something.

Fair enough. I meant that it's not necessary to issue a certificate which represents a certain number of bitcoins in a bank when you can just issue a certificate which encodes the bitcoins themselves.

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ribuck
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November 12, 2010, 10:31:19 AM
 #26

... you can just issue a certificate which encodes the bitcoins themselves.
When someone dies, their next-of-kin usually goes through all the deceased's papers, but it's generally an impossible task to go through all of the deceased's online history.

Therefore, a useful option for people wanting to pass on bitcoins to their next-of-kin is to be able to print out a sheet of paper that includes three things:

- A design that looks like a valuable certificate (engraved scrolls etc), so that the paper won't be overlooked,

- The key to spend the bitcoins. Plaintext, not GPG-protected, because the next-of-kin probably won't have the GPG private key. Physical security is what's used to protect valuable papers like these.

- Some very simple instructions explaining what the code is, and how to extract its value.
Anonymous
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November 12, 2010, 11:41:15 AM
 #27

It might be good to have printed backups in case a massive solar flare wiped out all the hard drives on earth!
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November 12, 2010, 12:01:29 PM
 #28

It might be good to have printed backups in case a massive solar flare wiped out all the hard drives on earth!

Ahm, and a backup of the block chain too as a printout. Oh, you'll have to get many more holding such a printout for confirmation... and print out the source code too, but I guess DVDs would be safe from a solar flare, so that might work too Smiley
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November 12, 2010, 02:19:24 PM
 #29

Ahm, and a backup of the block chain too as a printout. Oh, you'll have to get many more holding such a printout for confirmation... and print out the source code too, but I guess DVDs would be safe from a solar flare, so that might work too Smiley

I guess you've never microwaved a DVD  Undecided

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November 12, 2010, 02:52:27 PM
 #30

Ahm, and a backup of the block chain too as a printout. Oh, you'll have to get many more holding such a printout for confirmation... and print out the source code too, but I guess DVDs would be safe from a solar flare, so that might work too Smiley

I guess you've never microwaved a DVD  Undecided

Ok, assuming a radiation surge powerful enough to be compared to microwaving a dvd... we need to add to the equation making paper printouts of our DNA, because we will also need to be recovered from such backup :p
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November 12, 2010, 03:13:51 PM
 #31

I have a tape drive. If you send me an LTO-3 tape (about $10?) and a copy of your wallet I'll archive it for free, and send you the tape back via USPS at my expense.
Well, I guess sending you (or anyone else) my wallet.dat will never happen Smiley

It's quite simple to GPG encrypt it to yourself first. I can just as easily archive the encrypted version.

http://media.witcoin.com/p/1608/8----This-is-nuts

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November 12, 2010, 03:25:58 PM
 #32

Another crazy thought. You could set up a dead man's switch to sell them all off at a decent rate for LR and exchange that for a check in the mail to your beneficiary. Sure, a lot could go wrong, but it's easier for them.
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January 31, 2011, 06:53:27 AM
 #33

The oldest and most time-tested method for long-term reliable "digital" data storage is punched paper tape.  Punched tape has been used for well over 70 years, and is still in use, to this day, in many manufacturing environments.

Punched paper tape was widely used years ago to store text documents, and mechanical teletype machines were deployed for copying tapes and printing them out to paper.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFMQ1qT_RFM

Unlike magnetic tape, punched paper tape is not harmed by strong magnetic fields or radiation.  Modern punch tape is made of a tear-proof paperlike film, and could easily survive in a safe or on a bookshelf for hundreds of years.

In addition to having unusually high longevity, the encoding protocol for punched tape has been standardized for decades.  Punched tapes from the 1940s are still readable on modern equipment, and, modern tapes punched today can still be printed and copied with antique teletypes.

Semi-modern digital reader/writer units can be easily connected to modern computers, and, because of the tape's simple binary encoding scheme, it is fairly easy for any moderately competent electronics major to build a reader from commonly-available parts.

Modern Unit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz5l3Uez44s
Basic Unit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnIovFDwjrc
Home Made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZnuu18FtQk

If you are looking for truly hardcopy backups of your wallet, I'd say convert it to ASCII and punch it to tape.  As with the posts above, we're talking about long-term emergency-use backups.

TL;DR -  Backup your wallet to old-school punched tape.

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April 19, 2011, 10:46:35 AM
 #34

Love the punch card readers there! I wonder how 2400bps would compare to the backup problem of the bitcoin system. In fact I'd like to figure out what is the total recovery footprint?

Was thinking about this today because I just thought that the bitcoin idea is so elegant it would be nice if it could survive beyond catastrophic events for electronics, hence I discovered this thread.

The first thing that sprang to mind was the long now foundation's rosetta stone project. They think in terms of a + and - 10000 year "now"

http://rosettaproject.org/disk/concept/

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April 19, 2011, 06:40:45 PM
 #35

How about keeping a few encrypted backup copies of your wallet with a couple different online storage services.  Then keep the decryption codes and instructions in your safe deposit box (or better yet, keep the instructions online and encrypted as well...in the safe deposit box, you have the decryption code for the instructions and a URL).  This way, as you add new keys to your wallet, or you move things around, you only have to update that set of online instructions (rather than print a new copy of your wallet and replace it in your safe deposit box).  This is essentially what I do (though it's not just for bitcoins...and there's no one sheet of paper that has all the needed info...you need 2 out of 3 sheets of paper that I have distributed among family members).

(gasteve on IRC) Does your website accept cash? https://bitpay.com
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April 20, 2011, 07:17:15 AM
 #36

Because when they're worth $1000/BTC in 60 years when my kids are distributing my will, it's more likely that the paper will still be readable compared to a flash drive.

Just be sure not to write it in dissappearing ink, or that the bank doesn't burn down!!!

In all honesty... Remote backups and encrypted thumb drives are the best protection you will ever get. I forsee bitcoin banks of the future offering this service to bitcoin noobs.
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April 20, 2011, 12:30:31 PM
 #37

Because when they're worth $1000/BTC in 60 years when my kids are distributing my will, it's more likely that the paper will still be readable compared to a flash drive.

Just be sure not to write it in dissappearing ink, or that the bank doesn't burn down!!!

In all honesty... Remote backups and encrypted thumb drives are the best protection you will ever get. I forsee bitcoin banks of the future offering this service to bitcoin noobs.

Thumb drives and any form of digital storage will suffer "bit rot" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_rot

For a long term backup, printed data and/or punchcards are the best option.
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