Blockchain technology is known to be a modification-resistant method of storing data. GuniaryTM, the world’s first blockchain gun diary, is the first to leverage the anonymous power of this technology to help gun owners privately store and track their firearms maintenance information, ammo count, and even the location of their guns and ammo. Joining Warren Whitlock in this episode is Duane Jacobsen, CEO of Blocksafe Holdings Inc., a blockchain-as-a-service network that powers the Guniary platform. In this conversation, Duane explains how the platform helps gun owners become more private, secure and law-abiding with respect to their firearms and why blockchain technology is uniquely suited to do the task. He also shares how Guinary applications can be used to borrow money against, the platform’s future thrust towards a blockchain-powered gun marketplace and more.
Listen to the podcast here:
Keeping A Diary Of Your Guns On A Blockchain With Duane Jacobsen
Guniary Distributed Gun Owner Private Diary
I’ve got Duane Jacobsen, who I have known through a couple of different things he’s been working on and meeting him at conferences. Every time I get a chance to talk to Duane, it’s something new, something different, and usually something quite profitable at the ground floor. He’s the guy we want to talk to about the general subject of taking whatever technology. We often talk a lot about blockchain and crypto, but any kind of technology and applying it where it can get beyond techies looking for a run up on an investment. Welcome to the show, Duane.
Thank you, Warren. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and talk to you about the product that we’re putting together.
Let’s talk about a couple of the things you’ve done in the past. What are you best known for? What are you proudest of?
My background is in Financial Technology, FinTech. I developed a number of award-winning platforms that are still running out there. My background is in the branded network space, which means the credit card, the prepaid card, MasterCard, Visa, American Express. I come from that financial background and I’ve applied that framework to almost everything I do. I’ve been working in the blockchain space for many years.
In the stories you’ve told me before, you get into something that ends up being the residual income that we all crave that is licensing something and coming up with a new innovation that “passed in a bowl,” is the right word for it. I don’t know if you have patents or not for all of these.
There are some products we have patents on, but the product that I’m going to talk about, which is the Guniary.com product. The interesting thing about this product and blockchain is this is not an idea that I thought of last week. I’ve been working on this for probably since 2017. The reason that I thought of this product and blockchain was because if you know anything about firearm owners, and there are about 393 million of them in America based on whatever statistics you want to look at, is that they want that information to be private. What that causes though is a unique thing. A lot of times that information is written down in a book or a ledger, “How many firearms I own? What kind of ammunition I use? What kind of accessories I have?” You can’t apply that knowledge against other services that may be out there like, “Tracking my movements,” or buying insurance or even a marketplace.
I can use the value of an immutable ledger like blockchain, creating a blockchain, creating a token, and creating this subscription service called Guniary that allows for me to provide services to firearm owners that make them safe. This is all about firearm safety. This is about being lawful about your firearms. This is about privacy and security. That’s what the application does. I can talk more detail about it and tell you where we’re at with it.When you create your account at Guniary, you’re actually creating a wallet behind the scenes. Click To Tweet
I want to get to that, but I want to establish the idea of what I want to talk about. The fact that you’re solving a real-world problem, it is there and knowing where stuff is. It has been the boring stuff of a past technology. The double entry ledgers created bookkeeping and the possibility of doing a lot of modern finance. The corporation was invented to be able to apply capital or something, and some boring infrastructure of how the world works. Without insurance, a lot of ventures could have never taken place. A lot of investors wouldn’t invest. Fundamentally, when we go back to the roots of many of the best ideas, it’s there. That’s one of the things that blockchain has given us. It’s a triple entry bookkeeping where we know on a public ledger that there are records. You can also make them private. Is this a public blockchain?
It’s a private blockchain, but it’s using the Tendermint and the Cosmo SDK so that it can talk to two other blockchains at some point. It’s a private blockchain because we’re basing it on a subscription model. To your point there about that privacy and that security of the blockchain. As an example, think about that. You could have firearms and there are a lot of sportsmen out there that have expensive firearms. They have them their whole life. They have an inventory of these items and many times when they pass, that information is not there for the family to see. We could take this information that is private on this chain and have smart contracts against it that literally wake up on their official death, and provide the information that’s private to that user to the executor of that estate.
We can do that now with this type of technology. We can open that up in a secured way if the user wants to do that. We can also overlay on this very private information and create trip reports in the application, which allows for me to say, “I’m moving these firearms with this ammunition, with these accessories from point A to point B. Whether it’s interstate or intrastate, it doesn’t matter.” What I’m doing is applying the laws because in the 50 states in the US, there are 50 sets of laws on how you transport firearms. If you don’t know what those are, you can make some serious mistakes.
