Armory CEO to Step Down After Years of Bitcoin Development
Armory Technologies Inc. will be changing leadership soon. This announcement was made on the bitcointalk.org forum today by Armory CEO Alan Reiner. Armory Technologies, founded in 2011 by Reiner, Developed the Armory wallet, an open-source bitcoin wallet with security features like multisig and cold storage very early in Bitcoin’s development. Other security implementations like PGP signing of their packages instead of using the less secure md5 hash system made Armory one of the most secure open-source bitcoin wallets available. Failure of their enterprise offerings has brought the company down, however.
Armory Mismanaged, Says Reiner
Reiner cites mismanagement and legal entanglements as the primary cause of this turn of events:
“Ultimately, Armory as a business was not managed well. We didn’t raise money when we should have, and the Bitcoin space was not ready for the tech we produced (rather, the business economics didn’t match up, yet). There hasn’t been much public activity from us, because we were primarily focused on building a suite of enterprise security tools out of public view. These tools were impressive, but most of our target market was still in the exploratory phase and interested in proof-of-concepts, not actually holding $500M. Not yet. We couldn’t make up for our missed opportunities to raise money to keep moving towards our vision.
Along the way, we accumulated a mess of legal and corporate complexity that has made it difficult to do anything constructive with Armory’s intellectual property. These complexities make it risky for me to continue development, even if the money was there to pay me a salary. It has also made it difficult to be acquired by another company that shares my vision, that could provide funding to see its execution.”
Wallet Development Continues
He also expresses relief to “return to the life of being a software guru.” stating his core competencies lie outside of business management. Luckily, the wallet remains available due to it’s open licensing, and according to Reiner, will have a member of the original team actively maintaining it:
“In the immediate future, Farhod (Goatpig) has indicated that he will take over the reigns of the public side of the Armory project.”
With the enterprise solutions and company supporting it undergoing changes, we may see development fall off regardless, depending on how the community transition is handled. Reiner leaves us with the possibility of a future revival, despite the setbacks that led to Armory Technologies’ current situation. Hopefully, the maintainer from Armory will expand the wallet software’s write access to the FOSS community. Otherwise the original specification will likely die. Of course, a community fork could always arise.
What are your thoughts on the problems at Armory Technologies? Let us know in the comments!
Images courtesy of Armory Technologies, Github