BitPay Drops Central Texas Gun Works; Bitcoin Magazine Drops Headline

March 12, 2014 17:47 UTC

Original Bitcoin Magazine article; article has been removed.

Late last night, Bitcoin Magazine published an article about Central Texas Gun Works (CTGW) being “dropped” by their Bitcoin Payment Processor: BitPay.  In response, and due to CTGW owner Michael Cargill‘s commitment to Bitcoin, CTGW has promptly switched to CoinVoice‘s Bitcoin invoicing services to provide guns and gun services in exchange for Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Magazine originally reported that it was unclear whether or not BitPay’s ToS was changed before or after Central Texas Gun Works signed on with BitPay.  That is obviously untrue, as the Internet Wayback machine can verify: BitPay’s ToS has been firmly anti-firearm for years. As BitPay’s CEO Tony Gallippi told Forbe’s Jon Matonis, now Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, back in 2012: BitPay would stick to its ToS.

Bitcoin Magazine: Where Is The Original Article?

For reasons unknown, Bitcoin Magazine’s breaking article from last night has been removed from their website.  The article was the first piece from Bitcoin Magazine that cast BitPay in a negative light, and it seems to have had a shelf life of just over a few hours.

It is only thanks to the quick work of NewsBTC that the Bitcoin community is aware of this particular Bitcoin Magazine article since it wasn’t publicized much and had an extremely limited twitter run.  Someone pulled the rug out from under this article.

Bitcoin Magazine is one of the oldest Bitcoin news sources and employs wonderful writers such as Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin.  However, you may not have been aware that the Executive Producer of Bitcoin Magazine is none other than BitPay’s CEO: Tony Gallippi.

BitPay and CTGW

Cargill at Texas Independence Day celebration hosted at his gun store.

BitPay has stated CTGW is in violation of BitPay’s ToS and CTGW owner Michael Cargill has stated that BitPay froze his accounts without any warning.  Just a cursory look at the BitPay ToS does reveal that firearms are and have been explicitly forbidden for years.  This begs the question: How did Central Gun Works Texas make it through BitPay’s vetting process to begin with?  Cargill has emphasized that BitPay knew all about Central Texas Gun Works’ business model before they signed him on.

To be clear, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a Bitcoin accepting service standing firm by their ToS and refusing to deal with firearms on mere principle. Many observers will recall that such a philosophical stand was taken by DPR of Silk Road, despite the mainstream media’s best attempts to paint the underground marketplace as an assassination market.

Coinbase On Guns And Drugs

Unlike BitPay, Coinbase does not have anti-firearm clauses in their ToS and there is at least one legal firearm dealer in the United States that has signed up under Coinbase.  Despite Coinbase’s seemingly open stance towards legal sale of guns using Bitcoin, they have been less receptive towards the legal sale of marijuana.

Months ago, Kashmir Hill of Forbes reported the story of Seth Green from Pacific Northwest Medical, a legal medical marijuana dispensary in Washington State.  Green was turned down by Coinbase despite the legality of his operation and his securing of a bank account.  On the topic of legal marijuana dispensaries, Coinbase believes that “We can’t service them as a customer because it’s still technically illegal federally.”

In comparison, BitPay’s response to legal marijuana dispensaries was this: “We are unable to offer our services to business that sell drugs.”

CoinVoice To The Rescue

CoinVoice reportedly worked overtime to provide Bitcoin processing solutions to CTGW when they were removed by BitPay in the last few weeks.  Though this news is just breaking today, CTGW’s website reveals that CTGW made the switch from BitPay to Coinvoice at the beginning of March.  It is not yet clear whether or not CoinVoice will do business with legal marijuana dispensaries in Washington and Colorado or legal medical marijuana dispensaries in 17 states across the country.

Stay tuned to CCN for more Bitcoin news!

Last modified: June 15, 2019 17:56 UTC


Caleb is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Economics, East Asian Studies, and Mathematics. He is currently pursuing his MSc in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia.