What is Helium Cryptocurrency?
Imagine a system where sensors could be placed in remote areas prone to wildfires, which, in a split second could send a signal to first responders hundreds of miles away. Such a technology would require an ability to connect to the internet over vast distances, a feat that today is largely impossible for most standard Bluetooth or wireless networks. However, the emergence of new blockchain networks such as Helium has opened up an array of new possibilities to see these new long-distance technologies utilized to their full benefit.
This article will provide an introduction to Helium cryptocurrency and Helium mining. Additionally, it will examine the process of buying and selling Helium, to give an overall idea of how this process works for individuals who may be interested in investing and mining Helium themselves.
What is the Helium Network?
Not to be confused with helium gas used to fill balloons, Helium in this instance is an open-source blockchain network that was first launched in 2019. This network was created as a means of providing long-distance wireless coverage to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The network accomplishes this by creating a global system of Hotspots, and antenna-equipped devices that double as both wireless access points and network miners. These hotspots use a special radio frequency (RF) technology to send small amounts of data over long distances, significantly farther than conventional wi-fi hotspots are able to reach. As a result, Helium’s hotspots provide options for long-range internet connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and to other devices using networks such as 5G. This can easily include far-reaching sensors such as the previously mentioned wildfire detectors.
What is Helium Cryptocurrency?
Anyone can deploy Helium’s hotspots at any time, and Helium tries to incentivize individuals to host these hotspots. Hotspot operators earn virtual HNT “coins” or “currency” in exchange for participating in the network. As of June 2021, there were approximately 90 million HNT coins available to hotspot operators, This virtual HNT cryptocurrency is able to be bought and sold on the open market.
Mining Helium can be an extremely profitable source of passive income, with some users earning over $1000 per month for hosting a Helium hotspot. Hotspot operators earn HNT cryptocurrency via a working algorithm known as Proof of Coverage (PoC). They are rewarded with HNT crypto when radio waves are able to validate that the Hotspots are actually providing wireless coverage to any devices that may be in their area. In other words, if hotspots are able to prove that they and other hotspots around them are active and that they are not lying about the service being provided, the operator earns cryptocurrency.
Proof of Coverage is satisfied via “Challenge”, and the operator’s hotspot can play one of three roles in this challenge. The hotspot can act as the challenger, the transmitter, or the witness. The “Challenger” hotspot is the one that initiates the overall challenge, while the “Transmitter” is the hotspot whose coverage is being challenged. The “Witnesses” are any hotspots close to the transmitter that can verify the challenge between the Challenger and Transmitter hotspots.
Each of these roles is rewarded by the network and can earn HNT. However, the amount of HNT earned can vary based on the size of the Helium network in a given area. Hotspots created in areas with few other miners have fewer opportunities to participate in challenges and therefore give less chance for HNT to be earned. On the other hand, operators in oversaturated markets may have too much competition to be able to earn a significant amount of HNT.
How to Set up Your Helium Hotspot Miner
Setting up a Helium miner is pretty easy. If you can download an APP and plug in some wires, you should have no issues setting up an HNT miner.
Once you have your Helium miner; connect the antenna, connect the ethernet wire to your miner and plugin in the power. After everything is plugged in, power on the miner and grab your mobile phone.
Next, you will need to download and install the Helium Hotspot App.
Once the Helium App is installed and you have gone through setting up your Helium account and wallet, you are ready to connect your miner to the Helium network. Quick tip, make sure to keep your 12 word phrase safe!
To connect to your miner launch your Helium app and click the miner icon on the bottom of the Helium App. Then click on the + Plus sign in the top right corner.
For the next step, choose the model of your Helium Device and follow the setup instructions to connect to your Helium device. We won’t cover this process as it’s pretty straightforward and there are too many different devices to mention.
That’s it! You should be all set for mining helium. For a more in-depth article with screen shots please see our Step by Step guide for installing a Helium Miner.
Buying and Selling Helium
Each HNT earned is worth a certain amount of cash in US dollars, which is calculated based on the market value at the time of sale. Depending on the density of the market, some profitable hotspots can earn upwards of $1000 in a single month if the market rate is favorable. Unfortunately, HNT aren’t listed on some of the bigger crypto exchanges in the US like CoinBase. However, other exchanges such as Crypto.com do allow for buying and selling of HNT.
There are generally some fees associated with buying and selling HNT on third-party sites, but on the whole, selling Helium cryptocurrency is a profitable source of income for miners as there is zero overhead other than purchasing the hotspot miner. Once the HNT miner has paid itself off it can be a good source of passive income. Obviously, this is all speculation and profitability depends on many factors including the market price for HNT. Not to mention whether or not Helium will succeed in the future.
Hopefully, by this point, you are able to answer the question “What is Helium Cryptocurrency?” Helium is an exciting blockchain in the crypto space that has loads of potential; with a rapidly expanding network of hotspots that offer promising opportunities for HNT miners to earn passive crypto income.