NEST Roundtable 20: Talk about Pi & Defi in 2023

7 min readJan 10, 2023

NEST Roundtable 20



Nicole, NEST Protocol

Noah, WhaleCoinTalk


Yond, Marketing Manager of iZUMi Finance

Geoff Richards, Head of Community at Wing DAO

Johnny, Senior Researcher of Huobi Research

Brian, Product Manager of OKX Web3 Wallet

Conference recording:


Nicole: Pi Network was born on 14 March 2019, an app that claims to be able to “mine on mobile phones”. After downloading and installing the app, users click on a button once every 24 hours, and every 24 hours is a mining cycle, after which they need to click again. The whole process is free, and Pi is relying on the free coin mining scheme to attract users to download the app and click on the advertisements inside, the project not only earns money from the advertising fees, but also issues the so-called Pi coins.

How do you see the pi network project?

Geoff: I do not really see what I am getting out of it. If you think about the pi structure, they set up this idea of bitcoin is difficult to mine, and loss of scarcity, so it’s not many people can hold it which is nonsense. At the same time, it also feels a little bit non-decentralized.

Nicole: So you are kind of negative about it, right?

Geoff: Yes

WhaleCoinTalk: I am curious how exactly it allows people to mine on their phones.

Nicole: For Pi users, many of them set alarms to remind themselves to activate every day so as not to waste their output. Reinforcing this belief day after day leads them to develop objective positive psychological feedback. This feedback makes them more constantly engaged in the community of pi. But I do not think it has real practical values.

WhaleCoinTalk: Agree. I am failing to see the value of it outside of their ecosystem or why anyone would actually want to hold it versus ultimately just dumping it on the market for profit.

Nicole: Pi coins for motorbikes is said to have actually happened in Indonesia. This is quite surprising.

Geoff: But one thing we could say here is it is easy for people to access to the crypto world, which is a positive thing of pi.

Nicole: Although the project owner once admitted that their token is worthless. We know OKX wallet has collaborated with many web3 projects. So, does the pi network meet your criteria to collaborate with?

Brian: We really care about that the project really provide the values to our users. And we need to win both sides. NEST will have more events with OKX.

Nicole: Let’s take a closer look at Huobi. Pi Network’s official Twitter account denounces Huobi for not having the right to go listed, stating that they are not currently authorised to list Pi coins on any exchange. On the other hand, the Huobi exchange officially launched the Pi coin pair on 29th Dec, and immediately triggered the market’s enthusiasm.

Do you think it makes sense that the price of pi token pairs on the Huobi exchange has skyrocketed since they went listed? What do you think the consequences of Huobi’s choice will be?

Johnny: The price fluctuations is quite typical of crypto, especially for a new project, as people speculate to see if they can make some money on it. It is just a typical trading activity. Pi network made a big deal of comparing themselves to Bitcoin and the system that Bitcoin put in place on their website, and they then say this token is not for listing. I think he is absolutely against the very idea of Bitcoin that decentralized freedom to do things with it.

Nicole: Do you think they will have an impact on the Defi as a whole?

Johnny: Pi is not really related to Defi because it is not really a Defi token as such. But on the other hand, having that increased trade activity generating some interesting new list in a new token and getting people actually doing something when we have had such a sideways market. Such a long tome is actually positive anyway across the board for crypto actually getting feeling people activated in things.

Geoff: I do not think pi and defi are connected as well.

Woody: It is not that decentralized, but the truth is that it has a very strong community and the community is fundamental to most of the projects. It has 2.5 million followers on Twitter and over 1 million followers on Instagram. Although they look like a Ponzi, they have a very strong community and traffic. I have some feelings that if they go launch their main network and share their code with us, maybe it will be a good project in the future.

Nicole: Pi uses a KYC-like invitation system, so Pi could decide how many people to invite and how many to pass. The majority of Pi users are from third-world countries, which makes KYC inherently difficult. Secondly, Pi also paints a big picture by locking positions. Pi can never and will never be IEO (US user compliant) and can only be on through DEX or CEX, all of which effectively control the flow of Pi community.

Yond: I have worked in DEX, and honestly I do not mind pi community transitioning into DEX. I pretty much encourage them to do so. That is a positive way that pi community can definitely contribute to the blockchain industry.

Nicole: Mentioning exchanges, as we all know, OKX Wallet is a decentralized wallet product launched by OKX, another big exchange. So can you introduce OKX’s approach to the Web3 world, and how does it differ from other big exchanges?

Brian: We already have a good money-size backup. We are making more like a start-up dapp to deliver what our users are real indeed. We put a lot of work into the product itself that is devoted to the website users that are coming to divide the world.

Hana: I think there is a bit of hype around pi because they had some really good numbers and the number is increasing. Is it worth? I think pi is different from other current networks. They are trying to make cryptocurrencies into an average man’s life. So it is inviting people to build apps on their network. However, we can also see it resembles the kind of a pyramid scheme or multi-level marketing. It is not really clear how it works; I do believe it is not well taught how it is designed. I believe it got much more media coverage and space.

Yond: Pi is not a tokenized asset, or you can say it’s a token with the quotation mark, then it must have functionality on the chain. I think that is the biggest ambiguity. But as long as the community is large, some transactions would happen. The viral might be because of a lack of cash flow in the market. it is another way to extend user retention in the industry.

Geoff: I cannot imagine any pathway where the average pi user to find their way into defi ecosystem.

Considering some of the problems with Cefi happening in 2022, will defi be adopted more and become mainstream?

Yond: I think defi will evolve into two extremes in 2023 and onwards. One is regulation and the second is being completely decentralized or auditable.

Geoff: Certainly not mainstream. I think we are a couple years away from crypto being mainstream in general. I think what I would hope to see is people starting to take seriously a bit of their own personal responsibility in the wake of all the cefi problem that we have seen and starting to take control over their own finance and cryptos and investments and so on. And I think regulations will definitely be tightened in the coming year. I think we will see some more regulation coming in. I really hope that what it doesn’t do is remove access for people.

Woody: The difference between defi and cefi in the user experience is not much. I think the gap between them would be smaller.

Nicole: The real strength of the sector lies in its ability to power transactions in a trustless and efficient manner. These attributes will greatly accelerate DeFi’s adoption and growth in 2023.

Hana: The adoption will be largely affected by the macroeconomic trend. Being the mainstream might be over optimistic.

Are there any defi tokens that you are very bullish on, or projects to watch that will grow in 2023?

Yond: I am very bullish on Curve, Aave. And more develop protocols will definitely bring more like real world assets packed stablecoins.

Geoff: Everybody should keep in mind how good a protocol is and how token are often two different conversations. I think stablecoins would be instantly important. And defi need to solve the sustainable yield problem at the moment.

Q&A session:

Caller: What strategies could project take to convince people based on last year market?

Yond: It’s very difficult but not 100% impossible. We bring non-custodial and trustless solution compared to traditional financial institutions. They are also adopting blockchain to build transparency. And we need to educate the people, this is a long way. And the point is to make riskless or try to be less risky in terms of investment. If you want to invest in defi, try to use their product instead of invest heavily on their token.




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