There is still no indication when – or even if – the 33 million so-called “Pioneers” who mine on the Pi Network (PI) are ever going to benefit from their coins. As of 25 July 2022, there are still no coins being traded. There have been no transactions and no fiat rewards, making it difficult to establish the worth of the PI coin.
It’s important to distinguish Pi Network’s coin from the Pi Network DeFi token, which runs on the Binance (BNB) blockchain and is available for trading on the PancakeSwap (CAKE) decentralised exchange (DEX).
So what is Pi Network and how does it work? Have you heard of the new cryptocurrency, and are wondering about the worth of Pi coin as a potential investment?
This article provides an overview of what the Pi Network aims to achieve and how Pi price expectations have emerged before a single coin has been traded.
What is Pi Network?
Pi Network is a digital currency project that aims to keep cryptocurrency mining accessible, as the centralisation of first-generation currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) has put them beyond the reach of many everyday users. The Pi Network, developed by a team of Stanford University graduates, enables users to mine Pi cryptocurrency coins using its desktop and mobile phone apps, validating transactions on a distributed record.
Unlike nodes on networks such as Bitcoin that use proof-of-work (PoW) protocols, Pi nodes use an algorithm based on the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP). Pi Nodes validate transactions on a distributed ledger and reach a consensus on the order of new transactions that the ledger records.
Under SCP, PI nodes form security circles, or groups, of three to five trusted people known to each of the network’s users. Security circles build a global trust network that prevents fraudulent transactions, as transactions can only be validated on the shared ledger if the trusted nodes approve them.
The PI mining app acts as a cryptocurrency wallet, linked to a user’s mobile phone number or Facebook account. As with other public blockchains, the Pi blockchain will allow external wallets to hold Pi coins and submit transactions directly to the blockchain. However, unlike other blockchains, its developers have not yet released its source code.
With branding based on the mathematical constant π, Phase 1 of the project launched in 2019 on Pi Day, 14 March, with a free PI mining app. By June 2019, the network had more than 100,000 active users. A year later, when Phase 2 launched, there were more than 3.5 million users.
The app started running ads in May 2020 to provide a source of financing for the project.
On 15 March 2022, Pi Network announced that the userbase had climbed to 33 million, more than doubling from 14 million in March 2021.
As with other cryptos such as Bitcoin, Pi was designed to undergo regular “halving” to protect its scarcity. Halving is when the number of coins a miner receives for processing new transactions is reduced by half. It usually occurs when a certain milestone is reached.
PI’s mining rate halved from 1.6 π to 0.8 π an hour when it reached 100,000 users; halved again to 0.4 π an hour when it reached 1 million; and halved again to 0.2 π when it reached 10 million users. It will continue to halve, reaching zero when Pi reaches one billion users.
Mainnet in a year!
The base mining rate halved when Pi crossed 10 million engaged Pioneers! Your mining rate will adjust with your next sessions.
Halving protects Pi's scarcity. Mine at a higher rate while you can.
Read more about the full plans in Pi app. pic.twitter.com/GXcnLW0oBm
— Pi Network (@PiCoreTeam) December 9, 2020
In November 2021, the development team started releasing tech and product updates. These included its pilot Know Your Customer (KYC) app and Block Explorer.
Having been tested with community moderators, the KYC App Pilot was deployed “on a limited basis” to start the process of verifying Pioneers and to improve the app’s usability and machine automation. The Pi Block Explorer, which helps Pioneers see transaction history and explore transaction data such as sender, receiver and amount, was also deployed.
The Pi Wallet was also updated, enabling the developers to create push notifications to alert Pioneers when they receive a payment on the blockchain, and fixing a bug for Android users who could not see their wallet passphrase.
Pi Network launched an “Enclosed Mainnet” on 28 December 2021 to continue testing ahead of its full launch. It also introduced a new mining mechanism and “infrastructure to provide Pioneers a simulation of the upcoming mining formula”.
The KYC app was initially launched to a few thousand pilot participants for testing, with 100 Pioneers permitted per country or region.
According to the project’s blog:
On Pi Day (14 March 2022), the development team announced two more updates: The rollout of a mass KYC solution, and a new Pi mining mechanism that allows more diverse mining rewards. These actions could potentially enhance the value to advertisers.
