Timothy Lee, a former software developer at Blockchain.info, has announced the launch of ArcBit, an open source bitcoin wallet that supports stealth addresses and promises to provide greater user privacy.

Lee, who had been working as a software developer at Blockchain.info for over a year, has left one of the hottest bitcoin startups to create his own product, naming a "difference in belief of what a bitcoin wallet should be" with his former employer.

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Lee said that the main reason that led him to leave Blockchain.info was a disagreement with design decisions, which he claims "ended up costing users some privacy, something [he] disagreed with."

Lee said:

"At Blockchain.info, I was [one of the people] working on the HD wallet for the iOS and Web wallet [...] While I was there, the company was making some design decisions on the wallet that I wish weren't made. One of those decisions ended up costing users some privacy, something I disagreed with."

Software developer Timothy Lee

In this sense, Lee created ArcBit in such a way that all private keys stay on the clients’ device; unlike Blockchain.info, which stores encrypted copy of the wallet on their servers.

"So you can think of ArcBit as a true bitcoin wallet, whereas Blockchain.info is a safety deposit box for your bitcoins - where the user has the key but Blockchain.info [doesn't] -and Coinbase is the bank for your bitcoins," he explained.

ArcBit, the first bitcoin wallet for iOS that supports stealth addresses, doesn't require users to signup and promises a faster loading time compared to other wallets. Other notable features include:

  • Single recovery passphrase that works forever;
  • Optional PIN protection;
  • Open source: https://github.com/arcbit/arcbit-ios;
  • Advance mode for bitcoin experts;
  • Import private keys support;
  • Import BIP38 encrypted private keys support;
  • Import watch only addresses support;
  • Import HD wallet account keys support;
  • Import HD wallet watch only account keys support.

Announced in early 2014, stealth addresses are a "new type of bitcoin address [...] that [allows] payees to publish a single, fixed, address that payers can send funds efficiently, privately, reliably and non-interactively," as defined in a paper authored by Peter Todd based on input from Gregory Maxwell, Adam Back and Amir Taaki.

Stealth addresses were heralded as "revolutionary" for their ability to allow more anonymous payments on the blockchain.

A number of wallets already support the feature, including Dark Wallet, which allows both sending and receiving, while clients of the likes of Electrum and Bitcore, only support sending at the time being.