Cryptocurrency

What is the Helium cryptocurrency (HNT) and what is special about it?

What is the Helium cryptocurrency (HNT) and what is special about it?

There are a lot of different so-called cryptocurrencies. But some of them differ a lot when it comes to how to earn them. Here, Helium (HNT) stands out as a very exciting variant.

Before you tackle this article, it can be good to have an idea of ​​how so-called blockchains work and what they should be good for.

Like many other cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) exists Heliumthe currency of its own blockchain, developed specifically for just Helium Network Tokens (HNT). While Bitcoins block chain has as its sole purpose to generate and manage Bitcoins has Helium-block chain an additional purpose (and this is where it gets both a little exciting and above all innovative). Namely to create the world’s largest LoRaWAN-network. And what in the world is that for?

LoRaWAN – One of the technologies in the “Internet of Things”

The expression Internet of Things (from English Internet of Things) has certainly not passed anyone completely unnoticed. Personally, I think it is an extremely broad and rather narrow expression that from the beginning aimed at being able to track different things via so-called RFID-chip. Today, instead, there are very divided opinions about what the term actually refers to and exactly what “things” are included in the concept. Internet of Things.

But in short, you can say that Internet of Things includes in principle anything that can in any way measure or read its surroundings in any way, and then pass on the information via some form of connection.

Internal Affairs - IoT - Internet of Things
The Internet of Things refers to things that are connected to the Internet and that in one way or another can measure and analyze any part of the environment around them.

And it’s here LoRaWAN coming in. Which, in short, is a technique for creating wireless networks with really long range. Up to 10 kilometers in good conditions and clear visibility. The actual transmitters and receivers behind the wireless technology also have a very low energy consumption. Something that makes the technology easy to use when it comes to devices that are not allowed to draw too much power (eg battery-powered things) and that would like to be connected to Internet.

Helium wants to make LoRaWAN available to everyone

The additional (or perhaps even the primary) purpose of HeliumThe network is thus creating a worldwide LoRaWANnetwork to which anyone can connect theirs IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Whether it’s traceable cat collars, electric scooters, connected parking meters, earthquake sensors, tracking functions in cars or anything that falls within IoT-concept.

How should this then go? Yes! If we compare with for example Bitcoin network, this has received much criticism because the energy consumption required to keep the blockchain alive is extremely high (annually in fact almost as big as Sweden electricity consumption). Something that has to do with the fact that it takes a lot of power to power all the computers which in turn spend the days guessing so-called hash-number. A task called for Proof of Work. HeliumThe network is instead based on something called Proof of Coverage (PoC). So what is it then and why is that technology a little extra exciting in this context?

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Proof of Coverage (PoC) instead of Proof of Work (PoW)

To be able to earn Bitcoins as a user, as I said, you need to run a large amount of so-called “miners“(Computers guessing numbers). If you are lucky and one of the computers guesses correctly, the computer is rewarded with a certain amount Bitcoins. Then the purpose of Heliumthe network in contrast is not only to maintain a currency (the currency becomes rather a bonus), but to build a worldwide LoRaWANnetwork is exactly where you as a user have the opportunity to earn HNT.

How? Well, the whole concept is that users (ie anyone) buy a so-called Hotspot (also known as Gateway or Miner). Which is a wireless transmitter and receiver for LoRaWAN. The user places this transmitter with him (or in another strategically smart place) and connects it to Internet. In this way, the transmitter becomes a part of Heliumnetwork and the signal sent by Hotspotthe device can then be used for connected IoTunits nearby.

When a user’s Hotspot is used to convey information to or from a IoTunit is rewarded Hotspots with HNTthe currency of the work performed. Users also earn HNT when even Hotspot used to verify and verify that others are nearby Hotspots do their jobs properly.

Another very positive aspect compared to just Bitcoin is that each Hotspot does not require much power at all. Consumption is instead comparable to a regular wireless router. Heliumthe organization calls the combination of blockchain technology along with LoRaWAN for LongFi. Which I tend to agree with is a slightly more digestible expression. But in many ways it is LoRaWANtechnology that forms the basis of the entire network.

So how do I get started making money?

As with everything in the world of cryptocurrencies, too Helium-the idea is of course taken with great pinch of caution. Everyone wants to find the new one Bitcoin and become millionaires overnight. Why I felt that just HeliumThe currency and network were worth rewriting is mainly because they stand out a bit from the amount of other currencies. Which in many cases only aims to be just currencies.

The so-called Hotspotsunits are available for purchase through licensed resellers linked from Helium website. At present and for months now, all of these are completely sold out. It has even gone so far that people sell pre-bookings of the units on eBay.

Helium - HNT - Network - Connected
The idea with the Helium network is thus to let it be built by users who lend their Internet to a large worldwide network for IoT devices. Everything is then connected to everything and everyone keeps track of each other (as it should be in a blockchain). Image from helium.com

Exactly how much you can potentially earn and what it takes to earn a certain amount HNT is also not really quite clear. Although some percentages are given for the different jobs even Hotspot can perform. On the other hand, one should believe youtube videos and other things from those who have already gotten started with the technology, it at least seems to have potential. But as I said. Everything in the cryptocurrency world should be taken with a big pinch of salt. The project started in USA in 2019 and has so far been exclusive to just that American market.

It is also important to think about the value of HNT-valutan. Admittedly, it has been going up lately. But should something happen and the technology does not work as well as it theoretically seems to be able to do, that it is just a big one ”scam“(Something that is unfortunately common in the world of cryptocurrencies) or that Elon Musk tweets something about it, there is always the risk the currency will be worth zero.

Upcoming updates

Personally, I thought this after all sounded too exciting not to test. Based on the, not very well thought out, way of thinking, I put here on the folds an order for one Hotspot from Bobcat. Something that was not entirely easy and also required that the payment be made via a cryptocurrency (USDT alternatively USDC). Since, as I said, everything has been over for a good while now, the expected delivery time is about 20 weeks. If now something is delivered at all.

BobCat Miner 300 HNT - Ordered
We’ll see if anything shows up.

With those expectations (I have thus fully accepted that I may have thrown the money into the lake) I thought, in the case of a Hotspot after all, appear, try to follow up this article with a little more information on how it actually works, how hard it is to get started etc. From the perspective of a person who is no more than a happy amateur when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The basic idea as such sounds really exciting. But there is a lot that does. We’ll see how it goes!

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