Secure bitcoin wallet Armory has raised $600,000 in funding from a number of prominent investors.
The seed round investment was partially made in bitcoin, and featured a contribution from entrepreneur, journalist and avid freedom of speech defender Trace Mayer.
Las Vegas-based entrepreneur and Harvard University graduate Kevin Bombino also invested, as did Jim Smith, a fund manager and private investor.
Alan Reiner, founder and CEO of Armory, said he was “super excited” about the investment.
“This project has been an obsession of mine for the last two years, and I had been looking for an excuse to quit my job and work on it full-time,” he added.
Reiner, who previously worked as a physicist at Johns Hopkins University, said he is a great believer in bitcoin and thinks he can truly make an impact on the digital currency’s success now he has the time to develop Armory.
The majority of the funds will be used to hire and pay three or four full-time developers.
“This first 12 months is more about developing a quality product than it is figuring out how to monetize it. There will be some money set aside for travel, conferences and contractors to fill in gaps in our business capability, but most of it is for development costs.”
Mayer said he has great faith in Reiner and believes he is capable of pushing bitcoin forward and developing the advanced tools the space requires: “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.”
Reiner said he has a number of features planned for Armory and is excited that, now he is working full-time on the wallet software, he’ll finally have time to implement them.
As for what Armory has planned for the near future, Reiner said: “We’re currently just finishing up a new release that solves the RAM issues and long load times. It also includes ‘fragmented backups’, which protect your coins forever like single-sheet printed backups, but these can be split into multiple locations to improve physical security.”
He explained that a user’s wallet can be broken into three fragments and they can use any two to recover all their coins. This means the user can improve their wallet’s security by keeping one fragment at home, one in a safe-deposit box and one with a friend or family member, for example.
“We also plan to support hardware wallets in the immediate future, and start development on an Android app. In the longer-term, we hope to pioneer multi-signature transactions that allow for multi-device or multi-party authentication of funds.”
The Armory team believes this is critical if bigger players are to get involved in bitcoin. They claim many people are reluctant to invest in bitcoins as there is currently no safe way to manage lots of the currency as all wallets require only one signature to move funds.
Mayer said he feels confident in Reiner’s ability to continue adding “tremendous value to the bitcoin ecosystem”.
What features would you like to see added to Armory? Let us know in the comments.