GitHub is burying a database of open-source code, including that of Bitcoin Core, 250 meters below the permafrost of a mountain in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.
GitHub announced the project as a plan to preserve open-source software for future generations. According to their 2020 Artic Vault program, the developer community is creating a “snapshot” of active repositories on GitHub in order to safeguard an important part of technological history. The code will be copied onto film reels and placed in steel containers designed to last at least 1,000 years.
As today’s vital code becomes yesterday’s historical curiosity, it may be abandoned, forgotten, or lost. Worse, albeit much less likely, in the case of global catastrophe, we could lose everything stored on modern media in a few generations.
GitHub says the artic code vault will be located in a decommissioned coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago, which is closer to the North Pole than the Arctic Circle.
The Vault program also intends to create multiple copies of the open-source data on an ongoing basis that will include various data formats and locations.