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A consortium co-founded by maverick South African blockchain and cryptocurrency expert Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni today announced a new open source blockchain protocol, Tari, being built specifically for digital assets. Tari seeks to redefine the digital asset experience – for both businesses and consumers – by making these assets easier to manage, transfer, and use.

The project is being backed by some of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital funds and is headed by Spagni, Naveen Jain, US-based entrepreneur and angel investor, and Dan Teree, who built Ticketfly into one of the biggest players in the US ticketing industry before selling it to Pandora in 2015.

Tari is building a Johannesburg-based team to steward what it calls “the most useful decentralised platform that empowers anyone to create digitally scarce things people love.” The platform will allow one to manage and transfer digital assets with more flexibility, enable true digital scarcity, and break down the industry-specific silos in which businesses currently operate.

“Tari is going to fundamentally change the way we interact with digital assets,” says co-founder Jain.  “Our current world of digital assets is incredibly inefficient, and frustrating, we want to fix that.”

South African citizen and Tari co-founder Spagni, the lead maintainer of top 10 global cryptocurrency Monero, says, “It’s important to note that we believe that much of the talent needed to build Tari already exists in South Africa, and it’s for this reason we are setting up in Johannesburg – a first for South Africa and Africa.”

“The process of recruiting our team is well underway.  Our developers have the opportunity to build a decentralised assets protocol, on top of Monero, that will be used by millions of people in their everyday lives.

“It is our hope that when Tari goes live, businesses of all sizes will see new economies and possibilities open up, and consumers will regain power to participate in these economies,” concludes Spagni.