The Helium Network is a decentralized wireless Internet of things (IoT) network using the LoRaWAN system, tied to the cryptocurrency Helium Network Token (symbol HNT).[1] Nodes on the network are generally owned and placed by individuals in their homes or offices, and they are rewarded for their participation in the network in payments of HNT.[2] The network aims to provide connectivity to IoT sensor devices in areas, where wireless or mobile coverage is minimal, or requires too much power.[3][4]

History

The Helium Network was begun by Helium, Inc. in 2013, as a network of LoRa gateway hotspots which could be deployed throughout an area by agreements with building owners, typically paid in conventional currency.

In 2017, the company's funds were running low, so it switched to a new strategy: offering individuals payment in cryptocurrency to operate individually owned nodes in their homes or offices. These individually owned nodes are purchased at costs of up to $500 each, and the payments to owners vary based on data usage but can be as low as $.10 a month.[5] Hotspot operators would also have a vote in the operation of the network.[1]

In 2021, Helium partnered with Dish Network to deploy thousands of Helium hotspots across Dish's nationwide cellular network, further expanding Helium's reach.[6]

In March 2022, Helium Inc. rebranded to Nova Labs Inc. and raised $200 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management and Andreessen Horowitz.[7]

In August 2022, Helium integrated with the 5G network. Helium 5G utilizes a decentralized approach, building a cellular network powered by Helium Hotspots equipped with 5G radios. These hotspots, deployed by individuals or businesses, provide local coverage and relay data within the network.[8][9]

Reports in July 2022 revealed that Helium falsely had claimed Lime and Salesforce as two of their major customers for years, despite neither company having a formal relationship with Helium or using the network.[5][10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Roose, Kevin (February 6, 2022). "Maybe There's a Use for Crypto After All". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "How blockchain is revolutionizing IoT". RCR Wireless. March 14, 2022. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  3. ^ Sparkman, Worth (March 4, 2022). "Startup contributes $1 million to attract tech talent to NWA". Axios. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  4. ^ Roose, Kevin (February 6, 2022). "What is Web3?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Binder, Matt (July 29, 2022). "Web3 darling Helium has bragged about Lime being a client for years. Lime says it isn't true". Mashable. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  6. ^ "DISH Partners with Helium to Leverage the Helium Network's Blockchain Model using CBRS Spectrum". About DISH. Retrieved December 25, 2023.
  7. ^ Miller, Hannah (March 30, 2022). "Crypto Wireless Company Helium Hits Unicorn Status". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  8. ^ "Is Helium's New '5G Network' Just Hot Air?". PCMag Australia. August 5, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2023.
  9. ^ Tofel, Kevin C. (August 31, 2022). "What the heck is this Helium 5G network?". Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis. Retrieved December 25, 2023.
  10. ^ Clark, Mitchell (July 29, 2022). "Helium says its crypto mesh network is used by Lime and Salesforce — it isn't". The Verge. Retrieved July 30, 2022.