Will The Pi Network Mainnet Ever Launch?

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Last updated Mar 11, 2024 | 10:49 AM UTC

Since it began in 2018, the Pi Network project has become one of the crypto community's biggest mysteries. 

The highly anticipated launch of its controversial Pi Network Open Mainnet has been the topic of discussion for years, notably ever since the project entered into its second phase of production and launched a live testnet in March 2020.

What is Pi Network?

Initially launched a mobile crypto mining app, where users could ‘mine’ and earn Pi Coin (PI) tokens by simply pressing a button once every 24 hours. 

Despite coming under criticism for not actually mining crypto – as there’s no mining taking place, let alone transaction verification – it has nonetheless attracted tens of millions of users worldwide. Through a referral scheme that promises future rewards to current users who bring in new users, it uses tactics that could be described as akin to that of a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.
The platform’s native token, PI, is currently worthless as there is no place to cash them out anywhere. This has only drawn further confusion and disappointment from market observers and app users who are wondering if the project is legitimate or not. Arguments have been made that the app is basically a data scraper with advertisements, as well as being a pyramid scheme. 

But with the recent announcement that it could go fully live in 2024, Pi users and its skeptics alike are watching Pi Network with a renewed interest.

Enclosed network period

Since 28 December 2021, the Pi Network mainnet has been live in an enclosed state, meaning that whilst it is ‘live’, it has a firewall preventing any undesired external connections. Certain users, or 'Pioneers' are able to use their PI tokens within apps on the mainnet.

This phase is focused on transferring Pi user data from the app to the blockchain, completing know-your-customer (KYC) procedures for users, as well as building out the network’s apps and utilities so that the network can launch with a robust ecosystem, giving PI token holders use cases and utility for their tokens.

Conditions for launch

As per an official blog post from the team on 27 December 2023, the Pi Open Network mainnet could launch in 2024, but only if certain targets and conditions have been met. 

Pi Network tweet

Firstly, Pi needs to wrap up work in areas such as business and legal, technology, or the product itself. Secondly, in terms of goals, the team is aiming to onboard 15 million KYC verified users and 10 million Pioneers to the mainnet blockchain. 

In addition, Pi is fleshing out a ready-to-use ecosystem of over 100 quality applications and utilities already launched by developers, giving the PI token numerous and tangible use cases as a legitimate currency.

Furthermore, it seems as though the team is looking for the “right time” to launch, as the third and final condition for the mainnet launch is an “absence of an unfavorable external environment that would hinder the success of Open Network”. By this, they are referring to far-reaching events that are outside of the team’s control, such as industry uncertainty, war, pandemics, macroeconomic troubles, legal or regulatory developments, and so on.

Will Pi Network launch in 2024?

This is a very difficult question to answer. Given that the team outlined its launch conditions less than two months ago, it can be presumed that we are still months away from any mention of an official launch date.

Whilst the team is assuredly working away on the factors they can control, the backdrop of increasing global tensions, economic woes, and unpredictable events will only serve to keep Pi Network from launching in 2024.

That said, progress is certainly underway, with Pi Network posting in an 18 January blog post that they have made significant progress in the KYC milestone, and have resolved several issues that were delaying KYC progress.

Presently, Pi Network is in the midst of hosting a month-long Pi Commerce Hackathon where developers are tasked with “supporting the development of a Commerce app that connects local Pi businesses with Pioneers.” 

Now that the spotlight is once again on Pi, it appears as though they are becoming increasingly active on social media, and with community engagement. Hopefully, more details regarding the Open Mainnet launch will be unveiled following the results of the hackathon.

Written by

Eddie is a seasoned crypto writer and Bitcoin maximalist.