I signed up for Pi Network to "mine" Pi Tokens a couple of months ago, thanks to a tip article by @CryptoScrimper. https://www.cryptoscrimper.com/
The Pi Network desktop and mobile browser accessible site is here
Apps are downloaded for Apple and Android Mobile phones as normal from the Apple App and Google Play stores.
FAST TRACTION WITH MOBILE USERS, IMPRESSIVE FOR A WIP "WORK IN PROGRESS" PROJECT
1500+ tokens mined later, with zero battery drain on my old Note3, which is wifi connected in my office and I can say Pi has mined properly without a glitch. No need to run the App on the phone which provides access to the typical settings and chat communities, etc.
The Pi "Claim to Fame" below is about "no battery drain" and ease of use, "crypto mining for the rest of us..." on your mobile phone, Apple or Android.
There were some initial problems with Pi when I first started using it in the form of adding users to the social circle, which increases the mining rate to the max in earlier releases on my old Note3 running Android 5.0. Support was what you would expect in a project that is new and under development, scant at best, although it is improving with the addition of their FBhttps://www.facebook.com/PiCoreTeam/ and Twitterhttps://twitter.com/picoreteam?lang=en accessibility. Later frequent updates (versions) of the Pi App happened flawlessly and, after about a week, the problems mentioned went away and I could add a user to my social circle to increase the hourly mining rate.
TK Note- PiCoin and Pi Network are two different beasts and projects and unrelated, to see PiCoin (not the subject of this post) go to https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/picoin/
Pi Network's Pi "mining" at a high level, works by improving security consensus as you add users to your social circle which validates you are you say who you are, can be trusted to mine, and this checking is frequent amongst members of your social circle, not needing many CPU cycles, and consuming very little bandwidth with short messages among members of your social circle collectively benefiting from the total mining rate of the social circle. My observation is the lightweight messaging checks between members of your social circle does not noticeably interfere with downloads and uploads being performed by the Mobile OS on behalf of Apps running in the foreground or background. In reading the whitepaper Pi Network is based partly on Stellar core. How they use parts of Stellar at the technical level is unclear, as Pi Network , as far as I can tell, does not have a Github repository which I can find. I am still searching for Pi Network on Github as we speak amongst various RaspberryPi projects..
PI Network Mining: It's a Team effort to get a higher hourly mining rate (partly)
Pi founders decided to get the mining going first in order to build a user following through mining and referral rewards, while at the same time controlling token scarcity, by halving the mining rate when a certain number of users signed up is reached. Additional reward incentives for successful user referrals manifest in the form of a higher multiple to boost the hourly mining rate, combined with the number of users in the Social Circle which also pushes the mining rate higher with it's own multiple, the latter as a result of mining "within' your secure social circle. (as your social circle shares the same rate, and if you forget to start mining every 24 hours you can send a notice via the app, to tell them to get back to work -ie start mining again so everyone mines in a team effort). That said there is a practical limit to how many users exist in the same social circle to limit the circle's overall collective mining rate, so token distribution remains fair and more or less evenly distributed among the entire user base.
Pi Networking Social Circle Mining Cost: Very little CPU, and a bit of Bandwidth
So a little bit of bandwidth is used by a "PI App one time loaded" background programming "headless" middleware daemon, which seems to have "ring" priority on a par with the current App in focus. As such I have not detected any lag in the CX "Customer Experience" of the UI/UX "User Interface/User Experience" on my old Note3 with Apps loaded and running at the same time as the Pi "mining" Daemon, which means the current batch of really cheap Android devices running 6.0+ versions should operate the Pi Social Circle Mining function with no problem.
Pi is very different from Electroneum, one of the most prominent early entrants in the mobile mining space (circa 2017) which in the latter case does chew up mobile ARM Core CPU cycles and as such you can perceive delay on the current App in focus and of course their are reports of battery drain out there, as Electroneum uses a Scrypt based lightweight PoW "Proof of Work consensus method to "mine" coins which does still demand some CPU cycles and Ram to work properly.
The Pi App IS the Pi wallet, so the Pi experience is kept quite simple and I found it extremely easy to use relative to other Apps in general. That said, Pi support for hardware "off Social Circle" storage of Pi tokens is something that is needed, as the old Note3 (circa 2014) could "pack it in" at anytime, and that makes me a bit nervous, especially the SSD storage is usually the first to go, along with the battery life declining at a rapid rate these days. (I keep this device plugged in most of the time.
