Consumers worldwide can contribute to an online blockchain straight from their smartphones. The Pi Network has been created to make it easy for everyone to join their project, without the need for much technical know-how. The blockchain is currently still in a testing phase. The creators of Pi expect to launch the actual blockchain early 2020.
All the coins minted by users during the testing phase will migrate to the live main net once it launches. That means that the testing phase is basically creating the genesis block. Pi is not yet listed on exchanges and you can’t buy it with any currency. The only way to get Pi is to install the app and let it mine. Once every 24 hours users need to verify their existence by activating the app.
The project is created by several professors from Stanford. Dr. Nicolas Kokkalis is the Head of Technology. He’s also the first instructor on Stanford’s decentralized applications class. While Dr. Chengdiao Fan is the Head of Product. She’s a Stanford PhD in Computational Anthropology.
NOTE Pi is a new digital currency you can mine on your phone. To join the beta and start mining and earning Pi follow this link and use the invitation code “Nederob”. The app is only accessible with an invitation code.
Pi Network makes mining accessible
According to the developers the general audience is standing on the sidelines. Mining has become a billion dollar business, and as a regular consumer it’s impossible to make a bit of money by contributing to the network. That’s the main issue with the Proof-of-Work algorithm.
The Pi Network is build on the Stellar Consensus Protocol. As a result updates on the distributed ledger are accurate and trustworthy. The Pi Network allows individuals to contribute to the protocol level of the blockchain and get rewarded. This requires little energy and data transmission.
The mobile app connects to one or more nodes and checks if transactions have been recorded on the ledger. It also gets the most recent block number and hash value. The app connects to multiple nodes to cross-check this information. This means that users need to vouch for each other and in that way guarantee the good faith of each contributor to the network.
Pi is different from Electroneum
People familiar with cryptocurrencies will probably be aware that Pi Network is not the first smartphone-focused coin. Electroneum was there first. Electroneum even offers an app that lets users mine ETN. However, this mining operation isn’t really mining. The phone is not providing any feedback to a blockchain process. The mining process is a simulation, and users just rewarded for logging into their app and keeping the process alive.
The real use-case for Electroneum is that it allows people to use ETN to top-up their mobile phone subscriptions. This currently works in Brazil and South Africa. On top of that the British company wants to bank the unbanked in Africa, South America and Asia. Their app is also a wallet and can be used for payments in ETN.
Also published on Medium.