GitHub archives cryptocurrency project codes in an abandoned mine in Svalbard

The GitHub team will put the open source codes of major projects, including Bitcoin Core and Ethereum, on film and send them for storage in an abandoned mine in Svalbard.

GitHub organizes the storage of open source Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency projects in an abandoned coal mine in Svalbard. Placed on storage at a depth of 250 meters, the archives will include the code of Bitcoin Core – the most popular implementation of the code of the basic Bitcoin infrastructure in one of the most frequently used repositories on GitHub.

Repositories of cryptocurrency projects will be archived along with the source codes of many other projects of various directions. As part of the archiving program
to protect an important part of the technological history, a “snapshot” of all this code will be copied onto rolls of film and stored in a steel container. All this is done to ensure that the data remains safe for 1000 years. The GitHub team is currently preparing data for storage. The archives are scheduled to be placed in storage at the end of April,as a github representative told CoinDesk.

In addition to Bitcoin Core, most cryptocurrency projects stored on GitHub will also be included in the archive, including the code of the Lightning Network, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Archiving of such information is supported by the non-profit organizations Internet Archive and Long Now Foundation, as well as historians, anthropologists and other scientists.

Developers of Bitcoin and Ethereum highly appreciated the initiative. “The more backups, the better,” said Ethereum developer Ligi in an interview with CoinDesk.

“I think that at some point in the future, electronic records will be lost. The whole system is quite fragile. Saving some things on paper will definitely help avoid gaps in the history, ” said Vladimir van der Laan, lead developer of Bitcoin Core.

The archive will potentially allow people who will live in 1000 years to find out what cryptocurrency is and how it developed, provided that it manages to exist for a Millennium.

“In a sense, this is a fascinating section of financial history that we should keep for further study,” said Avanti CTO and Bitcoin Core developer Bryan Bishop.


While archiving cryptocurrency code may eliminate gaps for historians, this initiative may not make much sense for software developers hundreds of years from now.

“As a developer, the idea that future historians will try to reconstruct the picture of our world using context – specific source code seems funny to me,” van der Laan said.

Founder of the Ethereum infrastructure project Truebit and it researcher Jason Teutsch notes that additional information to the codes should be stored together with the source material.

“Social, economic, regulatory, and scientific records that reflect the motivations and resources for code development may eventually become more important than the code itself,” he said.

As Bishop develops an electronic encyclopedia for futuristic technological ideas, he hopes to achieve even more reliable storage of information. At the moment, Bishop is trying to get a patent for a way to store information inside the DNA. He notes that the genetic instructions that control an organism’s growth can store information for hundreds of thousands of years.

And while the GitHub project can help preserve important information, Bishop argues that there are many other important data that should be stored in a similar way.

“In addition to GitHub, you need to seriously think about archiving the Sci-Hub, which contains more than 70 million scientific articles,” Bishop said. “This is one of the greatest achievements of human intelligence and progress, and it must be preserved.”

This is not the first time that inaccessible mountains are used to store important information about cryptocurrencies. There is a storage facility in the mountains near lake Firvaldstet in Switzerland
bitcoins that are managed by the operator of the xapo cryptocurrency wallet.