Helium is presently the 49th-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a value of around $2 billion. It is a distributed network of long-range wifi hotspots that was launched in July 2019.
What Is Helium ($HNT)?
Helium is a decentralized blockchain-powered network for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It is built on a new, innovative work algorithm known as Proof of Coverage (PoC), and miners are rewarded in $HNT. Its main target audience will be device owners and individuals interested in the Internet of Things, with financial incentives offering additional outreach possibilities.
Individuals can earn HNT by installing Helium routers or “hot spots” in their homes or offices. Helium’s parent firm notes that connecting to cellular WiFi is costly and that connecting to a store or business’s WiFi is difficult, which is why the company intends to offer connection for IoT-enabled devices. Hot spots offer a long-range WiFi connection dubbed LongFi, which can reach up to 200 times farther than a standard WiFi hot spot, or up to 10 miles depending on environmental conditions.
How Does It Work?
Helium needs a clean and simple way to visualize the network, with hundreds of thousands of Hotspots located in homes and businesses worldwide. They utilized Mapbox Studio to create the blue shading effect that corresponds to Helium’s design language, which has complex transparencies and overlapping colours to illustrate the reward scale system. They rendered the Helium Explorer map rapidly on both the web and mobile using Mapbox GL JS and Maps SDKs for Mobile.
The new Explorer Maps complement Helium’s community-driven approach to IoT network development, which has resulted in becoming the world’s fastest-growing wireless network. Helium is rapidly establishing itself as the industry standard for businesses and consumers seeking inexpensive connections for IoT devices.
Helium’s technological paradigm shift is a blockchain-based network that enables anyone to establish a Hotspot and extend the Helium Network. Hotspot owners are not required to use GPUs to mine the network. Rather than that, consumers can invest in a low-cost gadget for their home or office and earn a new cryptocurrency HNT.
There are several devices that can mine HNT tokens. However, HNT Miner was the first with over 20,000 Hotspots active in over 2000 cities. In line with The People’s Network ethos, the Hotspot proves that crypto mining can be easy enough and achievable by anyone. As of August 15th, 2021, there are over 125,000 active Hotspots across the globe.
The Hotspot enables a seamless connection of internet-of-things (IoT) devices to The People’s Network through LongFi. The People’s Network enables IoT devices to connect over kilometres of distance. This is approximately 200 times further than the range of WiFi. The Hotspot is controlled by the Helium app, which is accessible for download on the majority of smartphones.
The Helium network and blockchain are able to leverage the unique qualities of radiofrequency to provide proofs that are significant for the network and its users through Proof of Coverage. Proof of Coverage is based on the following three characteristics:
- RF has limited physical propagation and, therefore, distance;
- The strength of a received RF signal is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the transmitter; and
- RF travels at the speed of light with (effectively) no latency;
The blockchain utilizes these qualities to continually interrogate Hotspots via a mechanism known as a “PoC Challenge.” The ultimate strength of Proof-of-Coverage is that the data created by ongoing proofs and saved in the Helium blockchain serves as conclusive verification of the wireless coverage offered by Network Hotspots.
Proof of Coverage Challenges
The term “challenge” refers to the single unit of work that constitutes Proof of Coverage. The Helium blockchain has issued and processed tens of millions of challenges so far. With each new challenge, the blockchain collects further data on the network’s quality. Consider how difficulties truly occur.
The PoC challenges all involve three distinct roles on the network:
- Challenger – The Hotspot that constructs and issues the POC Challenge. Hotspots issue challenges approximately once per every 240 blocks.
- Transmitter – Also called the “Challengee”, this Hotspot is the target of the POC challenge and is responsible for transmitting (or “beaconing”) challenge packets to potentially be witnessed by others geographically proximate Hotspots.
- Witness – Hotspots that are geographically proximate to the Transmitter and report the existence of the challenge packet after it has been transmitted.
LoRa network protocol + payment protocol = LongFi
Consider the following scenario: you have a smart device that you wish to connect to the Internet. If it utilised 4/5G, a SIM card and a subscription contract with a cellular operator would be required. If it utilised Wi-Fi, you would need to connect it using a recognized nearby network name and password. To utilize LoRa, simply include a payment request with your data request.
LongFi is a LoRa WAN developed by Helium Systems and comprised of a worldwide mesh of routers managed by common people. LoRa-enabled devices do not require Wi-Fi-style network credentials or cellular-style service contracts. They just locate the nearest LongFi router and initiate a data request accompanied by electronic payment.
The LongFi router fulfils the data request by securely proxying it to the Internet, for which it receives the majority of the money. A portion of the payment is set aside for additional devices that verify the transaction and for Helium’s operations.
Because each data request involves a little amount of monetary value, this is one of the few legitimate purposes for cryptocurrency. LongFi makes use of Helium tokens (HNT), which were developed expressly for this high-transaction, low-power use case.
LongFi eliminates the primary impediment to IoT device deployment: connection. It has the potential to be a basic technology for fulfilling the full potential of smart gadgets