As time goes on, I pay more and more attention to the Pi network being developed by two Stanford PhD's and a master's graduate, all of whom have played a vital role in developing Stanford's blockchain culture. Because it's a mobile 'mining' app, and it distributes "free crypto," (it won't forever) a lot of people lump it in with the countless scams crypto is rife with. Which is somewhat understandable in this industry. But it's as if crypto purists are so busy being offended by any appropriation of the term 'mining' to refer to anything other than a large hardware rig with massive hashing power, they assume any project applying the term in a different manner couldn't possibly have any actual vision.
However, the lead developer of Pi teaches the first blockchain course ever taught at Stanford. He doesn't sound like a slouch to me. This is not a team who are going to stake their reputation on a scam. Much like Electroneum, another silly little mining app according to many, it ironically appears to be one of the less scammy projects in the space.
To be fair, most mobile mining apps are nothing more than poorly designed ad ridden, and often buggy, faucets, not really worth one's time. There are better faucets out there if that's what you're after. But this isn't what Pi is at all. Aiming to be among the most climate friendly cryptos on the scene, this is a project with a somewhat robust white paper (they've done their best to simplify it to make it accessible to laypeople like myself, but it's still a challenge. More proof these are no slouches) and an actual decentralized blockchain based on the Stellar Consensus Protocol in development by some pretty smart people. In the last quarter of this year they plan to enable the first in app exchanges of Pi. They also say they're aiming to build "the world's most inclusive peer to peer marketplace" wherein Pi will be used, but no one seems to know yet exactly what sort of market it will be. Some have suggested it will be a sort of Crypto-fied Shopify. Node software for laptops and desktops is also forthcoming.
In Phase 3, which is anticipated to be early 2020, they will be open to being listed on exchanges, though they are unlikely to seek after it. The team purposely didn't want to be listed on any exchange initially, as they wanted Pi to be something more equitably distributed, rather than already wealthy investors getting dibs. Thus this silly little mining app (which of course isn't mining in the traditional sense. Users are however playing a role in securing the network), continues to fly somewhat under the radar.
And fly it does. With 550,000 miners, or "pioneers," as Pi calls them, just a week ago, they have today reached the 800,000 mark. That's an absolutely staggering pace which translates to 200,000 plus new users in roughly a week's time.That means by the time some of you read this, it is likely approaching one million users. And they have reached this number with almost no marketing, although many have not been crazy about the spamming of invite codes in crypto forums.
Electroneum meanwhile has sought out more regulatory guidance and compliance than just about any other company in the space. Led by seasoned business people, they currently have a real world usable mobile top-up product up and running on three different continents. The tech may not be as cutting edge and up to snuff as some would like, but that doesn't mean it's a junk enterprise either. At the very least, projects like Electroneum and Pi can play a big role in introducing crypto to the masses as they're all about producing incredibly simple, easy to use applications.
The fact remains that, percentage-wise, not so many people are interested in cryptocurrency. It's easy to forget that if you're living in crypto-land every day. Most people have no interest in learning how to use an exchange to buy this magical internet money, especially when they don't even know what it's for. But offer them a simple app that distributes a bit of crypto freely and has a marketplace being built around it where they will actually be able to use it, and they're all ears. Only crypto purists care whether the front end user experience involves "real mining" or not. Everyone else is happy to be introduced to a new concept and be given a small bit of purchasing power to boot.
People seem to underestimate the power of simplicity. Pi's garnering of 800,000 daily users in the span of a few months with almost no marketing speaks to this power.
If you're already using the Pi app, be sure to restart it daily. If you're not, you can get it here and if it asks for an invite enter CryptoScrimper.
If you're not already using Electroneum, you can get it here or at the Play or IOS store. To help support my writing and earn an extra 1% on all your mined ETN forever, enter C8684A as a referral code
Why wait to see if these projects become successful, and then start mining them? As Pi calls it, be a pioneer.