Vietnamese regain hope in 'next Bitcoin'

By Luu Quy   June 23, 2022 | 05:42 pm PT
Vietnamese regain hope in 'next Bitcoin'
The user interface of Pi Network. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
People are rushing to mine cryptocurrency Pi prompted by news of new developments including an open mainnet launch.

Open mainnet, which is said to allow users to trade the token for other cryptocurrencies, "will begin on 2022 Pi Day (14/3) or Pi2 Day (28/6)" depending on "the maturity of the Enclosed Network economy and the progress of KYC (know-your-customer)," its developer announced last year.

"My two-year wait will finally pay off if everything happens as planned," Thanh Lam, a Pi investor in HCMC said.

Like many amateur investors in Vietnam, Lam started investing in the cryptocurrency in 2020 and now has over a thousand tokens. He quit logging into the app daily a while ago after he was disappointed with the delay by the developer.

But he returned recently after many users were asked for KYC and the fact Pi2 Day was imminent.

"If Pi can reach the target price of a few hundreds or thousands of dollars, my 1,000 tokens will be enough."

He is eagerly waiting for his KYC process, a minimum requirement for most cryptocurrencies to verify users’ legality and prevent money laundering.

"If I am not verified, my tokens will be useless."

Other users take a harsher approach to the cryptocurrency. "If nothing happens by the end of June, I’ll delete the [Pi Network] app," Ngoc Nhu, 28, from the central province of Binh Dinh said.

"I don’t expect prices to hit thousands of dollars like others, but hope it will be of some value so that my two years of efforts are not wasted."

Pi Browser, the mobile app meant for the KYC, recently became the fourth most downloaded non-gaming app in Vietnam on Apple App Store, and sixth most downloaded on Google Play store.

The search for ‘KYC Pi’ has also doubled from last December, according to analysis tool Google Trend.

Phien Vo, an administrator of a Pi group with over 130,000 members, said: "KYC is the most important step. Next steps can only be carried out once the authentication process succeeds."

On Monday Pi Network’s developer said the KYC process has been completed for over half the users. There were an estimated 35 million users as of May, and up to 90,000 can be authenticated in a day.

The developer’s promises have sparked great expectations. A poll on a Pi group found 75 percent of nearly 3,400 users believing in a ‘consensus price’ of US$6,700.

But it is now worth nothing since it has not been listed on any exchange. Pi and other cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Vietnam, Dao Minh Tu, the deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, has said.

"Currently, most forecasts of Pi’s value are baseless," Vo said, adding that prices would only be determined once it enters the open mainnet phase.

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