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Author Topic: inheriting bitcoins  (Read 2274 times)
nounderscores
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February 17, 2011, 02:14:41 AM
 #1

Hi All,

Leaving bitcoins to somebody is easy. You name them in your will, they get your wallet.dat.

But the thing is will they know what they are? Will they know how to use them?

Have you talked with your loved ones about bitcoin so that they won't just sell your computer after you die losing the wallet.dat forever?

Do they even know that bitcoins are a deflationary currency which will probably increase in value as the bitcoin economy expands?

Cheers,
nos

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February 17, 2011, 03:00:16 AM
 #2

Hi All,

Leaving bitcoins to somebody is easy. You name them in your will, they get your wallet.dat.

But the thing is will they know what they are? Will they know how to use them?

Have you talked with your loved ones about bitcoin so that they won't just sell your computer after you die losing the wallet.dat forever?

Do they even know that bitcoins are a deflationary currency which will probably increase in value as the bitcoin economy expands?

Cheers,
nos

Keep a wallet.dat on a usb in your lawyers safe and update it every time you change your will ?

You could add instructions in your actual will on how to claim the coins or create a living will video.

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February 17, 2011, 03:22:07 AM
 #3

Clearly we need a bitcoin will application, such that if the person dies, or they haven't logged into their account for..... a year then an email with details the account will be sent to a pre-designated address along with an explanation.

Could set it up to send an email to the owners account before doing this, just to try and get some response from them, making sure they're not dead.

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February 17, 2011, 05:54:00 AM
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Keep a wallet.dat on a usb in your lawyers safe and update it every time you change your will ?

I don't think this will work. An out-dated wallet.dat is pretty useless. It doesn't just exclude any coins you have earned since you backed it up. It could be missing large chunks of your fortune.

Consider: Your wallet.dat on your lawyer's USB stick contains a single account with 20,000 bc. Now (100 transactions later, and hence you will be using an account which was not pre-computed in your lawyer's wallet.dat file), you send 1bc to buy a milkshake. Depending on how the Bitcoin client chooses which account to transfer from*, this could create a transaction which takes your 20,000 bc as input, and sends 1 bc to the milkshake guy, and 19,999 bc to a new account in your name (so your balance only drops by 1bc).

Now your PC's version of wallet.dat has the new account with 19,999 bc, but your lawyer has a wallet.dat with only a spent account. From the lawyer's point of view, it's as if you took the 20,000 bc and sent it off to somewhere else entirely.

*I believe it chooses the smallest input available which covers the money you want to send, so it would be unlikely to select this one, but it could happen.

A better strategy would be to keep your wallet.dat backed up regularly with a secure password, and leave the backup password with your lawyer. That way, he will be able to access the most recent version of the backup.
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February 17, 2011, 06:00:44 AM
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A better strategy would be to keep your wallet.dat backed up regularly with a secure password, and leave the backup password with your lawyer. That way, he will be able to access the most recent version of the backup.

+1, but I still stand by my deadman switch inheritance idea  Tongue

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February 17, 2011, 07:27:34 AM
 #6

your deadman's switch is too open to nasty attacks
Yeah, like killing the person  Cheesy

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ribuck
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February 17, 2011, 10:22:52 AM
 #7

A better strategy would be to keep your wallet.dat backed up regularly with a secure password, and leave the backup password with your lawyer.
The lawyer's fees would be greater than the value of my bitcoins (at this time).

I think the way to do it is to keep a current backup on a USB stick, together with a printout of easy instructions for accessing its value, in an envelope in your household safe.

Perhaps there's also a business opening here, for someone to operate a trustworthy "wallet-to-cash" service. A non-technical user mails in the USB stick and receives a check in the mail, less a service fee.
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February 17, 2011, 12:32:17 PM
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Put your bitcoin folder and wallet backups in dropbox, leave the password in your will/deadman's switch email.

Use my referral codes for Bitcoin faucets and I'll send you 25% of my referral bonus - Win/Win! PM for details on all sites available or use one of the links here.

