PI NETWORK // Don't look a gift horse in the mouth? Maybe ...

PI NETWORK // Don't look a gift horse in the mouth? Maybe ...

By arthurfleck | afleck | 5 May 2020

The First Digital Currency You Can Mine On Your Phone - Start earning cryptocurrency today with our free, energy-light mobile app” - This is the promise that can be found on the official Pi Network website (https://minepi.com/).

Earn crypto (almost) without doing anything? A promise often given, which does not always deliver … at least not without negative side effects. With this article I do not want to go into how Pi Network works (if you are interested in such details, check out the Publish0x search function 😉). Rather, in times when data protection is becoming increasingly important, I would like to examine the entry requirements and the app itself more closely to give you some food for thought.

FIRST THINGS FIRST // You need a referral code to participate

If at the end of this page you decide to try Pi, I would be happy if you use my invitation code. You need one to participate, and I of course benefit from it:

Referral Link: https://minepi.com/afleck

Referral Code: afleck

THE NEED FOR VERIFICATION // Go for the mobile phone number

To be able to use all functions of the app and to transfer Pi in the future (this is not yet possible), a verification is necessary. Such verifications are a useful way to limit abuse, especially with free offers like airdrops, (resource-)free mining respectively earning, etc.

Pi offers two options: verification through a Facebook connection or via a mobile phone number. I clearly prefer the mobile phone number, because if it is misused (e.g. advertising call or SMS phishing), it can be changed quickly … at least faster than your Facebook identity. In addition, just knowing about the Facebook name alone reveals a lot about a person’s identity (e.g. circle of friends, activities, preferences). Even if the connection itself does not require critical rights such as reading the timeline or posting on your behalf.

APP PERMISSIONS (ANDROID) // You may deny access to your contacts

If you want to install the app (actual version 1.27.2) on your android smartphone, the following permissions will be requested:


Against the background that the Pi Network can only grow through invitations, nothing critical or needless in my eyes. Nonetheless, I recommend that you deny access to your contacts and instead distribute your referral link to friends via the usual media like WhatsApp and E-Mail.

If you want to go into more detail, privacy audit platforms like εxodus (https://reports.exodus-privacy.eu.org/en/) are helpful.

APP TRACKERS (ANDROID) // Trackers can be blocked if necessary

The analysis by εxodus shows that various trackers are implemented and more or less strongly record your usage behavior (https://reports.exodus-privacy.eu.org/en/reports/com.blockchainvault/latest/):


These trackers can be explained by the Facebook integration and the recently activated in-app advertising (can be deactivated in the settings). If you want to reduce / limit the data collection, you can use VPN services with appropriate filters or apps like Blokada. But keep in mind: advertising is often the only source of income for projects that are otherwise free of charge.


Earn crypto (almost) without doing anything? In the case of Pi, it is possible if you can ignore the remaining data protection risks. For me, these risks are manageable and so far, no advertising call has reached me 😊.

The only thing left to mention is that there is not much you can do with the coins right now; transfers and trading are not yet possible. The future will show us.

Guys, what is your opinion? Please let me know if you have new / different insights.

Referral Link: https://minepi.com/afleck

Referral Code: afleck

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