The 'pay with Pi' sales trick

 Many stores accept "exchange of goods with virtual currency Pi", but in fact customers still have to pay both Pi and cash if they want to pick up the goods.


They only use Pi to entice customers to buy, when paying, they have to give real money," Thanh Son (HCMC) said after contacting to buy an iPhone from a post on the Pi exchange group.

Like many other Pi owners, after this virtual currency became exchangeable on July 13, Son went to Pi communities in the hope that he could use his coins to buy goods or sell for money. "Seeing the iPhone for sale, I estimated that I only need to spend ten Pi to exchange it for a phone," he said.

However, when contacted, he "fallen back" because of the store's real policy. They receive 90% in cash, 10% in Pi. The used iPhone 11 Pro Max was valued at nearly VND 14 million by the store, asking the buyer to pay VND 12.5 million and 1.5 Pi.

"With 12.5 million dong, I can completely buy a similar iPhone on the second-hand market without losing any Pi," Son said, and suggested that this might just be the store's trick to attract customers from the community. co-owner of Pi. After the failed sale, he continued to try to contact a number of electronics sellers, but most of them received the same answer. "Some places ask for less cash, but they price Pi so low that I don't accept it."

Pi transactions are displayed on the Pi blockexplorer page. Photo: Luu Quy
Pi transactions are displayed on the Pi blockexplorer page. Photo: Luu Quy

The status of stores accepting payments with Pi has appeared on many groups since mid-July, despite the fact that buying and selling goods with virtual currency is illegal in Vietnam. At this stage called "closed mainnet", Pi holders can only trade within the Pi community with each other. Therefore, they have to find sellers who have the desired item and accept payment in virtual currency. There are currently no statistics on stores that accept Pi, but on the online group, the items are quite diverse, from food, electronics, medical services, cars... Buyers and sellers also provide instructions. each other uses the word "exchange" instead of "payment" to circumvent the law.

Besides some people who claim to have transacted with Pi, many other Pi miners admit that they are at risk of losing money or losing Pi because they believe in "merchants". A common situation is that some individuals claim to be sellers, using the excuse of "building an ecosystem of goods for Pi", but in fact selling at a high price, or the number of Pi is brought out for transaction only for a purpose. represent. For example, a computer shop posts "get paid with Pi", but is actually a Pi plus the exact amount of the product's list price.

Some people said that they had to spend 10 million VND to buy back the deposit for a billion-dollar car. This car, according to the seller, is "for the Pi community", causing many people to mistakenly buy a car with Pi. However, in reality, they will still have to wait until Pi can sell for real money and use that money to buy a car.

"When the mainnet opens, the Pi Network will be put on the exchange. At that time, you who own Pi will convert to fiat money. Then, you bring the money to the dealer and take the car home," the person said. semi-explain later. On his personal page, this person also said that he has transferred more than 100 stakes to Pi owners in many provinces in the country.

However, the acquisition of this pile actually only benefits the seller. "Pi in this case is just an excuse for them to sell a lot of goods. If Pi doesn't go on the floor in the future, users who can't afford a car may lose their deposit," an expert said.

Currently, the developers of Pi Network have not given a specific time for the "listing" of the cryptocurrency. In an announcement late last year, the team said it would conduct the launch of the official network (mainnet), but divided into two phases. The first stage is the exchange of goods between holders of Pi, the second stage is to put Pi on the exchange for exchange for other currencies.

To be able to exchange Pi, it is necessary that both the buyer and the seller have verified identity (KYC) and have virtual currency in the wallet. Many Pi owners in Vietnam said that they have been mining Pi for three years, but have not been able to do anything because they have not been KYC. According to the project's announcement at the end of June, there are currently about 1.5 million people already KYC, out of more than 35 million users.

Currently, many Vietnamese people say they have purchased goods with Pi based on the "consensus price", which is agreed between buyers and sellers. However, paying with virtual currency is against the law in Vietnam. Those who issue, supply or use illegal means of payment but not yet to the point of being examined for penal liability will be fined from VND 50,000,000 to VND 100,000,000.

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