What Is Helium and How to Buy HNT Token

Helium offers a unique approach to decentralising wireless communications for IoT devices. Here’s how its HNT token and the Helium mining process work.

Apr 26, 2024
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What Is Helium

Key Takeaways:

  • Helium introduces a novel blockchain network designed to revolutionise wireless communication for Internet of Things (IoT) devices through decentralised technology.

  • Mining Helium tokens incentivises individuals to provide network coverage, utilising a unique Proof of Coverage consensus mechanism to ensure reliability and expansion.

  • The Helium token (HNT) plays a crucial role within the ecosystem, rewarding operators for network participation and facilitating transactions and governance on the platform.

  • Participation in the Helium network as a miner involves setting up a Hotspot and contributing to network density, therefore earning HNT tokens as a reward for providing coverage and validating network transactions.

  • Before buying HNT, it’s essential to consider the network’s growth potential and token’s underlying utility, and the volatile nature of the crypto market and demand within the expanding IoT landscape.

Introduction to Helium (HNT)

Launched in 2019, Helium has rapidly gained attention for its potential to revolutionise how devices communicate over long distances without the need for traditional wireless infrastructure, and the Helium token stands out for its innovative approach to creating a decentralised network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This article delves into the Helium network, exploring its workings, the purpose of its token, how to mine it, and whether it makes for a sound investment.

What Is Helium?

At its core, Helium represents a pioneering blockchain network designed to facilitate wireless communication for IoT devices across the globe. Developed by Helium Inc., which was founded in 2013, the network aims to provide a decentralised connectivity solution that is both cost-effective and scalable. 

Unlike traditional telecom services that rely on centralised infrastructure, Helium’s innovative model enables individuals to become network hosts by operating Hotspots — specialised hardware devices that provide coverage and transmit data for IoT devices. 

In return for their contribution, hosts earn Helium tokens (HNT), incentivising the growth and density of the network. This unique model has the potential to reduce costs and barriers to entry for IoT applications, making it a significant player in the future of global connectivity.

How Does Helium Work?

The Helium network operates on a novel consensus mechanism known as Proof of Coverage (PoC), which ensures that Hotspots are providing wireless coverage. This is achieved through a series of challenges where Hotspots prove their presence and service quality, earning HNT tokens as a reward. 

The network leverages the LoRaWAN protocol, allowing for long-range and low-power communication ideal for IoT devices. As these devices transmit data through the nearest Hotspots, they utilise Data Credits — a separate form of currency on the Helium network obtained by burning HNT. 

This two-token system ensures a stable transaction cost for data transmission, irrespective of HNT’s market price, and secures the network by incentivising the operation of Hotspots and the validation of transactions.

What Is the Helium Token Used For?

The Helium token (HNT) serves multiple, essential functions within the network, making it a cornerstone of the ecosystem. Primarily, it acts as a reward for those operating Hotspots, incentivising the expansion and maintenance of the network’s coverage. This model encourages a widespread, decentralised infrastructure, crucial for the network’s goal of ubiquitous and reliable connectivity for IoT devices. 

Secondly, HNT is used to generate Data Credits, which are required for sending data across the network, as well as blockchain transaction fees, including adding devices to the network. This dual-token mechanism (HNT and Data Credits) ensures that, while the network grows through the participation of Hotspot operators, the cost of using the network remains stable and predictable for developers and businesses relying on it for IoT data transmission.

How Can You Mine Helium?

Mining Helium is unique compared to traditional cryptocurrency mining, focusing on providing real-world utility rather than computational power. The process involves setting up a Helium Hotspot, which requires a modest initial investment. These Hotspots act as nodes on the network, providing wireless coverage and validating transactions. 

Below is a simplified guide:

Purchase a Helium Hotspot: Choose a Hotspot from the range of approved manufacturers. Considerations should include coverage area, connectivity options, and price.

Set Up and Connect: Install your Hotspot in a location with a clear view of the sky to maximise coverage. Connect it to your internet and follow the setup instructions on the Helium App.

Verify Location: Prove your Hotspot’s location to participate in the Proof of Coverage challenges. This usually involves a small fee in HNT to ensure accurate and honest reporting.

Earn Rewards: Once online, your Hotspot will automatically perform tasks like participating in Proof of Coverage challenges, relaying device data, and validating network transactions, earning HNT based on the value contributed to the network.

The attractiveness of mining Helium lies in its relatively low energy consumption compared to traditional mining and the potential for passive income through network participation.

Note that Helium mining is not without controversy, according to this Forbes article.

Should You Buy the Helium Token (HNT)?

Buying HNT should be considered within the broader context of your cryptocurrency portfolio and risk tolerance. Below are factors to consider:

  • Network Growth: As the network expands and more devices come online, the demand for Data Credits — and by extension, HNT — could increase, potentially driving up the token’s value.

  • Market Volatility: Like all cryptocurrencies, HNT is subject to market fluctuations. Traders should research and consider market trends before jumping in.

  • Utility and Adoption: The real-world applications and utility of the Helium network in the burgeoning IoT sector may offer a solid foundation for its value. However, the pace and scale of adoption are critical factors to watch.

As with any trade, perform due diligence and consider diversifying your holdings to manage risk effectively.

Conclusion

The Helium network and its token offer a compelling vision for decentralised wireless communication, especially in the IoT domain. By incentivising individuals and businesses to participate in and expand the network, Helium has the potential to revolutionise how devices connect across the globe. 

The unique mining process emphasises utility and coverage, making it accessible to a broader audience. While the prospect of investing in HNT presents opportunities, it also comes with risks inherent in the volatile crypto market. 

As its network grows and evolves, Helium could play a pivotal role in the future of both cryptocurrency and global connectivity, making it a project worth watching for enthusiasts and investors alike.

Due Diligence and Do Your Own Research

All examples listed in this article are for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, cybersecurity, or other advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by Crypto.com to invest, buy, or sell any coins, tokens, or other crypto assets. Returns on the buying and selling of crypto assets may be subject to tax, including capital gains tax, in your jurisdiction. Any descriptions of Crypto.com products or features are merely for illustrative purposes and do not constitute an endorsement, invitation, or solicitation.

Past performance is not a guarantee or predictor of future performance. The value of crypto assets can increase or decrease, and you could lose all or a substantial amount of your purchase price. When assessing a digital asset, it’s essential for you to do your research and due diligence to make the best possible judgement, as any purchases shall be your sole responsibility.

Etiquetas

Blockchain

coins & tokens

IoT

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