What Is Pi Coin? Everything You Need To Know About Pi Network

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Published Apr 15, 2024 at 3:26 PM
Last updated Apr 15, 2024 at 4:26 PM

By now you may have heard about the mysterious Pi Network that promises to let you mine crypto just by tapping a button every 24 hours.

Since it began in 2018, Pi has been a regular trending discussion that has managed to capture the imagination of more than 55 million crypto users. 

It is a unique project that uses a referral system for users to earn extra crypto based on how many new people they get to sign up. 

But there are also many questions surrounding its legitimacy and whether or not the project is one giant data-collecting scam.

The hot topic of Pi Network and its Pi Coin (PI) token continues to spark both interest and skepticism in the crypto community.

So is it for real or could Pi Coin be a fraud? 

Let’s explore what makes the Pi Network stand out and whether Pi Coin is a genuine opportunity or just another clever gimmick.

Pi Network explained

The California-based Pi Network was first introduced more than five years ago by Stanford University academics Dr Nicolas Kokkalis and Dr Chengdiao Fan. On 14 March 2019, they published a white paper and released the Pi Network app.

Since then, Pi has slowly built a committed community with millions of users known as 'Pioneers' signed up to it – in spite of the fact that it has not yet officially launched.

What's more, the network's Pi Coin is not available to buy anywhere as it is not listed on any exchange just yet.

At the moment, there are rumors swirling that the Pi Open Network mainnet is due to launch on 28 June 2024, but this has yet to be officially confirmed by the Pi team.

Officially, the mainnet went live on 28 December 2021, in a controlled, 'enclosed' state. This means that while the network is operational, it is segregated by a firewall that blocks any external connections that aren't explicitly allowed. This set-up, they say, is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the network's integrity before it fully opens to the public.

The project's so-called 'Pioneers' have been granted the ability to utilize their Pi tokens within specific applications on the mainnet. This stage of the network's rollout is critical for multiple reasons.

First, it involves the migration of user data from the conventional Pi app to the more secure and immutable blockchain. 

Additionally, this phase includes the implementation of Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, a standard practice used to verify the identity of users.

In the context of Pi Network, this process is essential to prevent fraud and ensure that only legitimate users can transact and interact on the network. This step is particularly important given the network's previous criticisms regarding its legitimacy and the potential for misuse.

Beyond security measures, the development of the network’s apps is also a priority during this phase. The aim is to build a robust ecosystem that provides real-world utility for PI tokens. By the time the network fully launches, the goal is for PI token holders to have access to a variety of applications and services that make use of their tokens, thereby providing tangible functionality to the Pi ecosystem.

This strategic approach to launching in phases – focusing on security, compliance, and utility – may reflect a cautious yet forward-thinking plan to establish a sustainable and valuable digital currency platform.

While the enclosed mainnet phase might slow the full public deployment, it could be a sign of the Pi Network's commitment to creating a stable and user-focused cryptocurrency environment.

Is Pi Network worth mining, or is it really a scam?

Pi Network initially captivated users worldwide with its simplistic approach to crypto mining.

Users could earn Pi Coin by engaging with the app daily, which presented a novel method for crypto enthusiasts and newcomers alike. This ease of use is a central part of Pi Network’s appeal, allowing anyone with a smartphone to participate in the crypto economy.

However, the project cannot escape mounting criticism and questions on its validity, with some people believing that they are merely mining personal user data.

Others argue that Pi Network does not involve real mining or transaction verification, which are essential components of genuine crypto networks. This has raised questions about the true nature of Pi Coin and whether it holds any real value.

Adding to the skepticism is the app’s referral scheme, which resembles multi-level marketing (MLM) tactics. Users are incentivized to bring more participants into the fold, which critics liken to a pyramid scheme. This model has drawn attention not just for its rapid user growth but also for the ethical questions it raises about sustainable crypto practices.

Despite these concerns, Pi Network’s announcement of potentially going fully live in 2024 has reignited interest. This upcoming phase could determine whether Pi Coin will gain any monetary value and if the network can introduce real utility beyond its current model.

Meanwhile, it uses many marketing initiatives to show that it is constantly active, including Pi Day and Pi Hackathon. In September 2022, the Pi Network also launched PiBridge for Pi Network users to make cross-chain trades with other networks such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Polygon.

What is the value of PI?

As previously mentioned, Pi Coin is not available to buy anywhere as yet.

According to CoinMarketCap: "Pi is currently in the Enclosed Network period of Mainnet and is not approved by Pi Network for listing on any exchange or for trading, and Pi Network is not involved with any purported postings or listings. The Network is NOT having any ICOs or any type of crowdfunding, and any sales of Pi are unauthorized and have no affiliation with Pi Network."

In spite of it not being available to buy, at the time of writing, the price of Pi Coin is listed as $0.7298, with a market cap of $49,597,464, a total supply of 68,000,000 and a max supply of 100,000,000,000. Its all-time high is $330.65 on 30 December 2022 and its all-time low was $0.1794 on 7 April 2024.

A disclaimer adds: "Please note that mainnet has not launched yet and the price displayed below for certain exchanges reflects the value of the IOUs and it may not be transferable across exchanges."
Pi Coin all chart. Source CoinMarketCap

What is the future of the Pi Network?

As we watch Pi Network move towards its next phase, the big mystery remains: Is it pioneering a new path in cryptocurrency, or is it simply a well-marketed mirage? 

While Pi gives the opportunity for anyone to mine crypto with the aim of making blockchain tech more usable, overall, the project raises more questions than answers.

So far, the team’s official Pi Network account has only clarified 2024 as the year for the new Open Mainnet, suggesting three key goals they aim to pass before launching, including:

  • Fifteen million Pioneers passing Know Your Customer checks.
  • Ten million Pioneers moving to beta mainnet.
  • One hundred mainnet-ready apps.

According to Pi developers, the KYC milestone is a main priority: "As stated, the network KYC progress depends on Pioneers to apply, fix their applications, resubmit, invite their teams to go through KYC, and KYC validators to help resolve difficult cases that machines cannot resolve.

"The Core Team is also committed to provide the necessary technology, designs and support for the community to make progress in this metric we all share towards the Open Network." 

How to mine PI

To mine Pi – if you dare to hand over your info – you will need to download the Pi Network app and use your Facebook account or phone number to sign up.

Follow the instructions on your phone, click the lightning button to start mining and do this every 24 hours to keep mining PI.

The platform has four levels for users who mine PI:

  • Pioneer: This is the first level for all users with a mining volume of 0.39 π/h.
  • Contributor: To unlock, one must mine for three days.
  • Ambassador: For those who invite other users to join the network.
  • Node: This is for those who have connected additional hardware to the network. 

Conclusion

It remains to be seen if and when the Pi Network will get a full launch this year, or ever.

While there are still question marks over the safety of Pi Coin and the Pi project, it’s always best to do your own research and be wary of the latest crypto developments before handing over your data. 

CryptoManiaks has reached out to the founders of Pi for a comment and will update our readers with any response.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pi Coin a legit coin?

There are many questions over the validity of the Pi Network. Whether or not Pi Coin is a real project remains to be seen. Remember to always do your own research. 

Will Pi ever launch?

There are unconfirmed rumors that its Open Network mainnet will launch in 2024.

Is Pi worth money now?

At the time of writing, the price of Pi Coin is $0.72 according to CoinMarketCap with a market cap of $49,597,464, but it is not yet listed on any exchange.

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I am a journalist who has previously worked for the Financial Times, News UK, the Daily Mail and Evening Standard.