One of the reasons I wanted to build this was because a good friend of mine’s buddy was arrested because he had a serious issue with his mom and left one state without returning his illegal firearm in New Jersey. He didn’t return it to his home in PA, which caused some serious trouble for him. He got out of it after extensive legal expenses, but no one wants to go through that. Most firearm owners can’t keep up with the regulations because the laws are changing. Most law enforcement people don’t even know what the rules are.
For me, as somebody with a heck of a lot of less experience than you in firearms, I look at an ongoing firearm system. As we started investigating it, how would it be that if I decided I didn’t want to bother with a deed on my real estate and I pass, and where does that go? There used to be something like that. When I studied title insurance and escrows work in real estate many years ago, it was said that the reason they have title insurance is because sometimes you don’t know who owns the property. Nowadays, if you push a button and you’ve got a complete history on that property. That’s something that is expensive, public because the land is there. It has taken a long time to get to the point that it is now. We need to apply that thinking there, just everything else. Any asset worth anything ought to be kept track of.
To that point, as you use it with a deed, a firearm has a serial number. The rail has a serial number on it and that’s trackable. It’s usually tracked right from the manufacturer all through the process of buying that through a federal firearms licensed dealer in the United States. That’s tracked. That information can all be captured within the application. What’s unique about it, let’s say that you were lucky enough to have a shotgun that you use for competition trap shooting that’s worth $800,000 because there are some that costs that much money.
You might not use that all the time or you maybe want to keep it in the family. You have an opportunity now to take that firearm with that serial number. You can put it into a secured, meaning a locker or a safe at a third-party, escrow that and borrow money against it through our application. Every transaction is tracked on the blockchain. We encrypt everything. We have a hash and you cannot get into the application without your private key. There’s a whole security around that because when you create your account on Guniary, you’re creating a wallet behind the scenes. Within that are the tokens that you need to run your subscription.
Theoretically, that could also be an illegal armory or stolen guns or whatever they want to keep track of, but this application is not going to appeal to those people.
I don’t believe it would. I’m not sure why a criminal would want to do that.
Once you file the serial number off, you don’t want to keep track of the weapon in the box with the other stuff.
This is for sportsmen and firearm owners that want to have a clear record of what they own. If you think of a gun diary and why they kept it, it’s because a lot of people like to keep track of what firearm they have? What ammunition they used? What was the purpose of it? How well did they shoot? There are a lot of details that go into this and that’s what a gun diary. We take the benefits of a gun diary and we put it into a system where you have access to it and you can do a lot of things. We have a future application we’re going to be working on in 2021 where we can create a marketplace.
Let’s say you have a shotgun made by a certain manufacturer, let’s say it’s a Remington, and you want to tell the world or the marketplace that you own one of these. You can tell the world you own one without them knowing who you are. They can come back to you now and say, “I know that person has a Remington shotgun model XYZ and I want to sell them.” That person is looking for accessories or he’s looking for ammunition. That vendor can now make offers to the Guniary owner without knowing who they are. That person can then decide to accept that offer and go through the normal merchant process of acquiring that asset from them.
It’s the opposite of illegal and secretive, dark web transactions of guns because I can say, “I own this and I can also give you the history of who owned it.” It’s like a title report on a piece of real estate.
We’re not transacting any of that. They all have to go through the legal FFL process if you’re buying ammunition or you’re buying a firearm and even accessory. We don’t want to be the seller. We want to be the connector.
The connection is a bit more than what a title insurance company do. I’ve lived in a couple of jurisdictions, or at least when I learned this, I was in California. Whether or not you’re in Northern or Southern California and I don’t know where the dividing line was on these different rules about how you do a title. My conception of how a title insurance should be is they are the people that look at the official record, the public record. Who owns what? What has a lien on it? You can’t just go sell somebody a house that you don’t own. If I was to steal a gun that was registered in your system and try to certify that I am the rifle owner of it, I get into some trouble. I don’t think you’ll be the guy overseeing the transaction. It’s like farm to table in food, you can keep everything.Everything is encrypted at Guniary – allowing you the anonymity and privacy that you cannot get anywhere else. Click To Tweet
We’re not going to be the oversight or the reviewer of this. This is for the purpose of the firearm owner and/or his family to utilize this subscription because it benefits them to be lawful. We can overlay a lot of services that are difficult for firearm owners to figure out how to acquire. If I have to think about buying insurance, I got to let them know who I am and go through all this process. What if I reverse that and say, “Here’s what I have. Here’s what I’d like you to ensure. You tell me how that looks without knowing who I am.”