The developers added that they were rolling out KYC “on a large scale” to eligible users on 16 March.
🚨Attention Pioneers🚨 Mass KYC is being rolled out! Pi Network is releasing the KYC solution on a large scale to Pioneers around the world. Look for a pop-up in the mining app when you are eligible, or check the KYC app in the Pi Browser. pic.twitter.com/eEaWthSNaq
— Pi Network (@PiCoreTeam) March 16, 2022
On 19 May 2022, Pi Network claimed to have reached 35 million engaged Pioneers.
PI remains in pre-release mode
If you are wondering how to buy the PI coin for your portfolio, you can’t. Users who have mined the PI cryptocurrency will only be able to withdraw or exchange their coins when the mainnet blockchain is opened fully. PI cannot be transferred during the testing phase.
According to the project’s website, this is in order to prevent fake accounts from accumulating coins. Wallet balances are expected to be honoured when PI shifts from the development mode to become a fully live network.
As a result, the coin is not yet available to trade on any cryptocurrency exchange or trading platform.
What is the future of the PI coin?
Currently, debate continues over whether Pi Network is a well-intentioned initiative or a scam. If it is a scam, it is not a traditional one in the fashion of a Ponzi scheme, because users are not investing their money – they are investing time on their mobile phones.
The organisation has been criticised is for allegedly exploiting its community by selling advertising to reach these 33 million users, which it calls Pioneers. That figure comes from the Pi Network website and has not been updated since 14 March.
However, early adopters are accumulating the Pi crypto in anticipation that the price will rise sharply after the network goes live. Although the coin’s mining rate has been reduced by halving, users can increase their mining rate by connecting with other active miners. New users can only join the Pi Network if they have a referral code from another user.
The project’s developers claim that security on the Pi Network is enhanced by these personal networks, encouraging users to bring in friends and family – fuelling scepticism that it could be a multi-level marketing (MLM) or pyramid scheme. However, it is worth noting that users can only earn coins from their own direct networks, and not from their connections’ networks, as with an MLM scheme.
Pi Network has continued to insist it is not running an initial coin offering (ICO) or crowdfunding sale, and coins that can be mined on the enclosed mainnet currently stay in the ecosystem.
On 12 March 202, the developers said that the Enclosed Network period will give Pioneers time to pass KYC verification, tweak the mainnet and add more apps. They did not say when the network will become open – only that “the Enclosed Network period is in line with Pi’s vision of a utility-based ecosystem and its iterative philosophy”.
While the price of PI has yet to be established, some cryptocurrency observers have already started to make PI crypto price predictions.
Let’s take a look at what the PI price could be when it does start trading, based on information from crypto forecast and monitoring websites.
Pi coin price prediction 2022-2025
Cryptocurrency data provider CoinMarketCap previously listed the value of the coin at $0.007077. As of 25 July 2022, the website lists the coin as “untracked”, with no price attached.
The website also provides the following disclaimer when attempting to view Pi coin’s value:
Algorithm-based forecasting sites WalletInvestor and DigitalCoinPrice have both previously listed an estimated price of $0.007077 for Pi coin. Last year, DigitalCoinPrice gave a Pi Network price prediction for 2022 that saw the coin trading at an average of $0.0127 throughout the year.
The website’s Pi Network price prediction for 2025 indicated a potential price of $0.0212, indicating possible growth throughout 2023 and 2024. It then predicted the token could cost $0.0319 in 2028. However, neither websites is currently giving a Pi price prediction, though both do have listings for the Pi Network DeFi coin.
In fact, no algorithm-based forecast website is currently giving out a Pi cryptocurrency value prediction.
As such, Pi Network price predictions for 2030 are highly speculative. The Pi coin value in 2030 could depend on when the cryptocurrency goes live for trading and how it performs after the launch. Estimates from some users on social media range from $1 to hundreds of dollars.
It’s important to keep in mind that cryptocurrency markets remain extremely volatile, making it difficult to accurately predict what a coin’s price will be in a few hours, and even harder to give long-term estimates such as the PI cryptocurrency value in 2025. As such, analysts can and do get their predictions wrong.
We recommend that you always do your own research, and consider the latest market trends, news, technical and fundamental analysis, and expert opinion before making any investment decision. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.