One of my favorite guns and gear retailers has made a move into the blockchain world. DSG Arms accepts cryptocurrency payments for products sold through their website. For those who are accustomed to cash and credit/debit cards for their firearms-related purchases, crypto payments offer a few unique benefits. For one, in the past, banks and credit card companies have blocked firearms and ammunition purchases. A move towards Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments is a win for decentralized finance (DeFi) and a step towards regaining a little financial freedom.
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More About Cryptocurrency & The Decentralized Finance Movement
We currently accept BTC – Bitcoin, ETH – Ethereum, USDC – USD Coin, DOGE – Dogecoin, LTC – Litecoin, Dai, and BCH – Bitcoin Cash. ***
Decentralized Finance, or DEFI, is the use of a blockchain to process payments using cryptocurrency that enables commerce without the use of traditional banks. The blockchain, in simple terms, is a series of encrypted records distributed across a large network of computers. This network allows for the replacement of credit and debit card processors in digital commerce.
Once you own cryptocurrency it can be stored on a small hardware device (cold wallet) or on any number of local or software wallets (hot wallet). Then your wallet address or a mobile app on your phone is all that is required to make purchases. No credit cards or banks are required. Some crypto exchanges are now also offering traditional credit and debit cards that can be backed by cryptocurrency instead of the U.S. Dollar. Visa reported over $1 billion in crypto transactions in the first six months of 2021. And they expect it to grow quickly.
For new users, a centralized exchange (CEX) is a great way to do research and get started with crypto. They offer services such as simplified interfaces, bank transfers, credit card funding, and in some cases trading can be faster. At the same time, a cryptocurrency user has the choice to use a decentralized exchange (DEX). A DEX may not offer the same convenience features (like converting Dollars to crypto) as a CEX, but a DEX can be utilized for more privacy and to have more control over fees and transactions.
As with any new technology, the information presented through the media can be ill-informed or intentionally misleading. One of the biggest misconceptions is that all cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous. In reality, the blockchain records for most cryptocurrency types are publicly available to anyone with an interest and the technical ability to view it. What does not happen with cryptocurrency is that an organization cannot easily identify you, share, compile or study your spending data for marketing or political purposes. Your identity and your transaction history as related to you, as a named entity, are only available to the exchange you choose to share it with. Each exchange has its own rules and policies regarding privacy.
While the use of the blockchain and DEFI to provide financial services is a new and sometimes volatile technology, DSG supports the ideas behind it and the promise of conducting business without large organizations controlling the payment process. In the past, these large organizations have shown a willingness to interfere in free commerce by choosing who has access to a currency based on politics or quid pro quo arrangements between banks and political parties. See Operation Chokepoint and Operation Chokepoint 2.0 (no affiliation with linked sources or articles) for more information. Companies like DSG that support our Military, Law Enforcement personnel, and U.S. Citizens have been a target of these policies as recently as 2021. Cryptocurrency and Decentralized Finance can offer our next generation a future without these issues.
DEFI also offers the future promises of end-to-end smart contracts that someday can replace traditional transactions by integrating purchasing, payment, and delivery tracking into a simple interface without checks, debit cards, and traditional bank networks.
*** During periods of large volume, network issues, or market volatility DSG may temporarily restrict the use of some or all types of cryptocurrency payments.