Centralised power and money seeps into the first generation of Cryptocurrency
Fact; 1% of the network owns 87% of Bitcoin. Sounds familiar? Over the past few years, the first generation of cryptocurrencies have failed in upholding one of the primary goals it was invented for; inclusion. I urge you to listen to the enthusiastic video below from bitcoin pioneer and advocate, Andreas M. Antonopoulos. The reality of Bitcoin has moved far far away from his vision.
How did this happen?
In the early days of Bitcoin, when only a few people were validating transactions and mining the blocks, anyone could earn 50 BTC by simply running Bitcoin mining software on their personal computer. As the currency began to gain in popularity, clever miners realized that they could earn more if they had multiple computers working simultaneously. As Bitcoin continued to increase in value, organisational mining began to spring up globally, China now being the leader of the mining race. Specialised chips (“ASICs”) and enterprise level server farms using these chips mine Bitcoin now. The emergence of these enormous mining corporations drove the Bitcoin Gold Rush, making it uneconomical for everyday people to contribute to the network and get rewarded. In addition to the exclusion of the average person, mining now is contributing to a mounting environmental issue due to the vast amounts of power it consumes. The Bitcoin network alone uses 0.21% of the global power consumption or to draw a parallel, equivalent to the total power consumption of Switzerland!
The solution from Pi and other second generation cryptocurrencies
Pi mining network was developed to address this evolving barrier for the adoption of Crypto. It is the brainchild of three Stanford grads Vincent McPhillip, Chengdiao Fan and Nicolas Kokkalis. Pi allows everyday people to earn cryptocurrency rewards for validating transactions on a distributed record of transactions using a mobile phone or a personal computer. While generation 1 cryptocurrencies continue to burn energy and money to prove trustworthiness, Pi pioneers continue to mine using their mobile phones. It also eliminates the development of mining farms as the user needs to “tap” the software daily to confirm they are human and not a bot. Each account is unique and in 2020 all pioneers had to submit their KYCs in Pi’s journey to the main net.
The roadmap for Pi as mentioned on their website
Phase 1 – Design, Distribution, Trust Graph Bootstrap.
The Pi server is operating as a faucet emulating the behavior of the decentralized system as it will function once it goes live. During this phase, improvements to the user experience and behaviour are possible and relatively easy to make in comparison to the stable phase of the main net. All minting of coins to users will be migrated to the live net once it launches. In other words, the livenet will pre-mint in its genesis block all account holder balances generated during Phase 1, and continue operating just like the current system, but fully decentralized. Pi is not listed on exchanges during this phase and it is impossible to “buy” Pi with any other currency.
Phase 2 – Test net
Before the launch into the main net, the Node software will be deployed on a test net. The test net will use the same exact trust graph as the main net, but on a testing Pi coin. The Pi core team will host several nodes on the test net, but will encourage more Pioneers to start their own nodes on the test net. In fact, in order for any node to join the main net, they are advised to begin on the test net. The test net will be run in parallel to the Pi emulator in phase one, and periodically, e.g. daily, the results from both systems will be compared to catch the gaps and misses of the test net, which will allow Pi developers to propose and implement fixes. After a thorough concurrent run of both systems, the test net will reach a state where its results consistently match the emulator’s. At that time, Pi will migrate to the next phase.
Phase 3 – Main net
When the community is in agreement that the software is ready for production, and has been substantially tested on the test net, the official main net of the Pi network will be launched. An important detail to note is that in the transition into the main net, only accounts validated and proven to belong to “real” individuals will be honoured. After this point, the faucet and Pi network emulator of Phase 1 will be shut down and the system will continue on its own forever. Future updates to the protocol will be contributed by the Pi developer community and Pi’s core team, and will be proposed by the committee. Their implementation and deployment will depend on nodes updating the mining software just like any other blockchain. No central authority will be controlling the currency, and it will be fully decentralized. Balances of fake users or duplicate users will be discarded. This is the phase when Pi can be connected to exchanges and be exchanged for other currencies.
Wes Spencer’s take on Pi when it passed 10 million users!
At the time of publishing this article, I’ve mined over 1,700 Pi coins. If you too would like to join the Pi community and start mining, feel free to use the following link to join my earning team: minepi.com/Sanjaylk