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ribuck
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February 17, 2011, 12:48:22 PM
 #9

Does Bitcoin's (currently-unimplemented) scripting give us a better way to do this?

Could scripting provide a way for me to sign my coins across to my heirs so that they can spend them if I haven't spent them before a certain block number?

All I would need to do is to spend the coins to myself once a year or so, but my heirs would be able to spend the coins if I haven't touched them for a year. No lawyers needed.
theymos
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February 17, 2011, 01:17:34 PM
 #10

Could scripting provide a way for me to sign my coins across to my heirs so that they can spend them if I haven't spent them before a certain block number?

Bitcoin almost supports this. It would work like this:
- You send a transaction to your heir with nLockTime equal to the block number they can claim it at.
- nLockTime prevents miners from including the transaction in a block before the specified time.
- If you're still alive, you can reverse the transaction at any time before nLockTime by creating a transaction with conflicting inputs and lower sequence numbers.

The code for handling this already exists in Bitcoin, and the heir could even receive such transactions with Bitcoin 0.3.19, except that the in-memory replacement feature necessary for the last step was disabled.
Code:
// Disable replacement feature for now

You can't do it in a transaction's script because it's too dangerous. Consider this scenario:
- You create a transaction that pays to a before and including block 200,000 and b after block 200,000.
- The transaction gets in block 200,000, paying to a.
- a spends the coins, and the recipient spends the coins, etc.
- However, it turns out the network was segmented during this. After 60 blocks, the network recombines, and the transaction is now in block 200,001. A huge number of people lose transactions because the original transaction now goes to b.

This is worse than when generations become invalid after a split because generations can't be spent for 120 blocks. Time-limited transactions could be spent immediately (maybe it would be OK to use them if there was a similar maturation time). They're worse than double-spends because massive losses due to time-limited transactions could happen accidentally.

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February 17, 2011, 01:40:36 PM
 #11

This is another reason for getting your close friends and family (or lover) to look at Bitcoin. If they knew how to use it, no need for any instructions. Just like leaving someone your house in your will - they don't need to learn how to use it. Smiley

EDIT: This is a very interesting topic, I was actually thinking about what will happen to my Bitcoins if I die in a car accident or something. My first thought was: I must show my wife how to use it properly.

Bitalo.com coming soon!

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caveden
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February 17, 2011, 01:45:04 PM
 #12

After 60 blocks, the network recombines, and the transaction is now in block 200,001. A huge number of people lose transactions because the original transaction now goes to b.

Well, a 60 blocks reorganization could cause some disasters anyway, couldn't it? That's 10 hours of transactions...

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theymos
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February 17, 2011, 07:34:28 PM
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Well, a 60 blocks reorganization could cause some disasters anyway, couldn't it? That's 10 hours of transactions...

Normal transactions will get moved to the new chain. Only invalid transactions get removed.

The split after the overflow incident was nearly 120 blocks long, but no one reported any lost transactions.

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Hal
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February 17, 2011, 10:34:11 PM
 #14

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-05-18/tech/death.online_1_online-multiple-e-mail-addresses-account-information-and-passwords?_s=PM:TECH

"Your husband, an avid gamer and techie, dies of a heart attack, leaving his vast online life -- one you don't know much about -- in limbo.

"His accounts, to which you don't know the passwords, go idle. His e-mails go unanswered, his online multiplayer games go on without him and bidders on his eBay items don't know why they can't get an answer from the seller.

"Web site domains that he has purchased, some of which are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,  will expire, and you may never know."

Not to mention his bitcoins...

Article goes on to mention sites like Legacy Locker, Assetlock, Deathswitch and Slightly Morbid, which will email your survivors with crucial info, passwords, etc.

Hal Finney
nounderscores
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February 18, 2011, 03:52:41 AM
 #15

heh.

"Dearly Beloved,

It greaves me to discover that Your husband, an avid gamer and techie died of a heart attack. By accessing public ally available records we have determined that he had a fortune of $100BILLION USD in bitcoins.

