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Note: this content was announced on the home screen of the Pi app in December 2021, and is now converted into a blog with supplements of recent KYC announcements. 

Pi Network KYC or “Know Your Customer” is a procedure to first identify and then verify Pioneer identities, to comply with regulations and to ensure that Pioneers within the global Pi Ecosystem are real individuals.

The vision of Pi Network is to build an inclusive and the most widely-distributed digital currency and ecosystem for all Pioneers. Pi Network’s mining mechanism is social-network based and relies on contributions of real Pioneers. Therefore, Pi has a strict policy of one account per person. 

This requires a high degree of accuracy to establish that members in the network are genuine human beings, preventing individuals from being able to hoard Pi by creating fake accounts unfairly. KYC thus helps ensure the true humanness of the network. 

How does the KYC solution work? 

Pi Network’s KYC solution is being built through our Pi App Engine as an ecosystem app. Keep in mind that this solution attempts to address accuracy and privacy, while achieving scalability for millions of KYC, wide coverage of diverse populations, and accessibility. 

Our KYC solution itself combines machine automation and human verification in order to accomplish accurate and efficient KYC for everyone. Machine automation will be responsible for processing, analyzing, and obfuscating Pioneer information. KYC’ed human Validators may then have to check certain parts of the obfuscated information and submitted documents. The importance of having and improving the machine automation component are threefold: 1) scalability to KYC millions of Pioneers, 2) reducing the data exposure to human Validators to better protect Pioneers’ privacy and 3) catching the maximum number of fraudulent applications.

Specifically to protect individual Pioneers’ privacy, personal data—except for data the machine failed to read—will be properly redacted. Human Validator will be previously KYC’ed Pioneers who opt in to work as a crowdworker in the KYC app to verify redacted ID documents and selfie images to help ensure that the information is correct.

Human Validators are randomly selected from a pool of crowd workers from the same country of the ID document provided. Before verifying real Pioneers, they must first agree with the Validator Service Agreement of the app and then go through a tutorial to train their verification skills. Since these Validators’ work is constantly cross-validated to prevent bad actors, providing consistently inaccurate verification will lead to their removal from the workforce pool.

Given that the Core Team has scaled the machine automation part as needed, the network KYC progress now primarily depends on how many good human Validators there are in each local community to process the human verification step of the KYC solution. 

As more Pioneers get KYC’ed, more human Validators are available to validate others. This way, the KYC solution can support the widest variety of countries and regions ID types in the world, making Pi as accessible as possible. 

What makes the Pi KYC Solution unique?

Most other projects outsource KYC to a third-party KYC provider because the process to verify lots of people from almost all the countries is an extremely difficult problem. However, every third-party KYC provider charges a fee for each KYC check. To allow Pioneers the opportunity to participate in the Pi Mainnet regardless of financial barriers, Pi Network has designed and built its own KYC app to provide KYC checks that are free of out-of-pocket charge for all Pioneers, and cost 1 Pi each to compensate human Validators for their work. This is part of our continued efforts in striving for inclusivity. 

Furthermore, given the millions of Pioneers in over 230 countries and regions and the scale of KYC checks needed, it is impossible to outsource the process to any third-party in the first place, because no other KYC solution in the market provided KYC services in almost all countries and regions in the world as widely distributed as the Pioneers. Hence, we innovated this native solution that can scale the KYC process in both volume and diversity of identity by leveraging machine automation and the crowd power of Pi’s distributed global community—Pi Network’s ultimate strength.

Lastly, Pi KYC also helps create true utility of Pi itself in the Pi ecosystem. It is a perfect representation of how the entire Pi ecosystem works—a native, decentralized community where labor is exchanged and real utility is created, for the Pi cryptocurrency with no fiat involved. 

KYC next steps

The majority of the network was enabled to apply for KYC in June 2022. Most recently, Pi opened up KYC applications to all! This was partially achieved by a Tentative KYC program which allows newly KYC-enabled accounts to be able to apply to KYC and undergo additional verification checks when needed. Only after they have submitted the necessary documents, passed reviews by Validators, and passed any additional checks, do they attain the “passed” status. Such additional checks will combine the newly submitted information to further verify their identity. The Tentative KYC program gives accounts with more complex properties a chance to proceed with KYC and provide proof of their identities as real humans, while exercising caution in granting “passed” status.  

The reason for such an eligibility rollout to KYC and the selective Tentative KYC program is to ensure the integrity of the network—cautiously allowing as many real human Pioneers as possible to pass KYC, while catching and preventing as many fake and bot accounts as possible. Not only is this important for the network, but it’s also fair for all human Pioneers who have been honestly mining in their own accounts. Read the KYC Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

The design of the Pi KYC is a revolutionary decentralized and scalable KYC solution while maintaining privacy, accuracy, scalability, wide coverage of diverse populations, and accessibility. It has helped verify millions of Pioneers and enable them to migrate to the Pi Mainnet blockchain and participate in the Mainnet ecosystem. When the Pi KYC solution successfully verifies the identity of the majority or all of the millions of Pioneers, the Pi KYC along with the community’s decentralized efforts will enable Pi Network to be the largest KYC’ed and crypto-enabled social network, getting the world ready for easy development and deployments of future innovative services involving finance, economics and ownership, thus further advancing it towards the Web3 era.

Be sure to fill out your KYC application now, and participate in this historic undertaking by becoming a Validator. 

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