The Helium Network carries unique use cases for a cryptocurrency, setting it apart from other trending projects that aim to compete with (or complement) innovations in digital payments or DeFi. This innovation in wireless tech focuses on connectivity and data tracking with its global web of hotspot miners.
Although crypto assets currently face a fear-dominated bear market, HNT remains a promising innovation that investors and growing tech companies are still keeping an eye on, simply because of all the opportunity that surrounds it. Most notably, there’s the potential to alleviate global supply chain and scalability issues, as this “People’s Network” could carry out a key role within the Internet of Things, 5G, and the future of open-source wireless technology.
This post will follow up on some of the initial HNT topics previously touched on here, in order to dig a little deeper into some of the newest HNT developments, from adoption and expansion to major players in the Helium space.
As we’ve mentioned before, Helium is the fastest growing decentralized wireless network worldwide. And with roughly the same energy output as a standard LED lightbulb, hotspots offer opportunities to mine tokens at home without a huge burden on electric bills or the environment.
At the time of writing this article, there exist over 700,000 hotspots globally, with tens of thousands of new mining locations opening up each month. In just around three years, the token price of HNT has grown by over 20,000%.
Of course, swings in prices of cryptocurrencies can be volatile, and all investment carries inherent risk—but I am showcasing these numbers in the hope that they might give you an idea of how exciting the journey has been for many supporters of this tech so far.
Several companies are taking a serious look at what the People’s Network has to offer, and this recent burst of interest may clue us into even more potential down the road:
DISH is the first major wireless carrier to deploy Helium miners as part of its 5G rollout, in huge news this year for the telco industry and HNT supporters.
Leading crypto asset management company Grayscale announced in March 2022 that they would consider including HNT as a product.
Lime scooter company uses Helium to track where the scooters end up around a given city or area. Using this as a template, many other businesses could see how this tech might be useful for keeping their products and services connected and accounted for.
The company is exploring Helium monitoring for its ReadyRefresh water cooler refill levels.
The Salesforce IoT Cloud platform uses Helium to implement sensors that allow for a more secure and cost-effective end-to-end experience.
Helium tracking for mousetraps. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but you can learn morehereif you’re really interested.
As you can see, there are lots of applications for Helium across several industries, and this list only scratches the surface. As co-founder Amir Haleem states,
“Everyday things that we use shouldn’t need cellular plans… the Helium Hotspot opens the door to an ecosystem of possibilities that allow people to connect anything from pet collars and ride-share scooters to sensors that monitor air and water quality.”
Helium’s parent company is the unicorn venture Nova Labs, previously known as Helium Inc. The name change comes with a March 2022 rebrand after the company raised $200M in capital.
When we look deeper into the Internet of Things and the possibilities it opens in the world of tech, it’s important to note that some of the biggest names in tech and investing are included in the network’s efforts.
The network is part of an ecosystem that includes businesses like Cisco, Volvo and Accenture. VC firms Andreessen Horowitz, Deutsche Telekom, and Goodyear Ventures are only a few of the varied investors backing the project.
In terms of who’s steering this project, it may be helpful to know that this crypto initiative is a collaboration between videogame industry exec Amir Haleem, Sproutling’s Chris Bruce, and Shawn Fanning — co-creator of Napster.
One of the greatest attributes of Helium is arguably the fact that it works off a proof-of-coveragemodel — one where users can buy and set up their own hotspots to earn tokens and participate in the network.
Of course, there are some issues that crypto investors and enthusiasts have noted alongside the advent of Helium and its rapid growth, mainly in how difficult it can be to secure mining devices (with some wait times up to months or a year for hardware).
The reason for this is due to a chip shortage. But there’s an upside: competitors in this arena are encountering the same issue, many trying to play catch-up to Helium’s network size, leaving Helium still far ahead of the curve in this regard.
Since it’s not as easy to buy Helium on all major exchanges compared to many other alternative crypto tokens, people may feel they have to go to great lengths to invest — even if they have no interest in mining at home.
While HNT may be bought or sold on exchanges like KuCoin or Binance, many investors who do their trading through leading apps CoinBase or Gemini may find the lack of access on their platforms of choice a significant obstacle in buying or trading the asset.
Time will tell if increased adoption and interest will shift accessibility in these processes, but either way, it will be interesting to keep an eye on Helium’s future as it is showing up with a disruptive model that meets several pressing issues in tech today.
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. If you are looking to invest in any of the assets herein, we suggest that you do your own research and speak with a trusted financial professional.
Also published here.