Pi Network is a digital currency project that aims to keep crypto mining accessible. It is based on the view that the centralisation of the first generation of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin has put them out of reach of everyday users.
While early bitcoin adopters could mine the digital coin from a regular computer CPU, the process of mining – validating transactions on its distributed record, or blockchain – has been taken over by massive mining pools with specialist hardware.
The project, developed by a team of Stanford graduates, aims to redress the balance, enabling users to mine coins from its smartphone app.
With branding based on the number π, Phase 1 of the project launched in 2019 on Pi Day, 14 March, with its free PI mining app. By June 2019, the network had more than 100,000 active users, and a year later when Phase 2 launched there were more than 3.5 million. The app started running ads in May 2020 to provide a source of financing for the project. The user base reached 18 million at the end of May 2021, having crossed the 12 million mark in February.