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The Pi Core Team is excited to announce the latest product feature integrating Pi cryptocurrency on a Core Team App: Staked Direct Messages (Staked DMs) on the Pi Chat app. This new feature allows Pioneers (Pi Network members) access to any individual in the network, via direct message, by staking Pi when initiating a message request.

Since Pi Network officially launched on March 14, 2019, Pioneers, Moderators, and Core Team members have relied on Pi Chats—a built-in messaging solution in the Pi App to have discussions about updates, product releases, and general questions, or just to socialize through an open format consisting of channels and topics.

As Pi Chat’s network-wide adoption and daily usage increased over the years and the decentralized building and collaboration efforts in the ecosystem grew, Pioneers have asked for the ability to send each other direct messages. And now, with the introduction of Staked DMs, members across the Pi Network community can message each other, one-to-one, thanks to a Web3 mechanism designed to incentivize constructive connections while curbing unwanted communications.

With this addition to Pi Chat’s functionality, we can provide an innovative solution in high-signal social communication online, deepening the utility of Pi and building a richer experience for Pioneers worldwide.

Continuing Pi’s Web3 vision

Pi Network has always believed that Web3 goes beyond the blockchain technology that serves as the layer of the ownership, digital assets storage, and distribution — it’s also about enabling self-governance and ensuring accountability. Expanding on the novel integration of Pi cryptocurrency on Fireside Forum to address social content curation, Staked DMs is Pi Network’s second initiative using Web3 token economics to optimize the community experience and address social access. 

Through its use of cryptocurrency to incentivize genuine and valuable connections and disincentivize spam and information overload, Staked DMs reaffirms Pi Network’s commitment to creating new quality internet experiences with authenticity, constructive conversations, accountability, and healthier online social interactions.

With staked DMs, we’ll provide immediate utility of Pi for Pioneers to connect more privately while powering the potential onramp to grow into more complex chat-based social interactions such as group chats and channels and expand into more diverse types of media inside chats, and starting with 1-on-1 direct messaging––the smallest unit of online human communication––allows us to build the first atoms of a crypto-fueled system for social access.

With chat or direct messages being an essential component for many services and applications,  this feature can expand to become an integrable component of the ecosystem infrastructure for other Pi apps like marketplaces, forums, and social apps, to facilitate their app operations.  Moreover, this feature creates a generic interfacing mechanism—paying Pi for access— even for external parties outside of Pi Network to do outreach into the Pi community while protecting members with the crypto-enabled anti-spam system based on stakes, thus creating utility for Pi cryptocurrency and benefiting the whole Pi community.

How it works

With Pi Chats Staked DMs, Pioneers are required to stake a certain amount of Pi to initiate a request for a 1-on-1 direct message with another Pioneer in the Pi Chat app. The requirement to stake, itself, already deters spam by increasing the costs of spamming. But the system also has the goal of facilitating accessibility and meaningful connections. That’s why it’s a stake not a cost. If the message request is rejected, the requester forfeits their staked Pi. If the message request is accepted, the requester will reclaim their staked Pi. The message recipient has the full power to reject or accept message requests. Moreover, their choices are completely based on their genuine assessment of whether this connection is meaningful for them, and not incentivized by extrinsic rewards. The minimum staked amount will also be automatically adjusted as the interactions in the network increase, based on the behavior of both the specific target recipient and the message senders. For example, should members abuse the messaging privilege by sending excessive automated messages or spam, they will not only forfeit their staked Pi but they will be subject to higher stakes to start a new request.  This solution introduces a revolutionary approach to deterring unwanted people from sending uncontrolled amounts of unsolicited messages and expands the utility of the Pi cryptocurrency within the ecosystem — all while providing minimal drag on the positive social interactions and collaborations so many of our Pioneers are eager to engage in.

Design Rationale

Similar to how Fireside Forum allows millions of Pioneers worldwide to spend their Pi to interact on a human-led social app using tokenomics designed to moderate content, Staked DMs provides our community and potentially the external world the means to spend Pi to gain protected access to Pioneers in a decentralized way for healthier online social connections.

Staked DMs allows for a deeper, more granular approach to communication, empowering Pioneers to form individual bonds beyond (or within) their generalized communities. It is designed to provide an unprecedented solution for balancing the needs between accessibility and protection, between scalability and control of information overload, while ensuring the genuine motivation behind each acceptance of a connection. 

Addressing the problems with Web2 DMs:

The utilization of direct messaging functionalities on traditional Web2 platforms comes with its fair share of difficulties. Web2 direct messaging usually gets stuck in the dilemma between complete inaccessibility and tons of spam and noises. Individuals frequently come across the issue of receiving unsolicited messages and spam, which undermines the genuineness of their interactions and inundates them with irrelevant content. 

The current methods for screening out such content often prove inadequate, resulting in important messages from verified users being missed and compromising the overall quality of the messaging experience. Or, equally common in the Web3 space, spammers attempt to leverage the passion of the community for personal gain, overwhelming otherwise useful channels and communities on platforms like Telegram and Discord with spam and unsolicited content.

The intent behind Staked DMs is to provide a groundbreaking leap in allowing Pioneers to connect across Pi’s decentralized environment in a way that disincentivizes spam and incentivises more organic communications, including not just text but image and video sharing in the future as well. As Pi Network continues to grow into a community of tens of millions of interconnected and KYC-verified humans who mine Pi cryptocurrency, develop apps, and create utility for the ecosystem, this feature is crucial for reinforcing authentic communications among them. 

By creating opportunities for collaboration, and maintaining quality content with crypto-staked direct messaging, we can provide opportunities for connections at scale while still providing a high signal-to-noise ratio. Staked DMs thus provides intrinsic motivations to foster genuine connections that emphasize meaningful collaboration, rather than providing extrinsic motivation or monetization for people to connect with others like some past Web2 attempts to integrate economics in gating noises. This moves beyond the typical Web2 pay-to-play models and dampens the outreach of unwanted or bad actors while facilitating organic and welcomed outreach.

A People-First Approach

This strategy is designed to put people first, incentivizing them to connect with each other and engage in relevant conversations that cultivate a higher standard of interaction.  Product iterations will follow the release today to continuously align with the strategy. 

Whether it be Pi’s KYC solution securing authentic human participation, Fireside Forum’s Pi integration to moderate behavior and curate social media content, or Pi-staked DMs on Chats to ensure the authentic nature of Pioneers’ conversations, Pi Network hopes to provide multiple models and methods based on Web3 infrastructure and tokenomics that encourage online human authenticity, accountability and quality interactions.

Click Here for a video tutorial on how to use Pi Staked Direct Messages.

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