There is always experimentation, development, and innovation going on in the crypto space. Even established coins must continually evolve to keep pace with a changing environment. But it’s great to see development that adds significant value and capability to an existing coin rather than start a new ecosystem from scratch.
In May, Monero (XMR) founder Ricardo ‘FluffyPony’ Spagni announced a new project. Tari will be a blockchain protocol for digital assets that will be built on Monero. The Tari Labs team initially consists of Spagni, Naveen Jain, and Dan Teree. Spagni is sensitive to the appearance of centralization in Monero and Tari, so he has stepped down from his roles at MyMonero and GloBee in order to focus on Tari. He has long been seen as the main force behind Monero but has always tried to encourage an open-source and collaborative environment, and that will continue with Tari.
Although Tari will have its own token, don’t expect an ICO. Spagni has been critical of the ICO process and has enlisted venture capital from some of the top investors in the crypto space including Pantera Capital, Redpoint, Trinity Ventures, Canaan Partners, Slow Ventures, and Aspect Ventures. The purpose of Tari is to better manage the siloed nature of many digital assets such as tickets, loyalty points, and in-game items. As Tari Labs co-founder Dan Teree is also co-founder of Ticketfly, it explains the initial focus on tickets as digital assets.
Tari is a second layer protocol, and there is the potential for future applications capability or more advanced features such as secondary markets for assets. But it’s not a smart contract platform. Spagni likens Tari to CounterParty (XCP) in some ways. CounterParty has what its developers have called ‘smart-ish’ contracts with increased functionality over a pure currency but without the full smart contract capabilities of some protocols like Ethereum, and perhaps they’re more stable and secure. Stability and certainly security are features that Spagni would clearly be drawn to for a project built on Monero. “So, Tari is a decentralized assets protocol that we’re building on top of Monero,” Spagni said. “The coupling is from a security model perspective, extremely tight. But beyond that the coupling’s quite loose which is advantageous because it means that Tari’s success is reliant on Monero’s success to some degree, but at the same time, there’s a lot of things that we can do with Tari that we would never be able to do with Monero.” Spagni has identified several ways that Tari Labs will be able to establish its own project while also working with Monero developers.
He is assembling a team of researchers and developers in South Africa to advance on-chain scalability improvements for Monero and an atomic swap protocol. This is intended for exchanging Tari assets, but that is expected to come much later on. Initially the atomic swap protocol will be used between Monero and other coins such as Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and others. “But one of the first things we can do is leverage the team that we’re putting together to work on a Lightning router in Rust that supports Bitcoin and Monero,” Spagni said.
Tari Labs will also work with volunteers and foster development hubs through grants to work on Monero or Tari. Monero already has its place in the crypto ecosystem as a popular privacy coin and has a rabid fanbase. Tari adds a new level of value to Monero. While Tari clearly has its own mission, it will help improve and support Monero as well as Bitcoin and the crypto ecosystem as a whole.
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