Frontier Tactical—a disabled-veteran-owned firearms business based in Florida—is now accepting payment in Bitcoin and is being reported as the first gun manufacturer in the United States to do so. Company owner Nate Love’s research indicates another firm considered the move in 2014, but abandoned the effort before it launched. The same year, Central Texas Gun Works began dealing with the cryptocurrency and Forbes magazine proclaimed it was the “….first legal Bitcoin-friendly firearm retail business in the country, if not the world.”
Bitcoin, the brainchild of as-yet-to-be-identified person or persons working under the Internet pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, was officially born sometime in January of 2009. The website Bitcoin.org was registered months before, in August 2008.
The digital currency employs cryptography to ensure the security of transactions, and exchanges usually don’t take place through traditional government and banking establishments. That’s slowly changing, though. Japan, for example, passed a law this year legalizing its use and Norway’s largest online banking firm now offers bitcoin accounts. The Internal Revenue Service views it as property and subject to capital gains tax. One of the advantages in the currency, the one often cited by users—or more accurately, “miners”—is a decentralized system that minimizes vulnerability to any nation’s political climate or inflation.
Some of companies accepting it as payment include Virgin Galactic, Overstock.com, Expedia and even Microsoft. The heavy, computer-reliant encryption doesn’t come without challenges, though. Some early investors—who could be millionaires today—have lost their doubly protected passwords, according to the Wall Street Journal, condemning their unexpected windfall to an as-yet untouched eternity in cyberspace.
Frontier Tactical’s website allows buyers to select bitcoin as their payment method and other cryptocurrencies will be added soon. Innovation is nothing new for the company. Its War Lock system allows enthusiasts to upgrade AR-15s to digest up to 90 different chamberings.