Bitcoin’s Codebase To Be Preserved Under Arctic Ice For 1000 Years As part of an archival program, Github is going to preserve bitcoin’s codebase und
Bitcoin’s Codebase To Be Preserved Under Arctic Ice For 1000 Years
As part of an archival program, Github is going to preserve bitcoin’s codebase under the arctic ice. The mission of the program is to make sure that future generations have access to today’s open-source software.
The archival team is currently in the process of preparing the codebase. A snapshot of most active projects was taken on February 2, 2020. The actual deposit is slated to take place by the end of April. This could serve as an important event in history in case anything goes bad.
The Archival Program
The archival program is a multi-institutional effort. GitHub has partnered with the Arctic World Archive, Oxford University’s Bodleian Library and Software Heritage Foundation to achieve the mission. Organizations like the digital library Internet Archive and the Long Now Foundation are also backing the effort.
Github has chosen the decommissioned coal mine, 250 meters deep under the island of Svalbard, as the archival site. This is quite similar to the Global Seed Vault just a mile away from the Arctic Code Vault. It will store the archives of the most active GitHub repositories that they will encode onto 3500-feet film reels. Bitcoin Core’s codebase is one of the most used among these.
The reels are capable of storing the data for 1000 years. The ultimate mission of the team is to store the repositories for 10,000 years. A duplicate of the archive will be held at the Bodleian Library to provide redundancy to the Arctic archive.
The reason for this huge effort is to preserve the open-source software of today for future generations. Digital records are fragile and can be easily lost. This could have grave implications in case something bad happens to our civilization.
Crypto Gets Archived
Along with bitcoin’s codebase, the program will also include most other crypto projects. In a way, it really suits the ethos of cryptos. They are mostly based on open-source code and use Github. The very nature of blockchain tech requires storing of the same copies of data over multiple locations. The archival is, therefore, quite fitting.
Such a massive archival project can have a pivotal role in future generations. In case most data is destroyed, they can simply pick back up from the records. And if everything goes right, it will provide a snapshot into the past. They will get to learn exactly how things evolved. Since cryptos are an important junction in human history, it becomes ever more important to preserve this moment in time.
However, it could also be that the codebases don’t make sense to future generations. Technology evolves quite rapidly and just a century or two, the current tech might become obsolete. Sure, cryptos are cutting edge now, but even they are not immune to technological breakthroughs. This could result in the archives being redundant. However, at present, they are quite necessary.