Pi: mud or a golden crust?

Pi: mud or a golden crust?

By Spitkitten | cryptokitten | 30 Jun 2020


In my last post, I listed some ways I've learned to try and determine if a new altcoin is headed to the moon or to the shitter.

None of these ways, of course, offer guarantees. But, along with some common sense and intuition, are, IMHO, decent-enough guidelines, especially if you're a small potatoes player like me. 

In this post, I want to run a new coin -- one that hasn't even launched beyond "mining" (you'll see why I have that in quotes in a sec) -- against these guidelines, and see where it ends up.

This coin has no value ATM, and, like I said, has not launched on an exchange, so consider this a thought experiment…

...on Pi.

Pi describes itself as "the first digital currency you can mine on your phone," and "Secure, Immutable, non-counterfeitable and interoperable digital money."

OK.

Sounds great. All those juicy keywords. But, if you actually read what the words say,  it immediately falls apart as marketing speak, right? Check it:

--"mine on your phone" : mining crypto requires computing power of some sort, if not CPU power, then some sort of proof-of-work or proof-of-stake that is, AFAIK, beyond the capability of an average phone (and that's understanding that even the crappiest, entry-levelest smart phone has considerably more power than the computers that helped send someone to the moon).

--"Secure, Immutable, non-counterfeitable and interoperable digital money": Secure is a promise, not a guarantee for any digital anything. Immutable is...interesting, because in terms of crypto, we haven't seen much of that; projects fork, spin-off, incorporate new algorithms in order to adapt to use and how they function in the market. And non-counterfeitable, interoperable. Love the sentiment. But projects, which are already being traded, built with the idea of one or both of these values are already hitting walls. Coins can be made difficult to counterfeit, or incentives built in to prevent people from doing so. And interoperability requires, as far as I understand, a huge adoption rate and a constantly changing algorithm (buh-bye immutable) to interact, much less be equivalent and convertible, to and with other coins.


I'm already skeptical, and I haven't even gotten to the specifics. 


The site is nice, simple, clean enough, not gorgeous. Good, OK. It's professional without suggesting the team blew money on designers to hype. It's more than a year old, and claims millions ("3.5 million members worldwide") use the app (in beta) -- which is where and how one mines this mysterious Pi coin

Clicking around on the website requires you to captcha each time, which is annoying AF, but doesn't raise nor quell alarm bells.

The team is Stanford trained, which impresses me, because I'm hella noob, but also doesn't necessarily make me want to throw money around...which is, apparently, just fine, because there's nothing to throw money at. 

Like I said, the coin doesn't exist on any exchanges yet, and doesn't even seem to be launched in any fundamental way.

There's a white paper and FAQs which actually explain some things.

Basically, Pi will be a mode of exchange on a hypothetical system of vendors and service providers that, well, will accept it, or, as the site says, they hope to build "...the world’s most inclusive peer-to-peer marketplace, fueled by Pi, the world’s most widely used cryptocurrency."

Nice. Except I feel like I'm back in marketing again, because these are big dreams being stated as facts. When I search around on any other info on Pi, I get tons of community posts, where people are posting their invite links, and not much more. A few articles. Not a lot of hype. The team has "official" channels on major social media, which is not a bad sign. 

Not a lot of solids, though.

The white paper and FAQs, however, do set out a plan and the technology, and are clear about what will happen on the app -- there's no "mining," per se, though they clearly call it mining. Instead, it's that you, as a human, come into the network using an invitation code, ostensibly provided by another human, thus proving everyone's human.

You then, in the app, tap a button called "mine," which is like an uber-capcha that you are (still) human, which allows you to accumulate Pi continuously for 24 hours -- at which point, you need to re-tap (still human!). 

The rate at which you accumulate Pi depends on your "role." Anyone on the app, tapping, at this point, is a "pioneer." If you, as a human, invite other humans, for whom you vouch for their humanness and general non-sketchiness, into your "security circle," you become a "contributor," and will earn more Pi. 

You can also, eventually, host a node (and earn more), but that's not open to the general public yet.

There's a whiff of MLM happening, but OK. OK.

None of this has any monetary value until the project reaches its next stage ("3"), for which there's a lot of hand-waving and vagueness on timeline. 

Is it a shitcoin? I have no idea. Will it moon? Don't know. Since there's "nothing to lose," I got myself invited and downloaded the app.

In my next post, I'll describe the actual app, and, hopefully, have more data from which to draw a conclusion.

Stay tuned for my tapping.


If you wanna play along at home, and you pinky swear you're a human, feel free to click https://minepi.com/spitkitten, download, and use my username (spitkitten) as your invitation code.

If you like my ravings, find them useful (or have comments, etc), please leave me a message or a tip.  If you have experience with Pi already, or opinionz: extra points.


Tappa-tappa-tappa!


Spitkitten
Spitkitten

Nerd, bon vivant, sci fi writer. Dynamite with a laser beam.


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