Buying a weapon with Bitcoin used to mean visiting the seedier realms of the Internet, such as the now-shuttered Silk Road and its various clones. But now you'll finally be able to trade Bitcoin for a rifle on the up-and-up. Texas-based TrackingPoint said Thursday that customers could now purchase all of the company's products with Bitcoin.
TrackingPoint's claim to fame is its Linux-powered precision guided firearms, which TechHive got a peek at in January during CES.
Like many other Bitcoin-accepting companies--such as Overstock.com and TigerDirect--TrackingPoint isn't handling the Bitcoin transactions itself. Instead, the company will farm that work out to Coinvoice, a Bitcoin payment processor.
TrackingPoint's firearms use computerized systems to account for a variety of variables involved in shooting such as range, wind, shot angle, and so on. The end result, the company says, is more accurate shooting even if you're a novice.
In addition to its precision targeting system, the smart rilfe we saw at CES also had a 14-megapixel video camera and a 110mm telephoto lens for recording and streaming live video during the hunt.
All those high-tech features cost a pretty cryptocoin, though. TrackingPoint firearms have a starting price around $10,000, which translates roughly into 18 Bitcoins at current trading rates. The rifles are geared towards sport hunters, military and law enforcement.
On Guns and Bitcoin
But is it such a good idea to allow people to use a pseudo-anonymous currency like Bitcoin to buy high-tech firearms that could turn anyone into a master shot?
TrackingPoint says it requires all its customers to fill out an application before purchasing. Customers must also pick up their firearms in person from a federally licensed firearms dealer where they go through a background check, a company representative told TechHive.
From a business perspective, adding Bitcoin payments could be a very smart move for TrackingPoint. High-tech weaponry is likely to appeal to geeky types who are now flush with Bitcoin after getting in on the crypto-currency mining craze several years ago.