Bitcoiners crave coders to cope with demand

More support to help with backend testing is high on developers' wish lists

By Zach Miners, IDG News Service |  

"I struggle just with not having enough people testing," said Alan Reiner , Armory's core developer, to a packed room of developers, Bitcoin enthusiasts, venture capitalists and other industry players at the conference.

"At the moment I am just one person developing Armory," he said. "If nothing else I just need more people to give me feedback."

"Bitcoin is real, and we need real people and real developers to get involved, not just people spending a couple hours in their free time," he added.

Others agreed that Bitcoin's growth necessitates more technical hands on deck. "Little tasks like writing test scripts, test plans ... Those sorts of things are not super brainy, algorithmic heavy research, but we desperately need that sort of stuff," said Jeff Garzik of BitPay, the leading Bitcoin payment processor.

"Bitcoin is growing up," he added.

The Bitcoin Foundation, meanwhile, also wants to focus on mobile, as more people gravitate toward smartphones and tablets in lieu of desktop computers.

One action item is to make Bitcoin wallet applications, which are already available on mobile devices, more secure, possibly through a two-factor sign-in process similar to what Google and other large companies offer.

The idea is based on a "shared wallet," so the user would open a Bitcoin wallet account on his or her desktop computer, then a message would be sent to the person's smartphone to confirm the identity of the account holder.

Providing more streamlined Bitcoin services on bandwidth-constrained mobile devices is also a goal, the foundation's Andresen said.

The hope is that all the added technical support and developer assistance will position Bitcoin for further success, well into the future.

"Maybe by 2020 we'll be nice and Zen and calm," said Andresen.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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