Pi Network: mine on your phone

Pi Network: mine on your phone

By Arvydas77 | passivecrypto | 30 Jul 2019


In today's post I would like to share with you information about user and planet friendly mobile mining. First of all take a look at this short video introducing what is Pi:

The Story Of Pi - The First Digital Currency You Can Mine On Your Phone.

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Pi makes crypto mining easy. Let's take a look how it works?

The main goal of Pi Network is to enable planet friendly eco mining on mobile devices, fair distribution of coins and opportunity to participate in the network expenditure.

the Pi Core Team set out to find a way that would allow everyday people to mine (or earn cryptocurrency rewards for validating transactions on a distributed record of transactions). As a refresher, one of the major challenges that arises with maintaining a distributed record of transactions is ensuring that updates to this open record are not fraudulent. While Bitcoin’s process for updating its record is proven (burning energy / money to prove trustworthiness), it is not very user (or planet!) friendly. For Pi, we introduced the additional design requirement of employing a consensus algorithm that would also be extremely user friendly and ideally enable mining on personal computers and mobile phones.

In comparing existing consensus algorithms (the process that records transactions into a distributed ledger), the Stellar Consensus Protocol emerges as the leading candidate to enable user-friendly, mobile-first mining. Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP) was architected by David Mazières a professor of Computer Science at Stanford who also serves as Chief Scientist at the Stellar Development Foundation. SCP uses a novel mechanism called Federated Byzantine Agreements to ensure that updates to a distributed ledger are accurate and trustworthy. SCP is also deployed in practice through the Stellar blockchain that has been operating since 2015

 

Pi’s Adaptations to Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP)

Pi’s consensus algorithm builds atop SCP.  SCP has been formally proven [Mazieres 2015] and is currently implemented within the Stellar Network. Unlike Stellar Network consisting mostly of companies and institutions (e.g., IBM) as nodes, Pi intends to allow devices of individuals to contribute on the protocol level and get rewarded, including mobile phones, laptops and computers. Below is an introduction on how Pi applies SCP to enabling mining by individuals.

There are four roles Pi users can play, as Pi miners. Namely:

  • Pioneer. A user of the Pi mobile app who is simply confirming that they are not a “robot” on a daily basis. This user validates their presence every time they sign in to the app. They can also open the app to request transactions (e.g. make a payment in Pi to another Pioneer)

  • Contributor. A user of the Pi mobile app who is contributing by providing a list of pioneers he or she knows and trusts. In aggregate, Pi contributors will build a global trust graph.

  • Ambassador. A user of the Pi mobile app who is introducing other users into Pi network.

  • Node. A user who is a pioneer, a contributor using the Pi mobile app, and is also running the Pi node software on their desktop or laptop computer. The Pi node software is the software that runs the core SCP algorithm, taking into account the trust graph information provided by the Contributors.

A user can play more than one of the above roles. All roles are necessary, thus all roles are rewarded with newly minted Pi on a daily basis as long as they participated and contributed during that given day. In the loose definition of a “miner” being a user who receives newly minted currency as a reward for contributions, all four roles are considered to be Pi miners. We define“mining” more broadly than its traditional meaning equated to executing proof of work consensus algorithm as in Bitcoin or Ethereum.

First of all, we need to emphasize that the Pi Node software has not been released yet. So this section is offered more as an architectural design and as a request to solicit comments from the technical community. This software will be fully open source and it will also heavily depend on stellar-core which is also open source software, available here. This means that anyone in the community will be able to read, comment and propose improvements on it. Below are the Pi proposed changes to SCP to enable mining by individual devices.

Mobile app users

When a Pioneer needs to confirm that a given transaction has been executed (e.g. that they have received Pi) they open the mobile app. At that point, the mobile app connects to one or more Nodes to inquire if the transaction has been recorded on the ledger and also to get the most recent block number and hash value of that block. If that Pioneer is also running a Node the mobile app connects to that Pioneer’s own node. If the Pioneer is not running a node, then the app connects to multiple nodes and to cross check this information. Pioneers will have the ability select which nodes they want their apps to connect to. But to make it simple for most users, the app should have a reasonable default set of nodes, e.g. a number of nodes closest to the user based on the trust graph, along with a random selection of nodes high in pagerank. We ask for your feedback on how the default set of nodes for mobile Pioneers should be selected.

Mining rewards

A beautiful property of the SCP algorithm is that it is more generic than a blockchain. It coordinates consensus across a distributed system of Nodes. This means that the same core algorithm is not only used every few seconds to record new transactions in new blocks, but also it can be used to periodically run more complex computations. For example, once a week, the stellar network is using it to compute inflation on the stellar network and allocate the newly minted tokens proportionally to all stellar coin holders (Stellar’s coin is called lumens). In a similar manner, the Pi network employs SCP once a day to compute the network-wide new Pi distribution across all Pi miners (pioneers, contributors, ambassadors, nodes) who actively participated in any given day. In other words, Pi mining rewards are computed only once daily and not on every block of the blockchain.

