Escaping Financial Surveillance with Tools Like Monero! (Douglas Tuman Interview)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Up front, I don’t do a lot of shopping, other than online. I installed Cake and just never made a purchase via monero converted to Gift Card. I think I made one Lowe’s purchase that would have worked in a year.
I use some cash but that mostly is just giving cash to family. I use masked credit cards, prepaid Visa, and major credit cards for a majority of my purchases.
I started to move a small IRA to Choice and just never finished the transfer.
I am glad more tools are becoming available. My interest lately in privacy and security has been related to assets, every asset is a liability and following the money it is easy to find those assets.
I would love to eliminate regular banks as one less variable to worry about.

This interview did peak my interest in trying Monero with Cake Pay for IRL purchases, but it seems like a little more trouble to set up than what I can do from the couch.

Also a good reminder that I don’t have privacy mitigations when it comes to my finances. I’m responsible, but I still just have my bank, major credit cards, and PayPal as my preferred payment method when it’s an option.

Cake Pay is really neat. We made a little show-case video if anyone wants to see that. While I like it a lot, it’s hard to beat the middle-ground option of via Apple Wallet/Google Pay. This is currently in a beta that I’m testing which works awesome! Works just like any card but at physical retailers.

Seems like we’re only getting more options for financial privacy which is a huge win all-around.

I remembered that video watched it again after the interview to get a feel for what it’s like! Then I downloaded the app thinking there would be a mechanism in Cake Wallet to buy Monero, but I couldn’t find it, so the app will live in my home screen for a little until I can see if I’m just supposed to send Monero to the wallet in a separate way. I’m sure there answer is out there, I just haven’t actually looked into it yet.

When you open Cake there is a button on the bottom left to ‘buy’ - though this is currently restricted to BTC & LTC. So you need to buy BTC/LTC in Cake and exchange for Monero.

This is all natively supported inside the app, though definitely an annoying purchasing process. Still easier than other methods of buying XMR though to be honest.

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I personally don’t like crypto currencies due to their fluctuating nature. I do find it useful for sending donations to projects that accept it like Signal and Qubes and the process was relatively simple. Although I will probably never use it for shopping and such, credit card or cash is more usable for me in that regard.

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Been using DeleteMe for a couple years, using IronVest which was Blur for about a year maybe a little more. I have not really compared the differences between virtual and private cards to IronVest masked cards.
My intention is to look more into the Monero card options, as I need to makes some changes. Is this the one and only option, Monero Debit Card | UQUID
Found some others to research:
Wirex Card – The ultimate payment card | Wirex
Restructuring Update - NODE from Voyager

I am down to one major credit card any interruption in that service and I am screwed.

Is the digital wallet beta one that anyone can sign up for? I tried looking it up but couldn’t find any info on how I might sign up for it (or future betas if this one is not taking any more volunteers).

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I don’t believe so unless you got the email for it. I wasn’t given special treatment to get it, though I don’t think it’s a ‘public’ beta. They just sent an email to what I assume where top users of the service to sign up for the apple wallet beta, and even that wasn’t a guarantee to be let in. So I think I just got lucky, though based on the wording of them wanting to continue the beta, hopefully it’ll roll out to public soon.

Good to know. I don’t use very much right now so that’s not a big surprise. But if/when support for digital wallets rolls out to the general public that could be a game changer for me. Until then I’ll just have to be patient :slight_smile:

@Henry thank you so much for doing this interview! I had no idea you could buy prepaid cards from cake pay using Monero. This is a complete game changer for me as I don’t live in the US and don’t have access to I just tried it yesterday and it worked amazing well!

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Looked into several of the crypto debit cards over the last couple days. Coinbase seems the most interesting to me as a physical card to earn crypto and or cash back. Check them out here
The transaction fee to spend crypto is 2.49% from one review which is a concern, when I can make a in real life transaction privately using prepaid cards. USDC earns 1.5% so you can say there is a balance.
I could earn enough to pay to spend crypto when I decide to use it.

There are plenty crypto debit cards, the problem with them is that these do nothing about your security and privacy. In order to get a Coinbase or Binance debit card you need to go through KYC which involves sending them your full name, address and a government issued ID or passport. Using that card is no different than using the debit card from your bank in terms of privacy.

With Cake Pay on the other hand, you can use Monero to buy a virtual prepaid card completely anonymously. That will be pre-loaded with the exact amount you need to make an online purchase. After you buy the card you need to give a name and address for them to be associated with it, but these can all be fake.

When I installed Cake a couple months back the prepaid virtual cards were not an option. I plan on using this feature quickly just to support the process and learn more.
I used virtual cards now through IronVest so I am familiar with that process.
I purchase prepaid Visa cards now and have registered them to a zip code to use at pay at the pump gas stations. My family uses a decent amount of fuel. The cards are used as well for in person purchase such as restaurants and other purchase under $500. This is mainly for security.
I guess I have a system now just wanting to bring some monero into it.

IIRC the prepaid cards are not available directly from the app. You need to access Cake Pay from the website. You can also buy physical cards from Cake Pay. But you have to have it ship somewhere obviously. Just don’t use your home address if you do that.

Is it less private to buy BTC then exchange it for Monero? Or does it not matter?