Pi Network reaches Samoa despite local restrictions

The operators of a Facebook page called Samoa Pi Network, which is marketing itself as a digital currency platform, have denied their operations are a scam or connected to cryptocurrency. 

The Facebook-based platform reportedly has 9.5 million users around the world and have so far signed up four who appear to be resident in Samoa. 

In response to questions from the Samoa Observer, the Pi Network admitted that they are aware that cryptocurrency or bitcoin promotion and usage is illegal in Samoa, but are of the view that digital currency is risk-free and different.

"The ap and mining does not guarantee any currency now or in the future, does not cost anything, thus is as risk free of any potential digital currency," the Pi Network response reads.

"The point of this is to create a community-based digital currency. More people (9.5million) across the world are mining this digital currency, there are more owners than bitcoin.

"I do not agree, what in particular to you see is a scam? As I said they are 4 of 9.5 million people creating currency to potentially use in the future. 

"I do not expect anything from the 4 miners, it costs nothing to do, nothing is exchanged, it doesn't not cost 1 sene."

The Central Bank of Samoa Governor has not responded to questions sent by this newspaper querying the legality of digital currency and if it is connected to cryptocurrency, which the banking regulator last year warned Samoans against investing in.

The Pi Network appears to be a smartphone-based ap with its Samoa-based followers climbing steadily to about 113, which is more than double from last week.

Online research by the Samoa Observer shows the Facebook platform connected to a digital currency that was developed by the U.S. Stanford University scholars Vince McPhilip M.B.A. (2018), Chengdiao Fan Ph.D. (2014) and Nicolas Kokkalis Ph.D. (2013) with student researcher Aurélien Schiltz.

According to an article published in the Stanford Daily, the Pi Network was launched on March 14, 2020 with the Stanford University scholars reimagining bitcoin as a social, mobile-first currency and removing the need for a third party and its rules or fees, making financial interactions more free and beneficial for both parties involved. 

"Pi aims to allow everyday people from all walks of life to contribute to the security of the cryptocurrency and the success of its community" the article reads.

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