Welcome to Pi's official FAQ!
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. Readless
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.
How does this app work? How do I earn more Pi?
This app allows you to earn Pi by making simple contributions to Pi's community. The more you contribute, the more Pi you earn.
To start earning Pi, check in every 24 hours and hit the lightning button to start mining. Once you are mining, you can boost your hourly rate by inviting trusted friends and family to join the community. After 3 days of mining, you can boost your earnings more by building your security circle, which contributes to the overall security of the network. Keep in mind, earlier members of the network mine at a higher rate than those that come after them.
Do I need to leave the app open to mine? Does the app drain my battery or data?
You do not need to leave the app open to mine. Pi does not affect your phone's performance, drain your battery, or use your network data . Once you hit the lightning button, you can even close the app and you will continue to mine Pi.
So how can you mine a cryptocurrency without draining your battery or data? Instead of burning energy as proof of work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin do, Pi secures its ledger when members vouch for each other as trustworthy. This forms a network of interlocking "security circles" that determines who can execute transactions. This novel approach allows crypto mining on your phone by leveraging your existing social connections, with no financial cost, no battery drain and a light footprint on the planet. Read the technical section in our White paper for more accurate and detailed explanation.
Why do earlier members mine at a higher rate?
Earlier members mine at a higher rate to reward contributions to the network when they are most needed.
Pi aims to be the world's most widely used and distributed cryptocurrency. To achieve that goal, Pi incentivizes its earliest members to make contributions that will ensure its success (e.g., securing and growing the network). To reflect the importance of early contributions, the rate of mining decreases as more people join the network. At this time, the base rate of mining halves every time the number of active users increases by a factor of 10 (see graph below). This rate will eventually fall to 0 when the network reaches a certain number of users (e.g. 10 million or 100 million). At that point, just like Bitcoin, miners will continue to be rewarded through transaction fees and not through the minting of new currency.
What is the Ambassador role? How does the earning team work?
As an Ambassador, you earn up to a 25% bonus on your base mining rate for each person you invite to the network.
You become an Ambassador when new members join your earning team by using your invitation code when they sign up for Pi Network. Each member of your earning team provides a 25% boost to your earnings when they are actively mining. A new member can only be added to their inviter's earning team, because each member only joins Pi once using one inviter's invitation code. In other words, unlike the security circles where people can be added into multiple member' circles based on trust, earning teams are fixed based on who invited whom. Each invitee in the world can only be claimed by one inviter.
What is the Contributor role? How do I become a contributor?
Becoming a Contributor allows you to earn more Pi by building a security circle of 3-5 trusted members.
Pi's Contributor role becomes unlocked for users after you've finished 3 mining sessions as a Pioneer. After 3 days of mining, you will see a new icon of the security circle on the home screen of the app which you can click to start. To become a contributor, you need to add 3-5 people who you trust to your security circle.
What are security circles?
Security circles are groups of 3-5 trusted people built by each of Pi's members. Security circles secure the currency by building a global trust graph that prevents bad actors from executing fraudulent transactions.
While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin secure their ledgers by forcing miners to burn energy (proof of work), Pi secures its ledger when its members vouch for each other as trustworthy. Pi's Contributors vouch for each other by building security circles comprised of 3-5 members they deem as trustworthy. Security circles should be comprised of people you trust not to execute fraudulent transactions. The network's security circles form a global trust graph that determines who can be trusted to execute transactions on Pi's ledger.
What is the value of Pi?
Today Pi is worth approximately 0 dollars / euro etc. similar to Bitcoin in 2008. Pi's value will be backed by the time, attention, goods, and services offered by other members of the network.
By pooling our attention, goods, and services around a common currency, Pi's members seek to capture more of the value that typically goes to banks, technology giants (e.g., Facebook, Amazon), and other intermediaries.Today, we are laying the infrastructure for this digital currency and marketplace by distributing the currency, building the community, and developing the technology to ensure its security.