For comparison Bitcoin allocates mining rewards on every block and it give all of the reward to the miner who was lucky enough to be able to solve a computationally intensive randomized task. This reward in Bitcoin currently 12.5 Bitcoin (~$40K) is given to only one miner every 10 minutes. This makes it extremely unlikely for any given miner to ever get rewards. As a solution to that, bitcoin miners are getting organized in centralized mining pools, which all contribute processing power, increasing the likelihood of getting rewards, and eventually sharing proportionally those rewards. Mining pools are not only points of centralization, but also their operators get cuts reducing the amount going to individual miners.  In Pi, there is no need for mining pools, since once a day everyone who contributed get a meritocratic distribution of new Pi.

Transaction fees

Similar to Bitcoin transactions, fees are optional in the Pi network. Each block has a certain limit of how many transactions can be included in it. When there is no backlog of transactions, transactions tend to be free. But if there are more transactions, nodes order them by fee, with highest-fee-transactions at the top and pick only the top transactions to be included in the produced blocks. This makes it an open market. Implementation: Fees are proportionally split among Nodes once a day. On every block, the fee of each transaction is transferred into a temporary wallet from where in the end of the day it is distributed to the active miners of the day. This wallet has an unknown private key. Transactions in and out of that wallet are forced by the protocol itself under the consensus of all nodes in the same way the consensus also mints new Pi every day.

 

Pi Economic Model

Pi, on the other hand, seeks to strike a balance between creating a sense of scarcity for Pi, while still ensuring that a large amount does not accumulate into a very small number of hands. We want to make sure our users earn more Pi as they make contributions to the network. Pi’s goal is to build an economic model that is sophisticated enough to achieve and balance these priorities while remaining intuitive enough for people to use.

Pi’s economic model design requirements:

  • Simple: Build an intuitive and transparent model

  • Fair distribution: Give a critical mass of the world’s population access to Pi

  • Scarcity: Create a sense of scarcity to sustain Pi’s price over time

  • Meritocratic earning: Reward contributions to build and sustain the network

Pi - Token Supply

Token Emission Policy

  1. Total Max Supply = M + R + D

    1. M = total mining rewards

    2. R = total referral rewards

    3. D = total developer rewards

  1. M = ∫ f(P) dx where f is a logarithmically declining function

    1. P = Population number (e.g., 1st person to join, 2nd person to join, etc.)

  1. R = r * M

    1. r = referral rate (50% total or 25% for both referrer and referee)

  1. D = t * (M + R)

  2. t = developer reward rate (25%)

 

M - Mining Supply (Based on fixed mining supply minted per person)

In contrast to Bitcoin which created a fixed supply of coins for the entire global population, Pi creates a fixed supply of Pi for each person that joins the network up to the first 100 Million participants. In other words, for each person that joins the Pi Network, a fixed amount of Pi is pre-minted. This supply is then released over the lifetime of that member based on their level of engagement and contribution to network security. The supply is released using an exponentially decreasing function similar to Bitcoin’s over the member’s lifetime.

R - Referral Supply (Based on fixed referral reward minted per person and shared b/w referrer and referee)

In order for a currency to have value, it must be widely distributed. To incentivize this goal, the protocol also generates a fixed amount of Pi that serves as a referral bonus for both the referrer and the referee (or both parent and offspring :) This shared pool can be mined by both parties over their lifetime - when both parties are actively mining. Both referrer and referee are able to draw upon this pool in order to avoid exploitative models where referrers are able to “prey” on their referees. The referral bonus serves as a network-level incentive to grow the Pi Network while also incentivizing engagement among members in actively securing the network.

D - Developer Reward Supply (Additional Pi minted to support ongoing development)

Pi will fund its ongoing development with a “Developer Reward” that is minted alongside each coin that is minted for mining and referrals. Traditionally, cryptocurrency protocols have minted a fixed amount of supply that is immediately placed into treasury. Because Pi’s total supply is dependent on the number of members in the network, Pi progressively mints its developer reward as the network scales. The progressive minting of Pi’s developer reward is meant to align the incentives of Pi’s contributors with the overall health of the network.

f is a logarithmically decreasing function - early members earn more

While Pi seeks to avoid extreme concentrations of wealth, the network also seeks to reward earlier members and their contributions with a relatively larger share of Pi. When networks such as Pi are in their early days, they tend to provide a lower utility to participants. For example, imagine having the very first telephone in the world. It would be a great technological innovation but not extremely useful. However, as more people acquire telephones, each telephone holder gets more utility out of the network. In order to reward people that come to the network early, Pi’s individual mining reward and referral rewards decrease as a function of the number of people in the network. In other words, there is a certain amount of Pi that is reserved for each “slot” in the Pi Network.

 

 

For more technical details and explanations please take a look at Pi Whitepaper.

 

 

Ready to mine some Pi?

To join Pi, please follow this link: https://minepi.com/Arvydas77 and use my username (Arvydas77) as your invitation code. 


Arvydas77
Arvydas77

Crypto maniac since 2016


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