Today Alan Reiner announced he is quitting Armory wallet development, and that efforts to commercialize the Armory Bitcoin wallet have failed. Armory started life as a promising wallet management tool that runs on top of a local Bitcoin daemon, but when a "phone home" feature became public knowledge any potential of trusting Reiner as a software developer or Armory as a software product was lost. Reiner with the help of serial fundraiser Trace Mayer raised funds in an attempt to make a business out of the Armory software. Reiner's announcement is presented in full below:
Dear Bitcoin Community,
I apologize I have been silent for such a long time. Current events and business pressures have kept me busy, as well as in an opaque cloud of uncertainty about Armory's future. I had looked forward to coming back to share with you good news and a fresh outlook, but unfortunately that's not the position that I am in. I could probably write a book about the depth and complexity of events of the past year, the lessons I've learned and the personalities I've dealth with. However, at this point it's all history, and I've always been more interested in planning the future than dwelling too much on the past.
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.
In the short-term, this is the end of the road for my involvement in Armory. My only real choice is to move on, and try to contribute my expertise elsewhere. After spending 80% of the last year primarily dealing with business operations, I welcome a return to the life of being a software guru, which is where my skill really lies. I also want to thank the other developers who were so loyal that they stuck around through missed payrolls way longer than any "regular employee" would. I'm proud that I was able to build and maintain such a loyal and devoted team to our mission.
In immediate future, Farhod (goatpig) has indicated that he will take over the reigns of the public side of the Armory project. He also has my utmost confidence and trust, and demonstrated a selfless passion for growing Armory for the sake of the Bitcoin community. Armory may be revived in the future, but in the short-term the rest of team has to move on without it.
I want to take this time to thank the community, which has been instrumental in getting us even this far. Even in its current state, the public version of Armory is a powerful, unique, and much needed piece of software which I think has made a significant impact on the Bitcoin ecosystem. And a large part of that is due to the testing, feedback, discussion and promotion provided by the community over the years. I hope to continue my involvement in some way and help the Bitcoin ecosystem grow in the future.