Authorities in Vietnam have launched an investigation on the popular Pi Network which houses the Pi Coin. Pi Network is a mining-incentivized crypto network that has grown in popularity in Nigeria and elsewhere because it provides an ‘easy way’ to mine and generate tokens.
However, authorities in Vietnam are not having all that and this has once again sparked conversations around the legality/viability of the Pi Network.
The Vietnam’s Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention launched its investigation into Pi last Friday and the Department’s head Le Xuan Minh expressed concerns that the Pi Network model is “exceedingly complex and unmanaged recently.
There is no other business activity that can generate such high levels of income online.” Per reports from local media.
Also, he warned that cryptocurrency promoters have lured people into “business models resembling multi-marketing models” and the crypto network lacks the necessary level of transparency for a blockchain project. Also, it may be “utilised for nefarious purposes like fraud or data collection.”
Now, the Pi Network, which has reportedly acquired considerable traction, and a large user base in Vietnam, will be subject to scrutiny as the investigation unfolds.
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Crypto explainer: Here is all you need to know about the Pi Coin
Pi Network is a digital currency project reportedly developed in March 2019 by a team of Stanford University graduates. According to its website, the Pi Network has 47 million “engaged members.” Moreover, it claims a team of 35 core members in its Silicon Valley headquarters and across the globe.
According to its developers, the Pi coin is the first cryptocurrency that can be mined entirely on one’s mobile phone. All you need to do is just download the Pi network app and get an invitation code from one of the existing trusted members.
With this seamless process, Pi Network and its coin boomed with popularity and acceptance especially in Africa and Asia because the PI tokens can be ‘mined’ on a mobile phone, negating the costs of buying expensive crypto-mining hardware.
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Also, sometime in 2022, Know Your Customer (KYC) features were made available for a significant number of users. This means they can now move their mined Pi coins to the mainnet, where they can send, receive and choose to transact with it anyway. Many ‘vendors’ now buy and sell Pi tokens on the enclosed mainnet even though it has not been listed on any crypto exchange.
However, controversies still abound on Pi Network. There is a question tag on if it is truly a blockchain network or just a pyramid scheme.
Nevertheless, one of the reassurances Pi Network proponents have got is the credibility of the network’s founders. Co-founder Dr. Nicolas Kokkalis is a Stanford Ph.D. and instructor of Stanford’s first decentralized applications class and the other co-founder Stanford professor Dr. Chengdiao Fan, has a Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences.
For the common person, the Pi Network sounds like a great way to potentially earn some extra money since all you have to do is click a button every day and earn yourself some free tokens that some ‘vendor’ could buy from you at a fair sum.
At the end of 2022, there were unfounded reports that Huobi Global listed Pi Coin but it was later debunked and the Pi Network team had to clarify that this was an unauthorised listing. The team put out a notice:
“Pi is currently in the Enclosed Network and is not approved by Pi Network for listing on any exchange or for trading.”
Till today, no exchanges have listed Pi coin. Hopefully, there will be significant updates that provide clarity before the year runs out,