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Author Topic: Bitcoin client backward compatible w/ older wallet.dat?  (Read 2702 times)
Stephen Gornick
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December 18, 2010, 08:27:25 PM
 #1

Saw this Twitter status update:
  Does the #bitcoin protocol have a version number that allows to upgrade if someone leaves the system for 5 - 10 years?
  http://twitter.com/stephanwehner/statuses/16224034316361728

I think what is being asked is, if a client were not upgraded for a very long time, could it still communicate?

Either way, will the future clients be backward compatible as far as being able to access today's wallet.dat?

A lot can happen in 5 to 10 years. 

  IPv6, various vulnerabilities discovered, encrypted wallet.dat, etc.

(Incidentally, ... isn't the reason most who have left the system for 5 - 10 years due to being incarcerated?)

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theymos
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December 18, 2010, 08:42:37 PM
 #2

The public/private keys are in there, so it should always be possible to recover them, even if Bitcoin can't do it automatically.

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Stephen Gornick
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December 18, 2010, 10:40:14 PM
 #3

How would I merge the keys from an old wallet.dat into current.  If I can launch the client, I can just transfer to address from a new wallet, but is it possible to add those keys into another wallet?

theymos
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December 19, 2010, 02:49:16 AM
 #4

Quote
is it possible to add those keys into another wallet?

It's possible, but Bitcoin doesn't do it. A future version of Bitcoin might do it, though. In any case, it will be possible to manually extract keys from an old wallet and insert them into a new one.

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Stephen Gornick
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June 16, 2011, 07:20:29 AM
 #5

A future version of Bitcoin might do it, though.

Just to bookend this thread:
  Pull #220, Wallet and key import and export
  - https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/220

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