Pi Currency and Pi Network – an Introduction

Pi Network and its native Pi currency are a hot and interesting recent development in the areas of crypto-currency and social platforms. It’s interesting both for its scope as well as approach. The current homepage of the project is at minepi.com/ but information is very limited, which is the reason for this post.

A portion of the home screen of the Pi App. Chat channels in many languages are available to ask questions and to provide input to the project.

The crypto currency known as just “Pi” is innovative because it supposedly combines a variant of the Stellar Consensus Protocol SCP with a trust network composed of real humans and their real-world trust relationships. The scope of the project also includes a social platform and marketplace where to spend Pi even before it gets listed on an exchange for goods and services of and by members of the Pi Network. Pi has nothing to do with the now defunct PiCoin, and there is no exchange trading Pi yet.

The approach the “semi-stealth” start-up is taking to develop their product is innovative in how it opens its doors to the public very early on to solicit input without having all answers ready yet, and how it tries to build a product based on input and contributions from outside. It is a leap of trust for the early participants, but it could be rewarded by the Pi they accumulate in the process before the final product is launched.

The reason for jumping on this bandwagon now, as a beta program participant, is that the project is very early stage, and you can still earn Pi coins at a higher rate in return for your help developing the product. As more people join over time, the amount of Pi paid out will reduce, similar to the block reward halvings of other crypto-currencies. We explain how to get access and sign up later below.

Beta program participants need to exercise a lot of patience. We will update this post with information not included in official resources, and some of it may be speculative. For the official sources of information scroll down to the references section.

What Pi will be for

The currency Pi will be the medium of exchange on a new platform that might evolve from the current basic discussion forum app to a peer-to-peer marketplaces where users will be able to exchange goods, services, and even user’s attention (to advertisements.)

One of the key ideas appears to be that the users, who earn Pi coins simply by participating in building out the network of trust, will own a fair part of the platform. The platform will replace (expensive) middlemen such as Facebook, Ebay, Apple and Google, and return control over and ownership of your social interactions back to you.

The value of the platform will drive the value of Pi. Platform users will hold Pi themselves and thereby own the platform. And users interacting among each other will be the value of the platform.

Who are behind it

The app on Apple App Store is distributed by SocialChain Inc., a Delaware company. Do not confuse SocialChain Inc. with corporations with similar names that are incorporated elsewhere. The Stanford graduates developing this project are from the Stanford Blockchain Collective. The IDs used by that core team combined with some Internet searching will quickly lead to identities of a number of people. The project seems legitimate. These people are still trying to decide how to present themselves to the world, but full profiles should appear soon on their website.

What it costs

It is possible today to join the project and earn Pi, by being part of the beta program. A common questions is what it would cost you. The answer is nothing really.

The coin is not really mined using computing power, and all that’s needed is tapping a button in the Pi App to prove you (still) are a real human. Therefore there is no real cost involved. You can even turn off the app and the accumulation will continue for 24 hours. The App does not use CPU cycles, bandwidth or any other resources. There have been no reports of any malicious behavior either. A Google Captcha v3 algorithm is used to ensure you are a human.

Beta participants contribute their real name and phone number. However, many services ask the same if not more. Other than that, tapping the app once a day is all that’s needed.

What you could gain

Besides earning Pi early-on at a higher rate than possible in the future as the network grows beyond 10k, 100k, and 1000k users and the rewards halve each time, people can guide the project with ideas. You can grow the trust network by inviting people you know. You can observe how a start-up struggles and evolves into a large business that might eventually become a next Facebook or Ebay. And with the Pi you accumulate on the way, you can accumulate some ownership.

Following the progress of a start-up from early beginnings itself can be a valuable experience, and there are many opportunities to make new friends, and supposedly there will be opportunities to contribute directly as well.

What you are getting is a lottery ticket that could become worth a lot of money in the future if the project succeeds, or nothing at all if it fails. The odds are by far better than that of a regular lottery ticket.

How to start earning Pi

To sign up for the beta to join the community building a trust network while earning Pi coins along the way, you can download the Pi Network app from Apple App Store, or Google Play Store. If you wish to obtain an invite code from a trustworthy source to join, leave a message below this post with a valid email address, and why I should trust you. If you request a code, your message won’t be posted below this blog post but you will receive a code instead.

At signup in the App, you will need to provide your real name (this will be a requirement to claim your Pi once main net launches) and your telephone number. Your name will be known to only the person who invited you, and the core team. The phone number will be only known to the core team of Pi Network.

After joining, all you have to do is press a button in the app to start a next 24h period of “mining.” After three of such periods, you can start adding people from your mining group to your trust circle, and earn Pi at a higher rate. Ultimately you will want to have about 5 people in your trust circle who you know and trust well. This will then work together with a Pi coin mining node running on a PC to secure the network while avoiding high cost of power of Proof-of-Work alternatives. You may earn Pi for running such a node, but the earning rate has not been determined yet.

Unofficial Telegram and Discord

While most discussion is supposed to stay in the Pi App, and while the development of the messaging within the app should introduce new features based on community input, there are unofficial channels that may be more familiar and easier to use, and that remain outside of the control of Pi Network. Ask for them on the chat in the Pi App. We will list them here in the future.

Official References

For official information known already read the white-paper draft and the FAQ:

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