Armory Technologies, Inc., creator of the world's most secure Bitcoin wallet software, announces the completion of a $600,000 seed round investment, funded partially in Bitcoins, from a team of investors led by Bitcoin pioneer Trace Mayer and including Kevin Bombino and Jim Smith.
Armory Technologies, Inc. Founder and lead developer Alan Reiner ("etotheipi") formerly worked for Johns Hopkins and has advanced degrees in mathematics focusing on cryptography and statistics. This funding will enable him and at least two new developers to work full time on developing the Armory Bitcoin wallet.
Bitcoin wallet technology is complex and Armory is the most secure and feature-rich Bitcoin wallet application. Armory pioneered the "cold storage" concept of storing and transacting Bitcoin funds where the private keys are stored only on a computer that is kept entirely offline and supports backing up Bitcoin funds to a printed paper backup.
Armory is tailored for standard, advanced and expert Bitcoin users and is licensed under the "AGPL version 3" which guarantees that Armory and any derivative programs based on Armory source-code will always be open-source.
Insecure Bitcoin wallets and unscrupulous providers have previously resulted in the losses of significant funds for Bitcoin users. In the two full years Armory has been in use, Armory has had no reports of any lost or stolen Bitcoins among users who have used Armory's printed paper backup feature.
The need for improved wallets has been a hot topic of discussion in the Bitcoin community.
"[Wallets being in 'dire need of improvement'] is actually very problematic and a tragedy of the commons problem which I fear will likely only get worse because it is so difficult to monetize wallets," wrote Trace Mayer on the Bitcoin Foundation forums.
Core Bitcoin developer and Bitcoin Foundation Board Member Gavin Andresen responded, "Competition will make wallets better, but it will take time. And I agree with Trace that there is a 'how to monetize' problem with wallets."
Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn chimed in, "I think we'll see innovative ways to fund wallet development appear in the coming year or two."
Armory no longer has that problem and will soon release a new version that dramatically improves the application's speed and RAM usage. Armory already supports multiple wallets, address importing, paper backups and "coin control" for expert users.
New features will include support for hardware wallets and multi-signature transactions. This will open the door for enterprise level Bitcoin security by requiring that at least two or more people or devices (depending on corporate policies) approve every transaction. The next version will include functionality to create fragmented backups that can be stored in multiple locations for increased physical security.
Alan Reiner said, "We're excited to get funding which enables more talent to develop Armory without the pressure to produce revenue. Trace believes the Bitcoin ecosystem desperately needs Armory's features and that is one of many reasons why we picked him as our investor. He deeply understands Bitcoin and his first priority is for the Armory team to focus on developing a quality product that adds value."
Trace Mayer commented, "Bitcoin is still in beta but time is important. We need to push forward development of advanced, complex and powerful cryptographic tools. Alan is among the best in the world at what he does and his fruit, Armory, is the best of breed Bitcoin wallet, open-source and a free application. While there is no immediate plan for how to monetize Armory, nevertheless, I feel confident in Alan's ability to continue adding tremendous value to the Bitcoin ecosystem that greatly benefits all of us who use Armory to secure our financial rights in Cipherspace. After all, Bitcoin is the innovative spearhead of creative destruction of the financial and monetary systems."