Even if you have been in the know about the crypto universe for a while, the Pi Network is one of those unorthodox crypto projects you might not have heard of. Simply put, the Pi Network claims to be capable of achieving what few crypto projects have even thought of so far: making cryptocurrency mining available to the general populace, foregoing the need for expensive, special hardware and software.
While all that sounds great, the Pi network has already been accused by many within the crypto community of being a scam. In this post, we give you a thorough look into the intricacies of the Pi crypto, help you decide for yourself whether Pi Network is a scam or not, and Pi coin price predictions for 2021.
What is the Pi Network?
The Pi Network is a blockchain-based virtual cryptocurrency platform founded by three Stanford University PhDs- Dr. Nicolas Kokkalis (the head of technology), Dr. Chengdiao Fan (the head of product) and Vincent McPhillip (the head of community). However, Vincent McPhillip has reportedly resigned, and is no longer on the Core Team behind the Pi crypto.
As per the team behind it, “Pi is a new cryptocurrency for and by everyday people that you can mine (or earn) from your phone”. Indeed, what differentiates the Pi Network from other cryptocurrency projects is that it introduces the first ever cryptocurrency that can be mined from regular smartphones through a free smartphone app. According to the developers, Pi aims to make it possible for the general populace to participate in the cryptocurrency revolution.
Estimatedly, there are already over 10 million users mining the Pi crypto on their smartphones free of cost, with very low CPU, data, and battery usage, and protected from the violation of their privacy. The founders of the Pi Network also believe that the Pi coins will have significant, real-life monetary value in the coming times.
The consensus algorithm the Pi Network uses is called the SCP, or the Stellar Consensus Protocol. It was developed by David Mazieres, a professor of Computer Science also at Stanford University. The mining of Pi crypto tokens is the only service the Pi Network provides so far, and they don’t have any other products on offer either.
How Does Pi Mining Work?
This is how the Pi coin mining works: first, you have to download the Pi Network app (it’s also available on the Apple store). After that, you need to confirm that you are a human being by tapping a lightning symbol on the app every 24 hours. The actual mining process will be initiated at a standard rate on your mobile device (about 0.2 Pi/hr), without causing a drain on your device battery. Even if you exit the app, the Pi coin mining process won’t be interrupted.
New members on the Pi Network can join only with invitations from existing users. A miner can even accelerate their mining rate if new members join the network using their code.
There are quite a few roles users perform within the Pi Network ecosystem, namely those of the Pioneer, the Ambassador, and the Contributor. Regular users, those who have just downloaded the mobile app and are expected to confirm they are not a robot on a daily basis by signing into the app are called the Pioneers.
Then there are the Ambassadors, those who introduce other users to the Pi Network by sharing invitation codes with them, and the Contributors, who – after finishing three full mining sessions as a Pioneer – can add three to five people whom they trust to their security circle to achieve that role. And of course, there are the Nodes – those who use the app and run node software on their computers.
The Pi Crypto: What Is It, and What Are Its Usabilities?
According to the founders, the Pi coin is a cryptocurrency with two major incentives that can potentially pull a great number of miners in: firstly, of course, it is accessible to all and very easy to mine and generate. And secondly, it gives the common folk the opportunity to seize more economic value instead of giving away all power over their money to centralized financial institutions like banks or any other centralized authority figure or third party.
While the Pi Network team has managed to make the first a reality – indeed, Pi is super simple to mine and earn for anyone with a smartphone and a decent internet connection, the second one is yet to become a reality.
Now, you might ask what you can use the Pi crypto tokens you are mining for. To answer your question: honestly speaking, right now there’s not much you can do with a Pi coin. However, the developers of the Pi Network have a long term plan for their crypto token. If all goes according to that plan of theirs, with time you will be able to directly purchase goods and services using your Pi crypto. This will be because they intend to create a P2P (peer-to-peer) marketplace for goods and services. You might just also get the opportunity to swap out the Pi coins you hold with a fiat currency of your choice.
However, the Pi crypto’s journey has been sorted out into multiple phases, and the aforementioned usabilites of the Pi coin won’t come into being until phase 3. The first phase – which was all about pursuing enough users to come on board – was launched back in March 2019, and was subsequently completed within one year. At the moment, the Pi crypto is going through the second phase, which is essentially a testing phase where users on the network get to volunteer to test out the ‘node’ software on their computers which would help decentralize the network.