Can I withdraw my Pi? What is the timeline for withdrawals?
No, you cannot withdraw Pi yet. You will be able to withdraw Pi or exchange Pi for other currencies in Phase 3 of the project when Pi transitions to a fully decentralized blockchain.
Pi launched Phase 1 of the project on 3/14/2019 (Pi Day). During Phase 1, your balances are being recorded with a guarantee of being honored when Pi transitions to mainnet (Phase 3). Transfers of Pi are restricted until we reach mainnet to prevent bad actors from accumulating Pi from fake accounts. For example, a bad actor could mine from fake accounts, transfer the Pi to a legitimate account, and then pass through Pi's account verification process despite their illicit gains. We are still refining the exact development timeline for the project. For more details, please refer to the Roadmap section of our white paper.
When will Pi be worth something? When can I turn Pi into "real" money?
Pi's holders will be able to turn Pi into "real" money when they either purchase goods and services on Pi's marketplace or exchange Pi for fiat currency.
Cryptocurrency holders have two options for turning their holdings into "real" money (or to "cash out"): 1) Directly purchasing goods and services with their crypto or 2) exchanging their crypto for fiat currency (e.g., dollars, euro, etc.) on cryptocurrency exchanges.
1) Directly purchasing goods and services with your Pi. Pi Network is building a peer-to-peer marketplace where our members will be able to directly spend Pi to buy goods and services. We aim to start experimenting with in-app transfers of Pi as soon as Q4 2019.
2) Exchanging Pi for fiat currency on cryptocurrency exchanges. Pi's Core Team does not control when cryptocurrency exchanges (like Binance, Coinbase, Kraken etc.) decide to list Pi. However, Pi will be able to be traded in Phase 3 of the project (i.e., Mainnet). At that point, exchanges can choose to list Pi. In the meanwhile, Pi's core team is focused on implementing our technical roadmap (see our white paper) to reach phase 3.
Can I mine from more than one device? How does the network prevent fake accounts, bots, etc. from earning Pi?
No, you cannot mine from more than one device. The network has a strict rule of one account per person. Pi uses a multi-pronged strategy to ensure Pi is not mined by fake accounts.
First, the network uses Google's recaptcha v3 to know if a device is operated by a human or a machine. (This technology is completely invisible to most users, since they are real humans, but bots may start seeing captchas if google's algorithm catches them). Over time, we are also developing a machine learning algorithm based on real users' mining behavior to predict bots.
Second, Pi's consensus algorithm requirement (security circles) make it easy to detect fake accounts. Fake accounts will not have enough real people pointing at them via security circles. At best, fake accounts would be pointing at each other with very few incoming pointers from the rest of the network. This anomaly is easy to detect with computer algorithms.
Finally, when Pi enters its 3rd and final phase - Mainnet, only accounts validated as belonging to distinct real individuals will be honored. In other words, even if all other methods missed out on some "bot" accounts, this user validation process will further eliminate them because bot owners will not be able to prove bots as real people with real names. We are currently exploring decentralized KYC processes that would be minimally intrusive.
Is this app a wallet? Will we hold our own private / public keys? And can we use an external wallet to hold our Pi in the future?
Yes, your phones will serve as a cryptocurrency wallet that will be linked to your current accounts (number / Facebook).
Like with any other public blockchain, Pi's blockchain will also allow in-app/external wallets to hold Pi and transact with it, by submitting transactions to the blockchain directly. This is a functionality that we have currently scheduled to be provided on the Phase 3 of the project. (as a reminder we are now on phase 1 - distribution of the currency - we will then launch a Testnet as phase 2, and phase 3 is when our mainnet will be live). During phase 3 of the project, you will also have the option to take full ownership of your private / public keys.
Pi aims to be much more accessible to everyday people which is why we are trying to build this integrated interface. We've chosen this phased implementation to make it easier for everyday people to use. We are still in our early days, and are excited for the road ahead of us.