Enjoy interviews with builders, projects, artists, authors and entrepreneurs that coincide with the lunarpunk movement. Get to know who is helping spearhead the future of privacy.
Shopping With Monero — Privacy Coin Supremacy
Anon Shop is a unique e-commerce platform that prioritizes customer privacy and security above all else. The brainchild of Donely Gunn, a seasoned cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Anon Shop aims to offer a truly anonymous shopping experience to users. Based on the idea that the best way to protect information is to never give it in the first place, Anon Shop requires the least amount of personal information from customers legally possible.
By leveraging the accessibility of thousands of Amazon lockers and the anonymity of the Monero ($XMR) cryptocurrency, Anon Shop offers users a completely decentralized, peer-to-peer shopping experience that is both secure and private.
The Monero community has already shown great enthusiasm for the project, and Gunn hopes to expand the platform to include anonymous loyalty programs and other retailers in the future. With years of experience in the crypto space, Gunn is uniquely positioned to revolutionize the world of e-commerce with Anon Shop.
Note: The following questions have paraphrased responses along with some quotes.
1. What is your motivation for starting anon shop?
The goal was to build a product that people actually use. Realized that actually buying things with Monero is a problem. Anon Shop is kind of like purse.io but for Monero.
2. Can you walk us through the process of placing an order on Anon Shop?
First you go to Amazon to find the product that you want. Next, go to Anon Shop, click "place an order," drop the link and add the additional order details such as quantity, tip amount, order note, etcetera.
Lastly, send $XMR and pick up your order in the Amazon locker once you're notified of the arrival! You don't have to make an account, there is a six word passcode.
3. What measures does Anon Shop have in place to protect the anonymity of its customers?
"We don't collect any personal information about you. Even if the servers were hacked, they wouldn't know anything about you other than that something was ordered and someone picked it up in a amazon locker." - Gunn
Since the data collected is non-identifying, customers do not need to worry as $XMR is the key piece that provides the anonymity that shoppers desire.
4. How do you ensure that the Earners who complete orders on Anon Shop are trustworthy and reliable?
In order to be an Earner, you have to deposit $5 XMR to have access to the order book. This is a bonding mechanism. Shoppers deposit a $10 XMR bond. Earners need to complete orders within a certain amount of time and show that they are trustworthy. If they abandon their task, their deposit is taken. It is recommeneded that Earners complete the next steps for an order within 1 hour of receiving it.
Gunn would process around 10 Earner-based transactions on his own until it became too much. This meant designating orders to Earners manually. The incentive for the Earners is making $XMR without KYC.
5. Can you tell us about any challenges you have faced while building and growing Anon Shop, and how you overcame them?
The manual Earner management was overwhelming. Being a solo founder, creating a lean startup, managing marketing and socials are challenging but rewarding.
Soon, Earners and Shoppers will be able to talk to each other in encrypted comms to help scale the business. Originally, Gunn was coordinating comms all on his own.
6. How do you see the use of privacy cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, evolving in the future? Do you see them becoming more widely adopted in the mainstream?
I definitely see more adoption in the future. Gunn continutes, "People value privacy but they just don't know it."
Look at the growth of VPNs and ethereal types of layer 2 transactions (where tx info is hidden). Privacy is coming to the forefront of consciousness. Don't know if the scale of Anon Shop as big as Amazon is possible yet.
Ultimately, payments will definitely become more private as privacy coins become more in demand.
7. Can you tell us about any notable partnerships or collaborations that Anon Shop has formed with other businesses or organizations in the privacy and/or cryptocurrency spaces?
Collaborations have primarily been for marketing. Douglas from the Monerotopia Podcast has been great. I have my own technical bit on the show every Sunday.
I have also worked with Vanessa Harris — a Product Leader and Web3 Advisor who interviews Web3 Founders.
Gunn continues saying, I'm looking into making an affiliate program to expand the potential for collaborations.
8. What are your plans for expanding Anon Shop in the future, and how do you see the business evolving over the next 5 years?
I'm thinking about potentially making Anon Shop a DAO. This would mean having federated operations on different continents. An entire network could be built on anonymous deliveries.
"What matters is getting these ideas and technology out to people," says Gunn.
On average, since the time of the interview, Anon Shop has about 2-3 orders per day. Revenue tripled from November to December. There was around $6k total revenue in $XMR in the month of January and the first order was in November.
Whether he realizes it or not, Gunn is one of the people helping build the lunarpunk vision. Anon Shop provides a way to shop for the myraid of items available on Amazon anonymously. It gives resources to those who wish to escape the clutches of financial surveillance.
Gunn is working on scaling Anon Shop as a solo-founder. With his encrypted messaging system in development for Earners to manage their Shoppers, along with a referral system on the roadmap, Anon Shop is ready to scale to new heights and meet the demand for anonymous shopping.