Úno 04

Armory to CEO to Step Down After Years of Bitcoin Development

Source: bitcoin


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.

Also Read: Six Ethereum Projects and its Five Competitors

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

The post Armory to CEO to Step Down After Years of Bitcoin Development appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Armory to CEO to Step Down After Years of Bitcoin Development

Led 28

AMD Launches GPUOpen: Potentially Huge Boon for Cryptocurrency

Source: bitcoin


January 28, 2016 — This Tuesday, AMD launched GPUopen, a suite of MIT-licensed development tools for graphics and GPGPU applications. GPGPU is integral to making mining hardware profitable for many cryptocurrencies, and with the upcoming launch of Vulkan and the recent Hack of AMD’s GCN architecture, many interesting possibilities for the Mining and Cryptocurrency communities present themselves.

Also Read: Bank of England Considers Distributed Ledger Technology To Revamp UK Financial Infrastructure


The Trouble with GPGPU


We’ve found ourselves in a strange transitional period for both cryptocurrency and the hardware that makes it possible. Debates rage around the direction bitcoin can (or should) go. A bevy of new altcoins are coming into their own, and GPGPU hardware has reached a point of stagnation as major hardware manufacturers refine their newest architectures.

Successful decentralized services rely heavily on open source development and distribution, a concept markedly foreign to AMD and Nvidia when it comes to the software they provide for their cards. Nvidia’s CUDA was choked out of the cryptocurrency market as a standard for this reason. Thus far we’ve been limited from both a performance and development standpoint by the opacity of the closed drivers, only able to interface with GPGPU hardware via the provided SDKs. This introduces overhead, inefficiencies, and inconsistent performance where there needn’t be because developers can’t see what’s going on inside the driver binaries, or “blobs.”


GPUOpen Brings Transparency to the Table


The options outside of the manufacturer provided ones weren’t great for a long time. You could hack the binary drivers to uncover direct hardware access like Tomasz Stachowiak did for GCN, but you can’t ship finished code with these implementations because of all the legal trouble it’ll get you in. You could also use open source drivers, but up to this point they perform badly compared to the closed versions and have little to no support for GPGPU. GPUOpen turns this Paradigm on its head. It provides support and tools for OpenCL implementations on the open source AMD driver, enabling developers to get closer to the inner workings of the cards they’re writing applications for. This means improvements in a lot of areas down the road for AMD support, but it should be of particular interest to Cryptocurrency miners, because it means hashing overhead could come down and compute efficiency may very well rise, and all of this is happening for GCN hardware, which has been the miner’s GPU architecture of choice for some time now, given it’s OpenCL performance.

There’s one package from GPUOpen that should give the Crypto community pause: The ROCK open-source kernel driver. It allows more direct hardware access than one can achieve with the proprietary driver, and its liberal license means there are tremendous opportunities for permutation and optimization. In addition, development on the open source driver will push improvements for the open-source software stack, leading to stability and performance improvements comparable to what we see in the proprietary Catalyst driver, possibly replacing it on Unix-based systems. With Vulkan intended to replace OpenGL in the near future, having a solid open-source codebase to work from in case OpenCL stagnates or standards change is invaluable.

So what does this all mean in the context of the Cryptocurrency community? Well, Developing mining applications and setting up direct-compute proof of work just became a lot easier, a viable open source driver has come into play that lets developers see what the hardware is doing, which means lower overhead and faster hashing, as well as more granular control of compatibility and settings for the end user. There’s a lot to be unsure of moving forward into the new year, but a lot of it should be exciting for those that use or are interested in blockchain technology.


How do you think GPUOpen will affect  Blockchain development? Let us know in the comments!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia commons, Vulkan Group

The post AMD Launches GPUOpen: Potentially Huge Boon for Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

AMD Launches GPUOpen: Potentially Huge Boon for Cryptocurrency