Guns for Bitcoin
New 'Smart Rifle' can be bought with popular Cryptocurrency
The popular virtual currency Bitcoin has taken the next step into the future – gun sales.
Bitcoin remains one of the hottest topics in our age of compromised privacy, as it allows individuals to make purchases with no paper trail, and the firearms trade is a logical avenue for spending the currency.
Right now, a single Bitcoin is worth $458.60. That value is low compared to the peak it hit back in December 2013, when it reached $1,060. While the virtual currency is highly volatile, it has continued to spread as an accepted form of tender.
People know that there is potential for appreciation in Bitcoin, and that is part of the reason why gun sellers are accepting them as a form of payment.
Tracking Point and Central Texas Gun Works are the newest gun sellers on the market accepting Bitcoin.
To be more precise, they are the first to publicly announce their acceptance. Another gun seller, The Arms Locker, may have been selling its guns for Bitcoin, but it doesn't include the payment method on their website. There has been online chatter about buying a gun from them with the virtual currency, but it’s likely the seller doesn’t want to let out he accepts it.
In addition to its fixed volume and independence from central bank manipulation, Bitcoin is also anonymous. Since it’s virtual, people can send the currency to a merchant without any trace back to an individual account identity.
With its anonymity, it does have some people doing illegal things with it such as buying drugs. That’s old news though. What everyone is worried about now is gun control with Bitcoin.
If gun sellers like Tracking Point and the Central Texas Gun Works can sell their guns for Bitcoin, how will they perform background checks on the people buying them since the payment is supposed to be anonymous?
The answer is that dealers in some states will still have to conduct background checks before handing over any firearm. Bitcoin will simply not be able to be used anonymously in those cases. Tracking Point has told us that they are required by law to "conduct FBI background checks on all its applicants. There is no anonymity in the sale or purchase of a TrackingPoint Rifle, [they] know who is purchasing the rifle. They simply have the option to utilize their bitcoin as currency rather than traditional dollars."
People have also been buying guns online with Bitcoin. Even if purchased online, though, the buyer must have the gun shipped to a dealer with a federal firearms license (FFL). When they go pick up their gun, that’s when they have to show their license to carry a firearm and get their background checked. In this way, the payment is done anonymously, but there is still a record attached to the gun in case it’s used in a crime.
Before considering investment angles, it’s important to understand why gun buyers would be interested in using the virtual currency in the first place.
TrackingPoint is a new rifle that isn’t just a rifle. This is a high tech type of gun. Users can set it up to live stream their activities, so people interested in watching a live hunt can do so from the perspective of the gun or a hunter.
People can see what the person sees in the scope on a phone or tablet. If you know how much Texans love hunting, you know how exciting this is. When they're not hunting, they can spend hours watching other people using the techie rifle.
Think about the possibilities for Bitcoin now. Early tech-adopting gun lovers are the target audience for Tracking Point rifle, which comes in at a steep starting price of $9,950. Since they are techie, they are the same type of user who would consider Bitcoin as a currency.
Now let's look at it from the opposite perspective. Now that the secret is out concerning using Bitcoins for guns, some people could start trying to sell their guns for Bitcoins online. People are talking about it on news aggregator Reddit, and new sites pop up every day like www.gunsforBitcoin.com.
Anonymity in the firearms trade is a bugbear to gun control advocates, and it looks like even Bitcoin cannot crack industry oversight.
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