August 30, 2021
Completed 0 of 3 milestones
Hi Monero Fam, it is me, Douglas Tuman, best known as the host of the Monero Talk YouTube show, and passionate supporter of Free Speech Money! I am seeking funding from the community to bootstrap a leap from my 9-5 career to working on Monero related projects all day everyday! This is my first CCS proposal. It is long. I wanted to make sure I was being as transparent/informative as possible.
Foremost, Sunita aka Sunchakr (my biz/life partner) and I are truly thankful for all the support we have already received from:
We would never have gotten this far without you. You have given us the confidence to take our Monero projects to the next level!
Currently, we both work part-time on our Monero Projects. From streaming shows weekly and editing, to traveling to Guatemala to hook-up coffee workers with Monero wallets and selling coffee on the streets of NYC — everyday we eagerly work on Monero. We wake up early before work some days, we figure out how to put hours in during the day, and we dedicate endless hours on nights and weekends. We are motivated by a pursuit of obtaining unconfiscatable liberty and a genuine desire to positively disrupt the world with the mass adoption of true digital cash. We know if we can shift to making our Monero Projects our only job, we can greatly accelerate our progress and Monero’s too.
The plan is for Sunita to continue to work her day job and part-time on Monero, while I take the leap full-time. This will provide us the healthcare and basic security we need for our family (my 7 year old daughter included), while letting me take the risk of leaving my career of 18 years for working for payment in Monero on projects that are not guaranteed to pay our bills.
This would be a dream come true — to focus all my energy on helping Monero succeed and grow, without distractions. I am confident that if provided funding from the community for 6 months to a year, I can catapult a few Monero related projects to a level that will yield significant marketing gains and organic adoption for Monero. Additionally, it will allow Sunita and I to get a few projects to the stage of generating enough revenue to be self-sustaining, putting us in the position to BOTH work full-time on our Monero Projects and on growing Monero's global adoption.
Below you will find a description of who I am, a list of what Sunita and I have already accomplished, milestones of what we intend on achieving in 6 months, and a request for the funding I need to make the leap.
WHO I AM
Known as Chowbungaman from my more active Monero Reddit days, I am a digital cash maximalist who has been in crypto since early 2014 and involved in the Monero Project since 2017. I am driven by a pursuit of fighting for liberty and a desire to disrupt centralized power structures. Ultimately, I value the freedom to be an individual above all else, and I believe Monero is one of the best tools we have for preserving our individuality in the digital age.
So wait aren’t you super crypto rich? Not yet, but I do have a nest egg of Monero. In fact, in terms of investments, I am and have been 100% Monero for years now. I literally own no other asset. No property, no stocks, and sold my Jeep Renegade for cash for Monero. (I drive around in my parents old Volvo). For better or worse, I am happily all Monero. This may not be proof of financial intelligence, but it is proof of my dedication to the project. And yes, Sunita is ok with this, which is why I recently asked her to marry me ;) She said yes!!
Despite getting in on early prices, stacking was slow for me given that I never had much disposable income to invest. My salary always went to my family’s living expenses and my student loans (engineering undergrad and law school) etc. I also burnt a lot of my own funds on keeping our Monero Projects going, including running for Congress. So to be completely honest — Could I technically sell a chunk of my Monero and use it to live off of for a year? Yes, but I am not ready to do that in addition to sacrificing my steady career, plus I think we as a community should strive to collectively fund contributors and bootstrap Monero projects to distribute risk and keep people incentivized to work on Monero for payment in Monero.
I am currently the Commissioner of Engineering at the Town of Hempstead. I have worked in municipal government my entire career and have worked my way to the “top”. I recently ran for Congress as a pro-Monero candidate in 2020 while maintaining the day job and trying to keep Monero Talk going. Once again, Sunita was pivotal in all of this. After our run for Congress, we got back to regular scheduled Monero Talks, started MoneroTopia as a community oriented live show, and relaunched Gratuitas.org (described below). I am a NY registered attorney and Professional Engineer. I have no dev/tech/cryptography skills but I believe I understand systems well. I am not the most eloquent and I lack a British accent, but I like to think I’m good at asking pointed questions and revealing the truth. I am good at dreaming up creative ideas and lean-launching them. I hustle and because I’m motivated by creating an impact over all else, I’m not deterred when monetary rewards are delayed or don’t come at all. I am in it for the revolution. I have many shortcomings but thankfully Sunita makes up for most of them. For example, her abilities to keep us organized, focused, consistent, and likable! Below is a list of Monero related projects Sunita and I have worked on and what we have accomplished.
MONERO RELATED WORK TO-DATE
QwkMonero- started in December 2017 this was actually our first attempt at launching a Monero project. QwkMonero was intended to be a way to effectively purchase Monero with cash at your “corner store”. We designed and printed up QwkMonero gift cards (with scratch off codes) and launched a simple mvp website for redeeming Monero with the card codes. We gave cards away to friends and family. The goal was to distribute these cards in local NYC bodegas etc. Unfortunately, we balked at moving further ahead due to unclear regulations and a lack of resources to properly navigate the regulations. We may more seriously attempt this again (see below).