In the image above, you can see the phases 1 and 2 the developers have planned out for the Pi Network, as displayed on the Pi Network website.
For further usage of the Pi crypto to be realized, the Pi Network needs to complete the second phase and get to the third phase. However, since phase 2 is ongoing, the date for the Pi Network to move to the third phase is not fixed, and it completely depends on the level of progress we see in phase 2.
Is the Pi Network a Scam or Not?
The first thing that makes users doubt the Pi Network is the fact that the plan for the project so far just seems to be increasing the number of users on the platform and testing the system out, and what happens next is anybody’s guess. Since even the developers can’t provide concrete reassurances regarding the efficacy and value of the Pi crypto in the future, it’s natural that experienced crypto users would be sceptical about this particular crypto project.
There’s also the fact that the Pi Network definitely lacks transparency compared to other cryptocurrency platforms. They have not yet released the network’s source code for its community of users to review. Plus the users on the Pi Network don’t get access to their own private keys, so the Pi coins they earn can completely vanish at some point in the future for all they know.
In May 2020 advertisements were added to the Pi Network app, which might mean that the software is, in fact, only monetizing the over 10 million users who have downloaded it.
Another concern many users have raised is regarding the data a user has to provide when they download the Pi Network app, including their full name, phone number, and Facebook username, which could be used to run a scam or hacking attempt on further personal information and finances. And since new users can only join in on the network with a referral code from an existing user, many have pointed out that the Pi Network could be a pyramid scheme.
You must have gathered by now that there are many allegations against the Pi Network. However, it’s to be noted that the founders of the Pi Network have come forward since the beginning and put their faces and reputations to the cryptocurrency project. Plus, the developers are also not offering any grand rewards or too good to be true incentives to push people to join in the mining of the Pi crypto – they are just inviting you along on the journey to see where this endeavour goes. So essentially by just downloading the Pi Network app and opening it once a day, you could potentially profit off of that meagre effort in the future.
As for the adverts, the Pi Network has claimed that they were necessary to fund the various costs of the project and make it self-sustaining. Many users have stated that the adverts do seem pretty harmless.
As you can see, there are opinions both in favor of and against the Pi Network. Now we’ll leave it up to you to decide whether Pi Network is indeed a scam or not.
Pi Coin Price Predictions 2021: Is It Worth Investing In?
As of right now, making a Pi coin price prediction is quite difficult, since the crypto isn’t live on exchanges, and even the Pi mainnet hasn’t yet launched. Some crypto experts have made their Pi coin price predictions anyway. Forecasts from those who have downloaded the Pi Network app have suggested that a Pi crypto token could be worth anywhere between $10 and $100 right now. It’s important to note though that there is absolutely no evidence you can look into to back this particular claim up, and even the team behind the Pi Network hasn’t released any data regarding the price of the Pi crypto in the future.
However, recently the Pi Network has launched their first trial digital wallet, which is an exciting milestone on the Pi crypto’s road to becoming a real currency, and on Twitter the Pi Network has claimed that it now has over 14 million Pioneers on board! These are both significant progress for the Pi coin, which means it’s very plausible that the Pi mainnet will launch in near future and the users will receive the cryptocurrency they’ve been mining.
So just like Bitcoin had no value in the beginning, the Pi crypto has none right now too, but it could have significant value in near future. While the Pi Network is still in its early days, it’s undeniable that it’s growing at a good speed, and it’s a project to keep an eye out for. After all, with virtually zero flashy promotions, the Pi Network managed to develop a community of about 3.5 million users within a year of its launch – which is a very impressive feat indeed. And since the Pi Network app is free and quite easy to use, all things considered, it really doesn’t cost you anything to hop on the train and mine the Pi crypto. That is, unless Pi network does turn out to be a scam.
And there was everything you need to know to decide whether or not to invest in the Pi coin! As you can see, no one can definitively tell you whether the Pi Network is legit or if you’ll end up being part of a pyramid scheme. So ultimately it falls on you to decide if you want to get the Pi Network app and put your trust in the crypto project or not.
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Hitesh Malviya is the Founder of ItsBlockchain. He is one of the most early adopters of blockchain & cryptocurrency enthusiast in India. After being into space for a few years, he started IBC in 2016 to help other early adopters learn about the technology.
Before IBC, Hitesh has founded 4 companies in the cyber security & IT space.
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