You can verify that you have that legal ownership of the item. I’m always thinking bigger than guns and you’re concentrating on guns. That’s fine because you’ve had to think through a lot of the issues that I’m thinking of and you can’t be everything to everyone. The theory is that in the future, it’s going to be a lot harder to walk up to somebody and say, “I’ve got something for you,” and defraud them by trying to sell them stolen goods or whatever.
At some point, this could be connected to the other systems that the governments used like the NICS system and others. I would envision that at some point, but to even think bolder, this platform could be used for anything. It doesn’t have to be used for guns.
Particularly, picking guns is great because it is something that people are a little bit leery of. How do you address that, “I’m leery of this, I use a little paper diary that I keep in my safe, I don’t want anybody to know?”
There’s no doubt about it. I’ll be quite honest that it’s a challenge. Firearm owners are not technical. If you said blockchain to them, they would probably give you an odd look. They use mobile phones and other technology, but there is going to be a ramping to convince them that this is secure and that information isn’t in some centralized database somewhere that is controlled by Duane and Guniary. That they own the private keys, the public address and the 24-word passphrase. If they lose it, goodbye data.
Not goodbye guns though.
Not goodbye guns, goodbye data. The risk to them is losing the data if they lose the private keys.
You’re doing a good thing here in showing the world that beyond the, “I can buy crypto at the ground floor. Have it go up and frenzy of trading.” The approach that the general public thinks of is that the actual use of this becomes something that you are solving your problem and you’re not betting on the company. You’ve got the data and passcode which should be in the little book inside your safe.
A lot of people keep that where they securely lock up their firearms and ammunition. It is where they keep a lot of that information. We’re building it the same way with technology using blockchain because of the immutability of the data and the security of the chain itself and how we encrypt data. There’s data that’s going to be on-chain and off-chain.
Specifically to the privacy, we’ve got the idea that people are worried that somehow this Bitcoin thing is going to all fall apart and all the Bitcoin will become worthless. I watched a video discussing that and I think like, “What security do we have that the Federal Reserve isn’t going to make our money worthless? It’s certainly not worth the gold now.” It took a while for people to trust that governments could hold gold and issue money against it, and then that we could all be tricked into getting rid of the gold or silver and still believing that the money is something. The faith of these systems is in the technology and tech wins here.
It’s the technology, believers, community, the scarcity of Bitcoin and ongoing having. I’m on the other side of that conversation.
To follow what you’re doing, I know you’re not even out in Alpha yet. The one place to keep track of where you are on the project is Guniary.com. We’ve been talking to Duane Jacobsen. Follow this guy, pay attention. He’s always up to something good.
We’re about 70% through our Alpha. We have three nodes on a Testnet. We’ve got the Explorer all finished for the Guniary chain, wallets are set up, a lot of the application is finished and we’re planning on doing an Indiegogo crowdfunding. If you go to our website, you can join our Indiegogo perks list. You can be first to learn about the perks we’re going to be offering for people that help fund this. There are going to be some rewards also for people that help get other people to join. We want to spread the word through the community.
They’re not a crypto launch type of thing.
It’s a crowdfunding because we’re not crypto product from a standpoint of an ICO. There are no tokens that you see because everything’s on a wallet that is behind the subscription. We’re going to be selling a subscription service to this. Some of the perks were going to be subscriptions to the product for the early crowdfunders. There will be some other perks that we’re looking at as well as rewards, if you get your friends and families to join.
Thanks a lot. That’s at Guniary.com. We’ll see you all again soon.
About Duane Jacobsen
Expertise: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Block, Hash, Mining, Altcoins, Cryptocurrency, Wallets, Exchanges, Electronic payments, Payment card, Mobile Payment, Financial Services Industry, Network Branded Prepaid Card Programs, Payments Industry, Debit Card, Payments Products, Issuer, Payment Systems, Transaction Processing, Processors, Contactless, Merchant Processing, Wallet, Licensed Accountant, FinTech, ACH, Payment Solutions, Electronic Bill Payment, Patents, Value Proposition, Risk, Compliance, AML, Six Sigma, a Processing platform, Remittance, Global payment, New payment, Card products, Product innovation, New card Experience: Trefoil- Prepaid Resources, American Express, TSYS, Clarity Payment Solutions