MoneroTalk- started in July 2018 we have consistently aired weekly interviews all related to Monero. In addition to our weekly shows we have attended a few conferences a year where we live interviewed countless guests in the Monero and Bitcoin space. We currently have 5.33k YouTube subscribers, 6k Twitter followers, and 214k podcast downloads. This promo video sums up our progress nicely.
Gratuitas.org- initially started in August 2019, Gratuitas sells products like coffee and allows the customers to send Monero tips to the people that produce the products. We tested the concept at Defcon 2019 with a coffee farm from Brazil. We remotely setup the workers with their own paper wallets with the help of the farm owner’s daughter who we spent time with in NYC teaching her about Monero. It wasn’t perfect but it allowed us to test the concept. The test was a success. We sold brewed coffees at Defcon 2019, continued to sell bags online for a few months, and the workers got tips. We ultimately stopped shipping coffees when running for U.S. Congress intervened. After the run we sparked it back up. We found a new farm in Guatemala with amazing coffee, through someone I met locally during my race. This time we did it right. We personally visited the farm to teach the workers about Monero and gave them their own paper wallets. We established a good relationship with the owner and some of the workers, allowing us to reliably receive shipments of fresh coffee direct from the farm and to check-in to make sure the workers are getting their tips and not mishandling their wallet seeds. You can view an update interview with one of the workers here. The coffee sales have been consistent and slowly growing. 2 bags are being shipped out per week to customers, a few people purchased monthly subscriptions, we have had success selling brewed coffee on the street in Brooklyn, at Porcfest, and Defcon 2021. To date the 18 workers at the farm that were provided Monero wallets have each been tipped approx. $30 worth of Monero. Here is our recently launched promo video, edited by our friend Untraceable.
US Congress- I ran for US Congress in New York’s 4th CD in 2020. While holding down our day jobs, Sunita and I worked on the campaign from March through November. For 8 months, 7 days a week, we went nonstop, during the Covid outbreak, with my daughter Frania along for the ride. We built up a team of local supporters, opened up a HQ, sent out thousands of letters, drove around with big signs on our cars with my phone number on it, texted directly with thousands of constituents, had fundraisers, ran a strong social media campaign, and even produced and aired a local TV ad. We ran a true grassroots campaign and we did better than any recent non incumbent in this district. The hope was to be the first vocally Pro-Monero rep in office and we got closer than anyone expected. The National Republican Congressional Committee now thinks it is a flippable seat. We believe it is because of what we achieved.
MoneroTopia- Started in January 2021, after the campaign, we sparked up a new show in addition to Monero Talk. MoneroTopia is a live show hosted by Sunita and I that airs weekly with well known community members and which encourages anyone from the community (from noob to expert) to join us live on stage to discuss anything Monero related. Our subscriber numbers are the same as for Monero Talk since it is on the same channel. Here is an episode of us live from Miami in June.
Conferences, Meetups, and Parties- Since 2018, Sunita and I have hosted meetups and attended various conferences as Monero Talk and in effect to represent Monero including:
The following is a list of projects I would like to continue to focus on, new ones I may possibly start, milestones we aim to achieve within the first 6 months of my funding, and tasks I may pursue to reach these milestones. After 6 months I will issue a report updating the community on what was actually achieved. I will also be updating the community along the way during episodes of MoneroTopia. I may pivot as I go, so the tasks worked on may not reflect the ones listed exactly, but the general milestones I am aiming for should stay the same.
Monero Talk & MoneroTopia YouTube shows and podcasts
Concept: Organize a “decentralized conference” in March in Puerto Rico. Theme being opting into a privacy preserving “MoneroTopia” — a village like experience where you can freely live in “paradise” as a Monero using individual among Monero friends. We have ideas for how to make the event a purely Monero one where attendees will be able to use Monero from travel and stay to cab rides and buying water/cervezas at the local bodega.
Other ideas I may start pursuing during this 6 month time period
I will be working full-time on Monero so it is possible that I will be able to explore a few of these ideas in addition to focusing on the projects above. I am not setting any clear milestones/tasks for these. These are just additional fun projects I'm interested in exploring.
HOW MUCH AND PAYOUTS
I am seeking to receive funding from the community to cover my full-time devotion to these projects for 6 months. I will have no other source of income during this 6 month period other than any profits we manage to bring in from the projects. If successful and still necessary, I will seek funding for a second 6 month period. My hope is within 6 months to a year, some of these projects will be self-sustaining enough to allow Sunita and I to BOTH work on them full-time and live off of the proceeds. We are not seeking funding for Sunita’s continued part-time work (approx. 25hrs per week) or to cover any of the expenses listed above.
My current yearly salary is 155k before taxes and not including healthcare, benefits, and vacation/sick days paid etc. I currently work 40hrs per week at my day job, plus approx. 21hrs per week on Monero. I am seeking to leave my current job and earn 140k for a year of full-time work (approx. 50-60hrs per week) on Monero Projects allowing us to safely cover all our current living expenses.
PAYOUT- ~$70k (240XMR) paid out in 3 bi-monthly milestone installments
Remember, in addition to me working full-time, you get Sunita working harder than ever too. We are greatly humbled that you are even considering funding us. We know how vital it is that this open source project succeeds and how valuable each donation is. If we are successfully funded we promise we will work tirelessly to complete these milestones and are certain they will directly yield growth in positive Monero awareness and adoption.
To be paid: 80
To be paid: 80
To be paid: 80