Web 3 Series #15: HELIUM NETWORK
FINE#8385
0x1552
December 25th, 2022

Author(s): happypill321#9213

Editor(s): FINE#8385

Last updated: 25th Dec 2022

HELIUM NETWORK

Helium blockchain is in the spotlight as of the news that the Helium technology is completely shifting to Solana.

Solana is one of the fastest blockchains in the world, supporting thousands of projects in DeFi, NFTs, Web3, and more. With a growing ecosystem of developers and users, Solana is quickly becoming a go-to platform for decentralized applications such as to increase the scalability of the Helium network.

So having said the recent shift, Let’s jump into Helium technology

So, what is Helium?

No, it is not the “Bomb”. ‘Helium’ is known as 'people-powered networks’ which is a system of long-range wireless hotspots that work together to provide internet access. The Helium Network uses blockchain technology to power its network of IoT devices. By operating a Helium Hotspot, you can help build the network and own the associated nodes. Helium is becoming the go-to connectivity solution for companies and consumers who need affordable IoT connectivity.

Helium is a project that seeks to create a global, reliable, and decentralized network to support IoT devices. IoT devices enable the virtualization of physical objects and devices, a way to connect any device to the internet so that it can take advantage of additional features and capabilities.

The Helium core developers claim that in order to achieve economies of scale for the network, it is necessary to improve operational efficiency and scalability. By doing so, they hope to bring about substantial economies of scale that will benefit the network as a whole.

The Helium native token (HNT) is the cryptocurrency that powers the Helium ecosystem. The token is used to reward nodes that participate in the Helium blockchain and is essential for running the network.

Helium Network uses an algorithm called Proof of Coverage (PoC) to reward users for verifying network coverage and connectivity in specific locations. By doing this, Helium provides an innovative way for people to prove their location.

Since the motion passes, all current Helium tokens will be ported to the Solana blockchain, including HNT (the token earned when a user provides hotspot coverage), IOT (a token earned by node operators for providing the original LoRaWAN network), and MOBILE (the token earned when 5G coverage is provided). Data Credits (DC), used to pay transaction fees on Helium, would also move to Solana.

WHEN & HOW?

Helium Network was founded in 2013 with a mission to make it easier to build connected devices. The company believes that today’s wireless connectivity options are totally inadequate for the next generation of machines. To solve this, they developed the Helium Hotspot, a combination of a physical blockchain node and wireless gateway that network participants can deploy to receive compensation in HNT, the native token. In order to receive rewards, Hotspots must submit proof of wireless coverage in a cryptographically verified location and time. Hotspots on the Helium LongFi network are rewarded in HNT based on their coverage quality and the amount of data they transport for devices on the network. HNT is burned to create Data Credits, a non-fungible token used for all transaction fees on the network. Data Credits are required for sending sensor data and asserting Hotspot location. All internet-of-things devices that are LongFi-enabled can send data via any Helium Hotspot that has coverage.

NUMBER OF HOTSPOTS CURRENTLY ACTIVE ALL OVER THE WORLD
NUMBER OF HOTSPOTS CURRENTLY ACTIVE ALL OVER THE WORLD

Helium Explorer

Helium, the rapidly growing IoT people network, collaborated with Mapbox to generate an entirely new Explorer map, utilized by both hotspot owners and network users. The Explorer map has a hexagonal grid of Network availability superimposed on a world map. Each hexagon contains a number of Hotspots within that area. Since all data is securely stored in the blockchain, you can examine the statistics for every single Hotspot on the Network, including earnings, activity, and other proximal Hotspots.

Helium- a company that provides wireless connectivity- needed a way to show their hundreds of thousands of hotspots placed all around the world. They decided to use Mapbox Studio because it gave the clean and easy look they were going for, with just the right amount of blue shading to match Helium's design language. They use Mapbox GL JS and Maps SDKs for Mobile to render the Helium Explorer map quickly on both the web and mobile.

HOW TO USE HELIUM?

  • Step 1:

Choose any LoRaWAN-compatible sensor, from asset tracking to smart leak detection.

  • Step 2:

Onboard and manage devices with the console using the hosted or open-source version

  • Step 3:

Analyze the data in your favorite IoT platform with Console pre-built or custom integrations.

WHO USES HELIUM?

The Helium Hotspot is a revolutionary device that allows anyone to set up their own wireless network for low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

IoT devices are nonstandard computing devices that connect wirelessly to a network and have the ability to transmit data. IoT involves extending internet connectivity beyond standard devices, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, to any range of traditionally non-internet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects. This allows these devices to connect and exchange data with each other, ultimately creating a more connected world.

Also, Helium Hotspot has a range of hundreds of square miles and can transmit data at a fraction of the cost of a cellular network, making it the perfect solution for anyone looking to connect their IoT devices affordably.

  • To know some of the use cases of helium you can also visit this link: shorturl.at/ksFOU

  • Some organizations that use the helium ecosystem → link.

Governance

The Helium Network uses on-chain voting to approve or deny changes to the blockchain, economics, or governance of the network. This voting process is open to the entire community and is currently facilitated through the website helium.vote.

The number of votes you can place on a voting choice is determined by the balance in your HNT and staked HNT wallet- this is what we call Voting Power. In order to cast a vote, you'll need to submit a burn transaction from the wallet of your choice. The total cost for a burn transaction is 35,000 DC or about $0.35 USD.

The final votes will be tallied at the block deadline and the data credits burned to each vote choice will be purged from the Network. This is our first attempt at an on-chain voting system and an exciting step towards decentralized governance. The votes here are intended to capture community sentiment and support the current rough consensus mechanism.

Above is the voting of the shift of helium to Solana undertaken by the HNT token holders of the ecosystem. The team made the decision to move to Solana because of the benefits it provides, such as a larger ecosystem of developers, wallet compatibility, applications, and the Solana Mobile Stack.

Helium Chapter 2: More Network, More Usage

In early 2022, the company entered into "Chapter 2" of its story, expanding beyond IoT with the rollout of 5G technology. Helium now supports WiFi, VPNs, and other protocols with the goal of becoming a true "Network of Networks" that will improve the lives of billions worldwide by taking power away from centralized incumbents.

Helium's mission is to quickly build wireless networks that are open to the public, community-owned, and able to recover quickly from any type of disruption. According to helium technology this can be achieved through Helium Improvement Proposal 51 or commonly known as HIP51. HIP51 provides the opportunity to build a future in which all internet traffic flows through the Helium Network. This would be an advantageous position for many reasons. Not only would it make internet connection more reliable, but it would also give users more control over their data. Additionally, it would help to support decentralized applications and reduce energy consumption.

Through HIP51, New Network tokens are designed to help optimize growth during different stages of each network's development. For example, hotspots on the IoT network would start earning a new token called IOT, while 5G hotspots would earn a new token called MOBILE. All new Helium tokens will always be backed by HNT and will convert to HNT. All network usage requires HNT for Data Credits. More demand on the network reduces the overall supply of HNT, driving up the price. This benefits all Helium token holders, regardless of which specific token they are holding.

Latest updates

Nova Labs with T-Mobile signed an MVNO agreement for commercial mobile smartphone services under the Helium Mobile brand. Helium mobile is said as the first Crypto-Carrier where we can utilize the e benefits of The People's Network right from our phone. Crypto-Carrier is a new type of mobile carrier that uses people-built coverage and crypto-economics to keep costs low and benefits high for subscribers.

Thus Helium is on its long run expanding its scalability.

References:

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