Helium (HNT) is a cryptocurrency associated with a decentralized network of wireless hotspots.
A hotspot is a device that connects other devices to the internet or the blockchain through wireless signals. For example, a Bluetooth. Many of us have wireless hotspots in our homes or workplaces.
Predictably, hotspots are a critical component of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT comprises devices connected to the internet through wireless signals. For example, your refrigerator.
They claim Helium’s blockchain allows developers to build low powered internet connected devices fast. Helium’s network combines a wireless networking system, a blockchain, and a protocol token (HNT).
The Helium (HNT) Protocols
This protocol, the Helium Consensus Protocol creates a new kind of proof, Proof-of-Coverage.
Helium generates proof-of-coverage when “miners” provide wireless network coverage for its hotspots. This coverage includes cryptographically verified locations and time. Miners submit proof-of-content to the network to get paid in Helium (HNT).
A Helium Wireless protocol supports bi-directional (two-way) data transfers between wireless devices and the internet. Helium makes make money when devices pay to send or receive data or to gelocate themselves. Miners earn both Helium tokens and transaction fees.
They also designed an open-source standards-compliant wireless network protocol called WHIP. They claim WHIP can provide coverage to low powered devices over vast areas.
Whip can run on existing commodity radio chips which dozens of companies manufacture. They claim these chips are cheaper because no proprietary technologies or modulation schemes are available.
They claim WHIP can provide the location of a hotspot or device without the need for expensive and power-hungry satellite location hardware. They call this Proof-of-Location.
The Helium Network (HNT)
“The Helium network is a decentralized wireless network built around WHIP on a purpose-built blockchain with a native token,” a Whitepaper claims.
Devices participate in the Helium network by paying Miners to send data to and from the network. Miners earn tokens by providing wireless coverage through special hardware. This hardware creates a bridge between WHIP and Routers.
These devices store private keys in hardware and public keys on the blockchain. Keys provide access the Helium Network.
Miners access the network from a satellite-derived location and stake a token deposit. The Miner offers a price for data transmission and Proof-of-Location services. Helium pays miners when they deliver the data.
Moreover, Miners create new blocks for the Helium blockchain through an asynchronous byzantine fault tolerant consensus group. Byzantine fault tolerance means Helium is built, so that delayed or corrupted messages or data will not slow the network’s operations.
The Helium Ecosystem
They claim the Helium ecosystem supported 950,935 hotspots on 27 Septembers 2023. Impressively, many businesses and applications are trying to use Helium in the real world.
For example, Airly and Anwairsupport wireless air quality monitoring. Abeeway offers power efficient tracking devices that are an alternative to the Global Positioning System (GPS). Akenzia is a self-service IoT platform. ALLNET is an IoT could solution. ATOM supports technology product, management and design services. Encia supports energy and water metering systems. For example, gas and electric meters for utilities.
Barani Design wants to design smart wireless weather stations that send weather data, for example, temperatures to the Internet. Bobcat is a hotspot provider, Bolero Wireless supports commercial and industrial IoT applications. Cal-Chip is a HotSpot vendor. CodePoint offers enterprise applications for businesses and interests. Cosmos IoT offers building communications infrastructure. COTX offers a Helium powered smart GPS pet tracker.
Some large companies, including America’s satellite TV provider Dish (DISH) are using Helium. Dish will support Helium 5G through its proposed wireless network.
The Helium Network’s creator, Nova Labs, is working with T-Mobile (TMUS).T-Mobile is America’s third-largest wireless carrier with a 23.63% share of the US wireless market in the third quarter of 2022, Statista estimates.
Thus Helium supports hardware manufactures that can make money in the real world. Hence, Helium could make money without the blockchain.
What Value does Helium (HNT) offer?
Market interest in Helium is significant. Helium (HNT) was CoinMarketCap’s 17th largest cryptocurrency on 27 September 2023.
Additionally, Helium (HNT) was CoinMarketCap’s 127th largest cryptocurrency, with a $1.42 Coin Price on 27 September 2023. CoinMarketCap gave Helium a $204.720 million Market Capitalization, a $317.198 million Fully Diluted Market Cap, and a 24-Hour Market Volume on 27 September 2023. They base those numbers on a 143.935 million HNT Circulating Supply and a 223 million HNT Total Supply.
I think there could be an enormous market for Helium’s hotspot services. Theoretically, Helium could make money from hotspots. Moreover, Helium is working with large companies. Thus, Helium is a cryptocurrency speculators need to watch.