Pi Network and FeverIQ

Pi Network is a project I have been following for a little while now.  Initially I was introduced by a friend who asked me to 'mine' and so I did because it was super easy and didn't take much of any effort or resources (more on that later).  I then started to learn a little more and took more interest in what was going on and have started to look forward to the projects development.  Then very recently they introduced their first 3rd party app "FeverIQ" and now I have taken more interest because it's actively providing a service to...dare I say, humanity?  I will break it down for you, please read on even if you aren't directly interested in Pi.

So, what is Pi?  Honestly it seems to be pretty straight forward in it's approach and isn't trying to do too much.  Pi is being developed by a group of people at Stanford University.  The team seems to be at least a little bit altruistic in their goals.  The state their mission as: "Build a cryptocurrency and smart contracts platform secured and operated by everyday people."  The vision says: "Build the world's most inclusive peer-to-peer marketplace, fueled by Pi, the world's most widely used cryptocurrency."  So of course, as there is in many mission statements, a huge goal set that is very possibly unattainable.  Most widely used is a lofty goal.  But, let's just accept that for what it is, putting a big goal forward and working ahead with a powerful statement.

So what's the actual goal here?  You can read the White Paper at that link, but I will try and summarize.  If you find it at all interesting, do check out the White Paper, it's not overly technical and has some very interesting thoughts on Bitcoin vs other crypto and relative fairness of distribution.

They have attempted to put together a mining or earning model that discourages there being "whales" or people able to concentrate the distribution of Pi.  The earning model encourages early adopters and people who work do distribute the network, but there are caps on how fast and how much you can earn.  They have a focus on as many people as possible having some Pi, but minimal concentrations to small groups of people.  You are encouraged to increase your network to increase security, but after a number of connections you don't earn more.  Earnings are tied to a phone number and there is a level of proof of human required to make sure the network isn't taken over by bots or people setting up tons of phones to just collect.  You have to have a phone per person to get the Pi.  It actually feels like it's a decent model for broad distribution.  The mining that you do on your phone is NOT proof of work.  So you are not using phone resources of any significance.  It's just an app that runs and once a day you have to check in to keep earning.  They are creating an architecture where you can't just set it and forget it.  You have to secure the network by checking in.  By distributing the network in this way it provides security.  I can't really describe the technical reason behind it, but I get it from a concept level.  Essentially each phone is a mini-node and confirms transactions match the rest of the network.  But since it's not doing computation to solve for a mining reward the resources are minimal.  But having millions of these phone nodes doing infinitesimally small amounts of work it all adds up.

They are also rolling out desktop(laptop/not phone) nodes that you can link to your phone.  By running that node you earn additional Pi.  That node will provide additional network resources above and beyond what is provided by the minimal phone work being done.  I don't know if that additional power is needed for smart contracts and other more complicated things.

They will eventually have a storefront for people to set up as part of a virtual marketplace.  They envision an app store as well.  They are looking for a community governance model to be in place as the project matures as well.  The project is currently in Phase 2 and has launched/is launching it's testnet and node software.  Once they reach Phase 3, which is looking for a 2021 launch, they will validate all earned Pi as being earned by an actual person.  All testnet Pi earned to date that is validated will be honored and transitioned to mainnet.  They are specifically not making Pi available for trading until after mainnet launches.  This is another attempt to avoid hoarding in early days. 

Now, the true catalyst for this blog is the app that they launched on their testnet.  Although it's a testnet app, it's doing real work.  This app isn't intended to make money for anyone, it's a data collection app intended to help the research into Covid-19.  I avoid as best I can all discussions regarding the political side of the pandemic and just accept that it is in fact a global pandemic.  The best way to understand it is to get information.  If you install Pi on your phone you can then navigate in their menu to Pi Apps.  In there currently they have two apps.  One is their chat app which just allows chatting and communication over the network.  The other is Fever IQ.  When you go into the app you can report anonymously information about how you are feeling, if you have been tested positive, negative, or even report no symptoms.  They also anonymize your location data by putting a 1km circle in which you reported.  This data is used by the people at FeverIQ to understand the spread of the disease and get as many data points as possible for both sick and healthy people.  With a large enough sample size they can provide useful data to aid in the research of the pandemic and how it spreads.  You earn a little Pi each time you report, hopefully daily.  But you can also donate your Pi towards the FeverIQ effort to aid in paying others for collected data.

I encourage you to check out both projects and see if they are a fit for your particular tastes.  If you decide you want to join in they can be found in google and apple app stores.  If you want a link I will provide one.  I will disclose this is a referral link because the way the app works is you typically are referred by someone else.  Using this link will put you in my "circle". But if you happen to know someone else who is into Pi, please go ask for their link and get in on their circle.


I hope you enjoyed the read, stay happy and stay healthy everyone.


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