Bitcoin can be used at a gun shop in (where else?) Texas.
Consumers looking to purchase firearms in the Austin, Texas area will now be able to use a new type of currency to do so: Bitcoin.
By now, it is likely that almost everyone has heard about Bitcoin in some way, shape or form. However, many people are still unclear as to what it exactly is.
In simple terms, Bitcoin is a type of currency known as digital currency, or cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a type of digital medium for exchange and can be used to pay for items online. Bitcoin is just one type of these currencies, but is the most widely exchanged and most well-known one.
However, not all of its popularity has been good. It has been used on the dark corners of the Internet for illegal arms purchases in the past, and some countries have strict laws about its use and exchange. The United States government has one of the more friendly takes on Bitcoin, and the owner of a Texas gun shop is taking full advantage.
Michael Cargill, the owner of Central Texas Gun Works, has made his firearms store the first in the United States, and possibly the world, to accept Bitcoin as an acceptable form of payment. Cargill has even installed a Bitcoin ATM in his store which allows anyone to instantly exchange dollars for Bitcoin. It is only the second machine of its type in the US, according to a recent Forbes article.
Although Bitcoin has been used to anonymously purchase firearms online in the past, there is nothing anonymous about using that form of currency in Cargill’s shop. Consumers must still complete the required background check and paperwork necessary to purchase a firearm.
“I stand in front of my [self-defense] classes and tell them this is about their personal protection. This is about taking their own personal protection into their own hands,” Cargill told Forbes. “It’s the same thing for Bitcoin. It’s about taking that financial responsibility upon yourself and controlling your finances yourself, and not depending on the banking systems who are too big to fail.”
Currently, only about five percent of the sales at Central Texas Gun Works are paid for with Bitcoin. However, foot traffic in the store has also increased due to people wanting to use Cargill’s Bitcoin ATM.
The popularity of Cargill’s decision to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment in his store has also encouraged him to start selling firearms online as well. After the announcement of the decision, the store received so many emails and phone calls inquiring about purchasing online that it left Cargill with no choice but to begin selling online as well. Consumers buying online must have the firearms they purchase shipped to local gun stores so that all legal requirements for purchase are still met.
“I never wanted to sell guns online,” he said in the Forbes piece. “Once we accepted Bitcoin, I was inundated with emails and phone calls…We had no choice but to put them on the website.”
You can visit the website of Central Texas Gun Works here.
What do you think of the idea to use Bitcoin to purchase firearms? Sound off in the comments section below.