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Vietnam Cybercrime Unit Investigating Pi Network

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Vietnam's Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention launched an investigation into Pi Network due to its 'complex business model.'
  • Pi Network, popular in Vietnam and India, is under scrutiny for potential misuse for fraud or data collection purposes.
  • In December 2022, Huobi listed PI for trade, but the team came forward to claim that this was unauthorized and a fraudulent listing.
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Authorities in Vietnam have launched an investigation into the Pi Network and cryptocurrency. The mining-incentivized crypto network has grown in popularity in the country as it provides an ‘easy way’ to mine and generate tokens, but the authorities are not convinced.

Vietnam’s Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention launched its investigation into Pi on June 30.

Pi Network Concerns

Department head Le Xuan Minh expressed concerns that the Pi Network model is “exceedingly complex and unmanaged recently.” He added that “There is no other business activity that can generate such high levels of income online,” according to local media.

He also warned that cryptocurrency promoters have lured people into “business models resembling multi-marketing models.”

According to VN Express, the crypto network lacks the necessary level of transparency for a blockchain project. Furthermore, it may be “utilized for nefarious purposes like fraud or data collection.”

Find out more about the Pi Network: Is Pi Network a scam? What you need to know

The Pi Network launched in March 2019 and grew in popularity in Vietnam and India during the 2021 bull market. This is because PI tokens can be ‘mined’ on a mobile phone, negating the costs of buying expensive crypto-mining hardware.

However, the network doesn’t appear to have any purpose other than acting as a medium of exchange for PI tokens.

Nevertheless, co-founder Dr. Nicolas Kokkalis is a Stanford Ph.D. and instructor of Stanford’s first decentralized applications class. Stanford professor Dr. Chengdiao Fan, the other co-founder, has a Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences.

According to its website, the Pi Network has 47 million “engaged members.” Moreover, it claims a team of 35 core members in its Silicon Valley headquarters and across the globe.

Crypto is very popular in Vietnam, with Chainalysis ranking it as the top country for adoption in 2022. However, crypto assets are not legal tender in the country.

PI Token Listing Debacle

For most people, especially those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency or blockchain, the Pi Network sounds like a great way to potentially earn some extra money. All you have to do is click a button every day and earn yourself some free tokens.

Many see this as a way to ‘get in on the ground floor,’ similar to getting Bitcoin back in the early years. But this will likely never be the case. As the adage goes, ‘If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.’

At the end of 2022, Pi Network proponents rejoiced at the news that Huobi listed PI, and the price quickly rose to $230. This, however, turned out to be a farce, and the Pi Network team had to clarify that this was an unauthorized listing.

To this day, no exchanges have listed PI. The team even put out a notice, telling users,

“Pi is currently in the Enclosed Network and is not approved by Pi Network for listing on any exchange or for trading.”

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...