For many, Bitcoin is seen as a revolutionary advancement in the democratization of finance. Yet, this lead asset of the cryptocurrency movement remains largely inaccessible to the masses due to the expense, technical complexity and enormous energy demands associated with bitcoin mining.
In East Palo Alto, California, an innovative social cryptocurrency project developed by three Stanford grads is making major strides in addressing these and other issues hindering Bitcoin adoption. Known as Pi, this breakthrough digital ecosystem harnesses the power of member social networks to fuel participation in the security of the currency.
Members signify trust in one another on the Pi network by creating a network of interlocking “security circles,” thereby determining who’s authorized to validate Pi’s ledger transactions. By establishing trustworthiness on the system, members earn Pi via their mobile phones all while mitigating costs, limiting battery drain, and providing a lighter eco-footprint for the planet.
Launched in beta mode on Pi Day (3/14/2019), Pi has mushroomed to more than 500K installs, with active members populating over 180 countries. This explosive adoption across a globally diverse user -base reflects a growing interest in cryptocurrency and specifically, a more inclusive digital economy.
Pi is the brainchild of three Stanford grads, Dr. Nicolas Kokkalis, Dr. Chengdiao Fan, and Vincent McPhillip. According to McPhillip, who serves as co-founder and Head of Community at Pi Network:
“Pi which is traditionally known as a mathematical constant appearing everywhere in nature, fundamentally represents many of the values that are foundational to our community. In fact, Pi as a concept has infinite meaning that doesn’t have an end to it. We view this as a very powerful concept that the whole community really draws upon in bringing people together from all walks of life, and from all backgrounds.”
Pi’s Basic Ingredients
Pi’s beginnings are tied back to what McPhillip describes as a pretty intensive kind of human-centered design process led by the three co-founders. A recent graduate of Stanford’s business school, McPhillip has spent his life exploring the science of collective intelligence systems and what they look like.
“While at Stanford I came across cryptocurrency and felt like it could help with the scaling of coordinated human behavior in a way that allows us to address some of the most pressing problems in the world today like climate change and income inequality.”
McPhillip goes on to note that he and his two co-founders met through their leadership with the Stanford blockchain community.
“I myself was leading a student group called the Stanford Blockchain Collective that was dedicated to helping people understand blockchain and cryptocurrencies while finding the signals amidst all the noise in this space.”
Continues McPhillip: “Too many people are being left behind by the digital economy. By pooling their time and attention around a common currency, Pi’s members are redefining the way ‘value’ is created and shared. Our dramatic growth proves there is a dynamic global community of people searching for new ways of establishing and controlling their worth.”
Igniting A Pathway of New Solutions
McPhillip says that the original intent of the project was to make cryptocurrencies more acceptable to everyday people so they can participate in the movement.
‘We’ve done this by basically building a new cryptocurrency where everyday people from all walks of life can essentially contribute to the security of the currency as well as the success of the community from the convenience of their mobile phone.”
With the advent of this new technology solution, McPhillip says that there is now a need to translate it into an actual compelling utility and use case for everyday people.
“People don’t even need to understand that it uses blockchain and the concept of algorithms in terms of how it all works.
“I believe that people are starting to become more and more aware of the role they can play as a source of value in the digital economy. And I think that’s going to be a very powerful secular trend that draws more people into the kind of decentralized cryptocurrency space where value going to represent a more decentralized and distributed community, instead of one involving centralized intermediaries.”