Wallet Backup Standard

I’ve been working on Flowee Pay and realized that it would be useful to have a standard data format for basic wallet backups. When I talk about backups, I’m mostly just referring to the seed phrase and similar. Not details which are available on chain.

In the case of HD wallets, you need 3 pieces of information to do a proper restore.

  • the actual seed phrase.
  • The derivation path
  • the blockheight of the first transaction depositing funds in your wallet.

The last one is probably not relevant for those that use an address indexer, as that always searches the entire history. But for those using bloom-filters based P2P restore, this info is pretty useful to limit the amount of time it takes to restore a wallet.

Either way, as far as I know there is no standard format we can put in a QR or similar in order to make backup fast and painless. Some wallets show the actual seed phrase as plain text in a QR, which is limited (read: lock-in) as that assumes derivation path. (see earlier topic).

When we move on to backup techniques that are less in use, for instance a NFC tag (example image), it would be much more powerful if different wallets can retrieve this info in a standardized way.

Again, this is separate from other info. Things like an address book, comments for transactions, or even the transactions themselves. Probably useful to backup too, but the biggest power I think lies in a standard that allows people to share the basics of a wallet in order to restore the funds themselves.

I wonder if there is an interest in this format, and most importantly if people like @cculianu are willing to implement that in wallets.

Naturally, if I missed an existing format that already does this, please do let me know. I love it when others do the work for me :wink:


10 posts were merged into an existing topic: CHIP 2023-01 Backup: wallet offline backup formats

Moved to CHIP status, and a new topic; CHIP 2023-01 Backup: wallet offline backup formats