More impressive is that only Two months ago I joined and Pi Network were about to pass the 35,000 users joined threshold of halving the mining rate. Even more impressive is Pi Network reached 100,000 mobile users on apples an Android about 10 days ago, and are now already up to 150,000 users, where one can earn 0.82 Pi per hour simple by keeping your device turned on after first loading the Pi App, hitting the mining Button, EVERY 24 Hours, and occasionally expanding your mining rate by trusted partners to your social circle, and referring Pi Network to people you know.
Pi keeps you informed as to the number of users joining, and shows you visually in the App when the next mining reward "halving" will occur (the next halving is 1 million users) on an easy to read graph.
Pi Network also has a nifty update feature on the main dash of the App, whee the founders from time to time will post a video letting you know in person what is really going on, a nice "personal team" touch.
Pi is available on FB and Twitter ( I don't use either, so don't care), and recently started to post to Linkedin (which I use alot) to keep everyone up to date on what is going on in the Pi Network.
The Pi Development team is led by two Phds from Stanford, specialising in Social Networking from both a psychology angle and a computer networking + social networking angle and have an experienced social networking/program management person leading the BD/Marketing effort.
The "Node" part of the Pi Network is forthcoming, likely in Q3 according to messaging observed in the Pi App, where you will be optionally be able to run a Pi Network Node on a PC to help secure the network and get rewarded for it, so in the end the network is both mobile platform and Servers hosted somewhere in the network. How the Node will work is unclear at the moment except from one can extract from the Whitepaper accessible from the Pi App itself. https://minepi.com/white-paper
A hi level video on the main page does a reasonable " laymen's" 4 minute explanation https://youtu.be/MsOaC61cR3U
TK's PI Prognosis? Thumbs up, for now, but please get on GitHub and be more transparent
I like what Pi Network has been able to achieve in a short period of time... Again, the "Pi" name is over used(everywhere), and their are many other software projects using the name, so it can really be confusing hunting down information on the Pi Network (maybe it is on Github, I just can't find it), so reader beware.
Personally, the lack of a clear link to an open source repository is a sign the Pi Network team are not yet ready for prime time, to support peer review in the open source sense. That said, it looks like they are a fork off Stellar/core, but who really knows how they have modified their Stellar fork, some clarity in this regard would be great.
Given the Pi Network App takes little time to setup, is not a battery drain, and you must only remember to re-start the mining process ( a type of Proof of Activity, added to the security of the Social circle) every 24 hours, there is little risk in trying Pi Network and earning some crypto, other than the mobile device you have might drop dead (get stolen or be lost), and you loose all your Pi, so a hardware wallet or a web escrow, or PC escrow feature is going to be mandatory if Pi network is really going to be adopted worldwide, for later use as tender to support micro payments. (Its one of the reasons I run an old mobile Note3 at home on wifi.)
I think the PI Network team leading Pi are "ernst" (I like the German variant of the word better :) ) in their intent, and seem like an honest group. Time will tell once they get on github, and we see the CVs of key contributors to determine whether or not they have the "Tech Chops" to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time to stay ahead of the competition and get mass adoption. IMO Pi Network is in a good position, since its early days, and Electroeum, which has partly 'paved the way' for Mobile mining, means PI Network are not first in and can learn from past experiences made by others like Electroneum.
So Have a look, 150,000 users have taken the Pi Network plunge, so you are not alone, and the mining rates is still decent at 0.82 Pi/Hr until they reach a million users. By that time you will also be able to host a Node and earn Pi tokens doing that. (and by my estimation you might have accumulated 3000+ tokens if they get to 1M users in six months which is a likely outcome given the growth rate.)
As to when Pi Network will list on exchanges, and what the price will be, it's really dependent on their ability to get the Nodes running, which they claim will happen in a test framework in Q3 of 2019, which is now.
All in all, Pi Network has upped the CX experience for Social blockchain mining on mobile platforms, so Pi Network is likely, for most folks interested in crypto but not technical savvy, worth giving Pi a try. Heck, even the techno dweebs among us should give Pi Network a look. Before you jump in, Start with the FAQ first https://minepi.com/faq
For the technically inclined looking for answers to their questions about Pi Network you can try the founder managing the product development @cfan in one of several chat channels running in the Pi App, but don't hold your breath, these chat channels are more like user "vents" and its like playing "bingo" expecting to get a response.
Otherwise I suggest anyone 1/2 technical start with the whitepaper here.. https://minepi.com/white-paper
Remember Pi Network is built on Stellar is some way and still not really clear to me (and I am Software Architect) , so for background reading on Stellar, start here https://www.stellar.org/about/
My one bit of Advice to the Pi Network team revolves around Technical Marketing, maybe use PI_NTWRK when you eventually post on Github, as there is alot of Pi already out there in technoland. ;)
TK over and out.