Pi Network is a digital currency platform that allows users to mine PI coins via a smartphone app. The Pi mainnet is currently in the enclosed phase, meaning that it runs behind a firewall that prohibits external connectivity.

The Pi Network mainnet launched in 2021, albeit in the so-called “enclosed network period” variation. The Pi team initially targeted a 2022 launch of the open version of the mainnet, but the rollout was later postponed.

In this article, we are going to examine the ins and outs of the Pi network and look into the current status of the PI coin and the launch of the open version of the mainnet.

What is Pi Network?

Pi Network was developed by a team of Stanford graduates and was first introduced in March 2019. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Pi Network doesn’t rely on energy-intensive mining processes. Instead, it uses a consensus algorithm called the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), which is much more energy-efficient and less resource-intensive than Proof-of-Work (PoW).

SCP’s high efficiency allows users to mine Pi coins on their mobile devices without consuming excessive computational power. In fact, anyone with at least 250 megabytes of computer storage can run the Pi Node software. That’s a vastly smaller amount than some other cryptos. For example, you’ll need hundreds of gigabytes of free storage to run a Bitcoin node.

Pi Network is not the only app that allows you to mine crypto on Android, iOS, and PC devices. One of the best alternatives is CryptoTab, which is a web browser that allows you to earn Bitcoin while browsing. Visit CryptoTab

Pi Network roles

There are five different roles in the app, including pioneer, contributor, ambassador, node, and developer ambassador:

  • Pioneer: Pioneer is reserved for those just getting started with the Pi Network ecosystem, allowing them to earn Pi just by opening the app periodically.
  • Contributor: Once you reach the contributor role level, you can mine at a higher rate and add other members to your security circle.
  • Ambassador: Ambassador, as the name implies, is a role that rewards users who are growing the network by inviting new users to the platform.
  • Node: Users assigned the Node role can run the decentralized network by downloading the Node software to their computer.
  • Node Ambassador: Finally, there’s the node ambassador role, which is reserved for those who invite new developers to build apps on the Pi network.

Pi network roles

The Role menu in the Pi mobile app. Image source: The Pi Network app

Recently, the Pi Network team has been very active in trying to attract new developers to build on the Pi network. The team highlighted a 47 million strong userbase and Pi token rewards as the reasons why developers should be interested in building decentralized applications (dApps) for the Pi ecosystem.

The Pi Network roadmap

The Pi Network’s roadmap consists of three distinct phases. The first phase started in 2018 with the launch of a mobile app for iOS devices. About a year later, the original Pi whitepaper was published, outlining the project’s goals, tokenomics, and other aspects of the network.

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The launch of the Pi testnet in 2020 marked the beginning of the second phase. During the second phase, the team rolled out several utilities, including wallet, browser, and developer tools.

The third and final phase started in December 2021 with the launch of the Pi mainnet. It is worth mentioning that the mainnet is currently in a so-called enclosed network period, which means that the mainnet is behind a firewall, preventing any unwanted external connectivity.

During the currently ongoing phase, users can complete the KYC process and migrate their Pi coins to the mainnet blockchain. According to the team, the Enclosed Network period should allow time for millions of Pioneers to complete KYC and migrate their Pi to the Mainnet.

In addition, the enclosed period should provide leeway for Pi Apps deployed on the testnet to transition to the mainnet successfully.

Latest Pi Network roadmap update

In December of 2023, the project’s core team unveiled a Pi Network roadmap update, detailing their plans for the Pi Network ecosystem ahead of the Open Mainnet launch.

Pi Network roadmap update

The Pi Network mobile mining app is set to receive significant upgrades, as outlined in the latest roadmap update. The onboarding experience for new users will be streamlined, featuring a registration process immediately upon opening the app. The update will also deliver bug fixes and a more user-friendly interface.

Additionally, a user retention program will be implemented in the mining app, sending periodic reminders to miners who have stopped mining and earning PI rewards. The application is also being translated into a total of 50 languages as part of the app’s UI/UX overhaul.

The Pi Browser app, which allows users to access various applications built on the Pi Network, will also receive an upgrade. The Pi Browser update will have goals similar to the update to the mobile mining app, as it will be focused on streamlining the user experience.

In addition to the mining app and Pi Browser upgrades, the Pi Network team also aims to improve the KYC (know your customer) process to make the process of identity verification smoother.

However, the Pi Network roadmap update also brought some disappointment to the Pi Network community, as it doesn’t include any concrete information about when the Pi Network mainnet will actually launch. The team simply says that Pi Network will enter the highly anticipated Open Mainnet phase once the Enclosed Network phase and the KYC process reach sufficient maturity and somewhat arbitrary milestones.

