Riccardo Spagni

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Riccardo "fluffypony" Spagni is a cryptocurrency developer based out of Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa. He is well known as a Lead Maintainer and a Core Developer at Monero. He also co-founded Tari, an open source blockchain platform for digital assets. [6] [14] [2] [3]

Early Life & Education

Riccardo Spagni was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has an academic background in informatics and logistics. [8]


Youtube Video
Interview with Fluffypony - Monero vs Bitcoin, EOS Scam? Bear Market, Tari, ASICs

Ricccardo Spagni started his career working in software development, before starting a business in the import/export industry with his wife. The success of the business, gave him the freedom to start tinkering with Bitcoin in early 2011. In an interview Spagni said, “I began by mining Bitcoin, but I eventually realised mining was of little interest to me because it is difficult to do in a South African context,” said Spagni. “My electricity grid was not amazing or cheap.” [11] [10]

He then moved on to building tools for miners, including a suite of cryptocurrency mining utilities and a flat-packable GPU mining frame which he sold. “That was really interesting, because it exposed me to a lot of the problems that GPU miners have, along with exposing me to a whole world of scam coins.” “In around 2012, a whole bunch of scam coins were popping up,” he said. “Everyone was mining them and they were buying my kit, so that was a fun adventure.” [11]

Youtube Video
Interview with Riccardo Spagni (fluffypony) in Las Vegas. Monero XMR.

In 2014, Spagni discovered Monero before it launched. The Monero whitepaper was written by someone using the pseudonym Nicholas van Saberhagen. Right after they wrote the whitepaper they disappeared. Monero was later launched by someone called “thankful_for_today”. [11]

Spagni said in the days following the public launch of the blockchain, thankful_for_today acted as a sort of benevolent dictator with the community following his decisions. [11]

However, after about three weeks he had begun pushing the community to implement changes they did not agree with. “It was on one particular issue where he knuckled down and said I don’t care what the community wants, we’re doing this,” said Spagni. Thankful_for_today had pushed the burgeoning Monero community to be merge-mined with ByteCoin, which Spagni refers to as “an obvious scam coin”. [11]

Youtube Video
50 Shades Of Monero (XMR) - Riccardo (Fluffypony) Spagni

Thankful_for_today was adamant on proceeding, despite the lack of agreement from the community, he added. “Myself and six others forked the codebase and said we don’t care what he does – we will not implement that. And the community chose the new fork as it didn’t have a crazy wackjob forcing us to do things.” After six months, Thankful_for_today stopped maintaining his merge-mined chain and it died out. [11]

After forking the blockchain, Spagni and the other six core developers continued to maintain the code and eventually began to add new features. This group of seven became known as the Monero Core Team. Spagni is also the Lead Maintainer of Monero. Since 2014, Monero has grown significantly becoming the top privacy cryptocurrency and the 13th largest cryptocurrency by market cap as of February 2019 with a market cap of $840 million. [11] [12] [14]

In 2017, Spagni he launched Globee, a multi-currency payment processor. Spagni also co-founded Tari, an open source blockchain platform for digital assets with, Naveen Jain and Dan Teree. [10] [9]

Personal Life

Riccadro and Saskia Spagni on their wedding day. [2]

Ricccardo Spagni and his wife Saskia Spagni live in Plettenberg Bay, a picturesque coastal town along the Garden Route, which is on the southern coast of South Africa. Spagni always thought he would be a bachelor until he met his future wife, Saskia Spagni. On October 10, 2010, Spagni married Saskia. He chose the date 10/10/10 since it is easy to remember. Spagni enjoys good food and wine while his wife is a sporty vegan who hardly drinks. [2]

Spagni and his wife have six dogs. Two of them are Basenjis which are mainly silent and don't bark. The other four are rescue dogs. [2]

In his spare time, Spagni likes to collect watches, play with LEGO, and build and fly multicopters (drones). His dogs hate the drones, and think that it's some sort of buzzing animal that they must kill. [2] [10]

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