The pi network is a new type of "social cryptocurrency that the Standford PhDs and graduates behind it, Nicolas Kokkalis, Chengdiao Fan and Vince McPhillip, say is so light and easy to use that it is designed to run on mobile phones. The main idea behind Pi is to turn it into a common man's currency. Hence, they plan to launch it after reaching 100 million users, unlike Bitcoin, which was launched after having 18 million coins mined. As for your inhibitions regarding the pyramid or MLM structure, keep in mind that for a currency to be successful it must be accepted by a large number of people.
How can users grow if you don't refer someone else? Bitcoin was launched with less than 5000 original miners. And that is why it is too scarce and out of reach of the common man and impractical for daily transactions. Can you suggest a better way to populate a concept without inviting people by existing users. The only real value I see is in identity verification due to overlapping networks, adding another level of trust in identity.
Just one more thing, the example of the OneCoin scam executive touting his past experiences at McKinsey comparing them to those of the Pi network founders seemed a bit off to me. It is a platform where Pi users either do work and get paid in Pi or hire someone to do work and get paid in Pi. The core PI team is led by two Stanford PhDs and a Stanford MBA, all of whom helped build the Stanford Blockchain community. I have been mining Pi for almost a year and will continue to do so, as it takes very little time and effort and you never know.
I can see you addressed this with this comment - "There are hundreds of posts online saying that Pi Network can't be a scam because users don't put any money into it. I mean if Pi is a scheme and you can prove it is a scheme because of your accurate research and understanding about it. Pi network is a cryptocurrency project that aims to make a currency that can be used anywhere in the world to trade goods and services. I have been mining Pi and still mining and have guided 2 different people recover their Pi mined after losing their phones.
One excuse I would give you is that you said you are new to crypto, I would reason you with your ignorance in crypto because all crypto experts would recommend pi network, everyone who knows crypto would give a 5 star rating to pi network,. I agree, if many users dump their coins some users will take advantage and buy them cheap, but it may take some time for Pi to recover and establish its real value. When asked why Pi is not listed on an exchange like Coinbase, I was told that their fees are too high and Pi likes that. The Pi network, which describes itself on its website as the first and only digital currency you can mine on your phone, has become a popular topic of discussion on social media since late last year.