Disclaimer: Pi is NOT free money.
Pi is NOT free money. It is a long-term project whose success depends on the collective contributions of its members.
Pi is dedicated to helping everyday people capture more economic value that today goes to banks, technology giants (e.g., Facebook, Amazon), and other intermediaries. Pi depends on the collective contributions of its members. If you are looking for quick money, look elsewhere.
What is Pi?
Pi is a new cryptocurrency for and by everyday people that you can “mine” (or earn) from your phone.
Cryptocurrencies are new form of digital money that are maintained and secured by a community, instead of by governments or banks. Today, you can mine (or earn) Pi by helping to secure the currency and by growing Pi’s trusted network. While most cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin) have been very hard for everyday people to use and access, Pi puts the power of cryptocurrency into the palm of your hand.
Is this real? Is Pi a scam?
Pi is not a scam. It is a genuine effort by a team of Stanford graduates to give everyday people greater access to cryptocurrency.
Pi’s core team is led by two Stanford PhDs and one Stanford MBA, all of whom helped build Stanford’s blockchain community. We cannot guarantee that the project will succeed. However, we do promise to work our hardest to make our shared dreams a reality, while maintaining the highest standards of integrity. You can learn more about us in “Core Team” page in the main menu of the app.
Problem: Centralization of power and money put 1st Generation Cryptocurrencies out of reach
In the early days of Bitcoin, when only a few people were working to validate transactions and mining the first blocks, anyone could earn 50 BTC by simply running Bitcoin mining software on their personal computer. As the currency began to gain in popularity, clever miners realized that they could earn more if they had more than one computer working to mine.
As Bitcoin continued to increase in value, entire companies began to spring up to mine. These companies developed specialized chips (“ASICs”) and constructed huge farms of servers using these ASIC chips to mine Bitcoin. The emergence of these enormous mining corporations, known drove the Bitcoin Gold Rush, making it very difficult for everyday people to contribute to the network and get rewarded. Their efforts also began consuming increasingly large amounts of computing energy, contributing to mounting environmental issues around the world.
The ease of mining Bitcoin and the subsequent rise of Bitcoin mining farms quickly produced a massive centralization of production power and wealth in Bitcoin’s network. To provide some context, 87% of all Bitcoins are now owned by 1% of their network, many of these coins were mined virtually free in their early days. As another example, Bitmain, one of Bitcoin’s biggest mining operations has earned billions in revenue and profits.
The centralization of power in Bitcoin’s network makes it very difficult and expensive for the average person. If you want to acquire Bitcoin, your easiest options are to:
Mine It Yourself. Just hook up the specialized hardware (here’s a rig on Amazon, if you’re interested!) and go to town. Just know that since you’ll be competing against massive server farms from across the world, consuming as much energy as the country of Switzerland, you won’t be able to mine much
Buy Bitcoin on an exchange. Today, you can buy Bitcoin at a unit price of $7,745 / coin at the time of writing (note: you can buy fractional amount of Bitcoin!) Of course, you would also be taking on substantial risk in doing so as the price of Bitcoin is quite volatile.
Solution: Pi – Enabling mining on mobile phones
After identifying these key barriers to adoption, the Pi Core Team set out to find a way that would allow everyday people to mine (or earn cryptocurrency rewards for validating transactions on a distributed record of transactions). As a refresher, one of the major challenges that arises with maintaining a distributed record of transactions is ensuring that updates to this open record are not fraudulent. While Bitcoin’s process for updating its record is proven (burning energy / money to prove trustworthiness), it is not very user (or planet!) friendly. For Pi, we introduced the additional design requirement of employing a consensus algorithm that would also be extremely user friendly and ideally enable mining on personal computers and mobile phones.