Pros and cons of the Pi Network

There are some drawbacks that are worth pointing out when it comes to the Pi Network.

First of all, the full mainnet launch is currently about a year late, and there is no concrete timeline for the launch of the open network period. Secondly, the Pi mobile app requires a lot of user information to use, which is a bit concerning. Finally, there’s the very limited use case for the Pi network at the moment.

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The network doesn’t feature any blockchain games, trading protocols, or other decentralized applications that would make using it worthwhile. While the team says that all these things are coming later down the line, it’s a decent possibility that the Pi ecosystem won’t ever reach its full potential.

Over 2.7 billion PI coin mining rewards have already been migrated to the mainnet. Image source: Pi Blockexplorer

On the other hand, with a user base approaching 50 million users, the Pi network holds immense potential. Thanks to the efficient consensus mechanism and the ability for users to earn Pi coins by simply running an app on their mobile phone, the network could continue to grow at a rapid pace.

It’s apparent that there is a significant amount of interest in the launch of the open network, as over 2.7 billion Pi coins have already been migrated to the mainnet.

When is the Pi Network mainnet launch date?

The Pi Network is still in the transitionary phase between the enclosed and the open version. The Pi core team recently released a plan that would see the Open Mainnet launch in 2024 if certain criteria are met (including the number of Pi apps, amount of migrated Pi coins, and more).

Initially, the open version was supposed to launch in 2022, but the rollout was eventually postponed. The team says that the open network period will begin depending on the maturity of the Enclosed Network ecosystem and the progress of the KYC.

The open network period will see the firewall lifted, allowing connection to other networks, wallets, and anyone who wants to connect to Pi Mainnet. Also, API calls will not be firewalled, and Pioneers will be able to run their own Pi Nodes and API services.

PI coin price potential

Mainnet PI coins are not yet available for trading and won’t be until the mainnet is opened. However, some exchanges – including Huobi and Bitmart – allow users to trade PI IOUs. IOUs are obligations that money that was borrowed will be paid back – IOU is an abbreviation for ‘I owe you.’

The price of Pi coin IOUs has increased considerably in the past 6 months, gaining over +20% and surpassing $30. The interest in IOUs could be an indication of where the price of mainnet PI coins would be if they were available for trading.

According to the Pi coin price prediction, the price could surpass $200 in the next 12 months, which means that more than a +400% increase in PI price is in the cards.

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Buy PI Coin on Huobi

Pi Network FAQs

Is Pi Network worth anything?

Pi Network is not worth anything at the moment. It is a cryptocurrency that is still in its development phase and has not yet been launched on any major exchanges. As such, it has no real-world value.

However, there is some potential for the Pi Network to be worth something in the future. The project has a large user base and is backed by a team of experienced developers. If Pi Network is able to successfully launch and gain adoption, it could potentially be worth a significant amount of money.

Currently, some cryptocurrency exchanges are allowing users to speculate on the future price of PI coins through IOUs. At the time of writing this article, Pi Network IOUs are trading at a price of around $30.

Please keep in mind that IOUs don’t necessarily reflect the price a cryptocurrency will have at launch and usually can’t be transferred from one exchange to another. IOUs are a high-risk trading product, and you should exercise a lot of caution before choosing to trade them.

Is Pi Network safe?

Pi Network is generally considered to be safe. The app has been reviewed by security experts, and no major vulnerabilities have been found. However, it is important to note that Pi Network is still in its early stages, and there is always the risk of fraud or scams. It is important to only download the Pi Network app from the official website and to never share your login credentials with anyone. You should also be wary of any offers to buy or sell Pi coins, as these are likely to be scams.

Can Pi coin reach $100?

It is possible that Pi coin could reach $100 in the future, but it is also possible that it will never be worth anything. The value of Pi Coin will depend on a number of factors, including the number of users who adopt it, the level of demand for Pi Coin, and the overall state of the cryptocurrency market. If the price of currently traded PI coin-based IOUs is any indication, then PI could reach $100 in the future.

The bottom line

Pi Network has a lot of potential thanks to its lightweight design and large user base. However, there are currently very limited use cases for the network, and the delays in the launch of the open mainnet cast doubt on whether the project will ever live up to the hype.

At this point in time, it’s impossible to say which way the pendulum will swing. One thing that could reassure users is the launch of the open mainnet – luckily, there’s a good chance that the timeline for the rollout will be announced this month by the Pi core team.