Armory Wallet: How to Set Up and Recover the Bitcoin Wallet

A coin in knights armor with a sword, standing on a bitcoin.

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Armory Wallet has been available since the year 2015 and is a kind of pioneer in the field of cold storage solutions. The wallet is open-source software whose development and funding started back in 2012 and remains one of the best Bitcoin wallets freely available on the market.

While the reference software Bitcoin Core is used by private individuals and businesses alike, Armory is a wallet that can also be used by end-users but is especially tailored to businesses. These often have completely different requirements because it is not about a single user being able to secure their Bitcoin, but about a group of authorized employees who need to get access to it.

Nevertheless, or perhaps because of this, Armory is a good solution for the discerning home user who wants to ensure that their cold storage solution meets proper standards. We set out for you and took a closer look at Armory and its features.

What Is Armory and How Does Its Cold Storage Work?

Armory allows its users to use all the standard features that you would expect from a full-fledged Bitcoin wallet. Interested parties should be aware before installing it that it is a full-fledged client or node just like the Bitcoin Core wallet. Therefore, the installation is followed by the download of the complete Bitcoin blockchain, which currently requires about 360 GB of free storage space.

Armory’s strengths lie in its cold storage and the so-called multi-key setup. The latter is also referred to as lockboxes in the software and documentation. A cold storage wallet or cold wallet is a wallet that is not connected to the Internet and thus remains offline. A classic example of this would be the paper wallet, where the private key is simply printed out and can be read via QR code.

Armory solves the issue by allowing users to create a so-called root key that grants full access to the wallet. This can either be written down or saved as a file. In addition, Armory lets you create a so-called watch-only wallet from the same key. This allows one to watch and notice when new transactions come in, but not send any transactions. This watch-only mode can also be used to let someone else watch the wallet without having access to it.

If one still wants to initiate transactions with such a setup that is still possible but requires a slightly more complex process to sign the transaction with the cold wallet. It also requires two computers with the watch-only wallet on the first, which is connected to the Internet. The second wallet, on the other hand, is active on a computer that is not connected to the Internet and is only used to sign the transactions.

Here are the steps to be taken on the watch-only wallet first:

  • Select “Send Bitcoin” and choose the cold wallet or watch-only wallet
  • Enter destination address and amount
  • Now Armory will create a file for the signature
  • Save the file to a USB flash drive and proceed with this copy on the offline computer

On the cold storage device, the following steps need to be completed:

  • Click on the menu item “Offline Transaction”
  • Upload the created file there and check transaction details
  • Enter the password and sign the transaction
  • After that you will receive another file, this one contains the fully signed transaction and you save it again on the USB flash drive

On the watch-only wallet:

  • You can now select “Broadcast” from the “Offline Transaction” menu
  • Now you upload the fully signed file and send the transaction to the network

Armory Offers Fragmented Backups

Armory offers a well-designed solution for backups, which addresses one of the most pressing problems when you want to store your backup as a physical copy on a sheet of paper. The problem is that anyone who finds the document automatically gets full access to it.

With a so-called fragmented backup, you can split the root key into several parts and store them in different places. This means that in the end, it is of no use to a finder or burglar if he comes across a single fragment. This makes the storage of backups much more secure than with other wallet solutions.

Lockboxes With Multiple Users

So-called lockboxes are multi-key setups offered by Armory. This is particularly interesting for companies because it allows transactions to be signed only if a specified number of employees or managers agree. For example, it could be a requirement that at least 3 out of 5 keys must always sign.

But this is also interesting for the home user, because, for example, a well-thought-out estate management can be accomplished with lockboxes. At the same time, you can also bring additional security into play with such a setup by holding several keys yourself and requiring them to be signed.

Armory Privacy and Security

Armory actually represents a well-designed solution for cold-storage wallets. If you additionally select a multi-key setup a specified minimum number of keys must sign the transaction in order for it to be executed.

Thus, Armory can be classified as very secure in all respects. The wallet also does not cut corners when it comes to data protection and allows its users to connect to the Tor network and use it as a proxy. This means that the user’s IP address can no longer be linked to the transaction. This is certainly not a particularly important feature for everyday use but those who are looking for a plus in privacy will find what they are looking for with Armory.

Transaction Fees With Armory

Armory offers valuable features like RBF and CPFP. This makes it possible to adjust the transaction fees even after a transaction has been sent and to make sure to increase it if it is stuck in the mempool.

Additionally, Armory suggests the appropriate transaction fees based on the situation in the Bitcoin network. This flexibility makes it possible to set the fees as optimally as possible, which is not necessarily possible with every client. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that this is not a unique selling point. RBF in particular has been a standard feature of many wallets for a long time.

Support and Documentation

The software sets standards and is therefore very well documented. In addition to comprehensive instructions on how to use and set up the wallet, the development team also offers a consulting service, which, however, is aimed more at corporate customers who can benefit more from all the options of the software.

Those who have comprehension questions about the actual use can contact the team and the community on Bitcointalk. Armory is very well positioned in terms of these aspects.

Forgotten Armory Password – What Can You Do?

Losing passwords is always a problem and difficult to overcome if you don’t have the necessary tools and the knowledge to use them. As a first measure, you can try out possible combinations and record failed attempts.

It is also advisable to create a backup now, at the latest. If you are not lucky enough to gain access on your own, our wallet recovery services can help you regain access to your Armory wallet. Simply fill out our contact form with your specific issue.

After we have received your request, a member of our staff will contact you to clarify some details and give a first assessment of your case. Please bear in mind that we cannot give a general assessment because each recovery depends on details and can therefore vary greatly in terms of effort and difficulty. In principle, however, we have had a very good experience with the recovery of passwords for Armory Wallets, which is why it is worth making an enquiry in any case.

Other Wallet Recovery Guides

FAQ - Armory Wallet

Is it possible to sign transactions offline with Armory?
A big advantage of Armory is that you can also sign your transactions completely offline meaning that you are in full control of your coins even on a maschine with no internet connection. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to sign transactions offline here.
How can I restore my wallet with fragmented backups?
In order to restore your wallet using fragmented backups, you need the minimum number of fragments required. This number does not have to be the total number of all fragments created, but depends on the minimum amount of fragments set to be required. For example 2 out of 3, 3 out of 6 or else could be possible configurations set for the wallet. If the minimum number of fragments is available you can recover the wallet by choosing the option “recover by reading the fragments” in your Armory wallet.

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