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I got your contact from the International web site directory. I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due to it's esteeming nature and the recommendations given to me as a reputable and trust worthy person I can do business with and by the recommendations I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business.

I am able to recover theis monies for you and convert them to USD but in order to do so I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways.

1) To provide a Bank account where this money would be transferred to.

2) To serve as the guardian of this since I am a girl of 26 years.

3) a file called wallet.dat which I will use to find the funds

Moreover Madam, I are willing to offer you a 1% fee as compensation for effort input after the successful transfer of this fund to your designate account overseas. please feel free to contact ,me via this email address wumiabdul419@nigeria.com

Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God Bless.
Best regards.
Miss Wumi Abdul

PLEASE FOR PRIVATE AND SECURITY REASONS,REPLY ME VIA EMAIL:
wumiabdul419@nigeria.com"

Cheesy

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schnak
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February 18, 2011, 04:19:23 AM
 #16

My first thought was: I must show my wife how to use it properly.

My second thought was: Show EVERYONE how to use it.  Smiley


If your seriously thinking about what will happen if you die (as every responsible member of society should) what about your passwords? Are you an exec or department head, you would have important information that should fall to the right person(s) in the eventual event of your death.

With some planning you can set things up so that your information is handled properly, and if you have enough living family you can probably do it for cheap/free. The best thing i can think of would be to have separate wallet.dat files for each of your loved ones. keep them on a up to date storage media with a copy of the different installers for the bitcoin client that is close to recent. have instructions written in a txt file and maybe a video (who knows, that video may be more valuable to them than the BTC) with instructions on how to access the bitcoins and make them useable.

Keep these files current as part of your monthly/weekly financial/personal upkeep chores (i.e. balancing the checkbook/paying bills)
and most importantly make sure that several people know about the data storage device. or it may become the new version of sunken treasure.....

 now theres a thought. find a jumpdrive in a parking lot from 2-2011 and stumble your way into early retirement.... heh

Tips, donations, and bribes welcome:
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ByteCoin
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April 26, 2011, 11:17:29 PM
 #17

- nLockTime prevents miners from including the transaction in a block before the specified time.

Surely you're mistaken about how nLockTime transactions work. I believe that they are included in the next block just like normal transactions and any transactions which supersede it would be included in the blocks following them. Why else would there be a nLockTime field in every transaction in every block? The way you have it, there'd be no point recording the lock time in the blocks because the transaction would only be in the block once it's locked.

nLockTime as you explain it is an ugly solution. It creates the need for a parallel store of transactions that are neither in blocks nor eligible to be included in the next block. When a new miner starts up, how does he find out about nLockTime transactions which have been sent but haven't been locked? An extension to the network protocol would have to be made.

ByteCoin
theymos
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April 27, 2011, 12:53:48 AM
 #18

Surely you're mistaken about how nLockTime transactions work.

No. They fail IsFinal(), which causes them not to be included. If they are included, the block will be invalid.

They're stored in the memory pool like normal unconfirmed transactions. The sender and recipient can resend them to keep them fresh.

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April 27, 2011, 03:31:29 AM
 #19

- nLockTime prevents miners from including the transaction in a block before the specified time.

Surely you're mistaken about how nLockTime transactions work. I believe that they are included in the next block just like normal transactions and any transactions which supersede it would be included in the blocks following them. Why else would there be a nLockTime field in every transaction in every block? The way you have it, there'd be no point recording the lock time in the blocks because the transaction would only be in the block once it's locked.

nLockTime as you explain it is an ugly solution. It creates the need for a parallel store of transactions that are neither in blocks nor eligible to be included in the next block. When a new miner starts up, how does he find out about nLockTime transactions which have been sent but haven't been locked? An extension to the network protocol would have to be made.

ByteCoin

And yet, as ugly as it may be, that's how nLockTime transactions work.  They form a kind of pseudo-escrow, allowing the sender to prove to the seller that he actually has the funds, without actually sending them.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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