I received this email today from someone I know introducing me to Pi Network, a cryptocurrency experiment started by three Stanford graduates.
As the email points out, you download their app, sign up for free and the referrer gets a bonus if you use their referral code. You can only activate your Pi Network account with a referral code, and once you sign up, you get your own referral code to relay to others.
As Pi Network’s website explains:
As an Ambassador, you earn up to a 25% bonus on your base mining rate for each person you invite to the network.
You become an Ambassador when new members join your earning team by using your invitation code when they sign up for Pi Network. Each member of your earning team provides a 25% boost to your
earnings when they are actively mining. A new member can only be added to their inviter’s earning team, because each member only joins Pi once using one inviter’s invitation code. In other words, unlike the security circles where people can be added into multiple member’ circles based on trust, earning teams are fixed based on who invited whom. Each invitee in the world can only be claimed by one inviter.
Sounds very MLM, right?
The Pi Network app runs on your phone and mines cryptocurrency. The obvious question is how much of your phone’s precious battery life does it consume? They claim very little:
So how can you mine a cryptocurrency without draining your battery or data? Instead of burning energy as proof of work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin do, Pi secures its ledger when members vouch for each other as trustworthy. This forms a network of interlocking “security circles” that determines who can execute transactions. This novel approach allows crypto mining on your phone by leveraging your
existing social connections, with no financial cost, no battery drain and a light footprint on the planet. Read the technical section in our White paper for more accurate and detailed explanation.
So what does one get by mining Pi? Nothing at present:
Today Pi is worth approximately 0 dollars / euro etc. similar to Bitcoin in 2008. Pi’s value will be backed by the time, attention, goods, and services offered by other members of the network.
By pooling our attention, goods, and services around a common currency, Pi’s members seek to capture more of the value that typically goes to banks, technology giants (e.g., Facebook, Amazon), and other intermediaries. Today, we are laying the infrastructure for this digital currency and marketplace by distributing the currency, building the community, and developing the technology to ensure its security.
And one final caveat: in order to keep accumulating Pi, you must press a button once each day in the Pi Network app to prove you’re not a bot.
If nothing else, Pi Network is a great social experiment to see how Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon connected we are…and how many of us are incentivized by earning 25% more of something that currently has no value but may have some value in the future. At least you don’t have to host any Tupperware or Avon parties!
And like any good Pavlovian experiment, it makes us click a button each day to keep getting our reward, which in this case has no value, not even a cookie or a marshmallow!
So, in a shameless plug to accumulate currently valueless cryptocurrency, please use this referral code when signing up: FriendOfAlan
Let's see how far away from Kevin Bacon we are...