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One of the most inventions in 2019 that Time Magazine recognized is the startup Helium. It is one of the pioneers in the world’s peer-to-peer wireless network, which is the first of its kind. The Internet of Things has already connected to it and more than a thousand cities in the United States.
Most of the devices that are compatible with it are medical ones, e-scooters, and smart pet collars. The Helium compatible devices are often used in various industries and are very helpful to many people. There are even operators that are paid with cryptocurrency that is primarily sourced from Helium’s own blockchain.
How the Network Works
The network behind Helium allows its consumers to try the benefit of testing the innovative Internet of Things, and its features include cost-saving, energy-efficiency, and high-quality devices. There are e-scooters, environmental monitoring sensors, smart pet collars, home devices, and medical devices that can benefit from it.
Systems that are running behind Helium are often more concerned with other businesses and end-users. They can buy it and operate it themselves. Most of the operators that are included in the Hotspot are building the associated nodes and own the network themselves. Thus, it is not surprising that this network’s composition is very friendly to the users, and others have even called it the “People’s Network.”
The Helium hotspots have a LoRaWAN or Long Range Wide Area Network instead of the average WLAN router. The range is more than 200 times the distance that a WLAN can offer. Read more about the WLAN on this page here.
An IoT device will be able to connect to a lot of networks faster and more effectively without the need for a sim card or a WLAN. Another plus side of this technology is that the LoRaWAN is usually more efficient than the WLAN, and it is no surprise that many businesses are integrating this into their daily operations.
The Cryptocurrency and Helium Blockchain
Helium Blockchain is the thing responsible for the append-only and immutable transactions that are happening in the system. Transaction systems are usually verified by utilizing the protocols of Helium consensus. Aside from the consensus protocols, there is also the need to use a working algorithm that’s novel.
A Proof of Coverage is used to secure the networks and verify the hotspot location cryptographically. The operators make the configurations, and they are responsible for the wireless coverage of the devices that use the IoT technology.
The Helium hotspots transport coverage proofs and these are the best proofs that provide the mining blocks and verify the transaction. This can be compared to the proof of work in bitcoin, where devices often vote whether a transaction is valid or not, and they do this by solving complex equations and getting rewarded.
Why Should You Operate a Helium Hotspot?
Many of the operators and providers of the Helium hotspot has benefited a lot of ways, including the following:
- There are network-compatible devices that can provide strong connectivity to vendors and owners. They are optimal when it comes to internet connections and performances.
- The operators are usually paid with the new cryptocurrencies generated by the Helium blockchain. Payments are depending on the Hotspot’s amount of data that are flowing from each of them.
- Additional operators may expand this network, and they can drive the popularity of the IoT technology.
- The cryptocurrency payment is received by the operators. The payments are made by the Helium network itself.
About the Founders of Helium
Amir Haleem and Shawn Fanning co-founded this in the year 2013. This is considered one of the most simplified versions of device connectivity on the internet. The company is rewarding its operators through cryptocurrencies. One of the owners, Amir Haleem, also the company’s CEO, has extensive experience and background playing triple-A games. You can read more about triple-A games at this link: https://www.howtogeek.com/659948/what-are-aaa-triple-a-video-games/.
Overall, this has attracted several companies, and it is currently backed by GV or formerly known as Google Ventures. Other backing includes Shawn Fanning, Marc Benioff, FirstMark, Multicoin Capital, Union Square Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and more. The network is currently living in over 700 cities, and it is expected to be more.
There was news in early 2020 when the Semtech Corporation, which is the leading supplier of mixed-signal semiconductors and high-performance analog, began to collaborate with Helium. This is a peer-to-peer wireless network that is making its efforts to be the largest in North America. The network is fully compatible with the LoRaWAN network, where the community currently consists of over 8,000 software developers.
The combination of the LoRaWAN integration, working with Semtech, and LongFi architecture has extended the reach of the overall network. Many businesses, consumers, and communities have various opportunities today to create a new solution.
Conclusion about the Network
Overall, hotspot operators play an essential part in establishing IoT devices in major parts of the world. Because of the hotspots, there can be more expansive areas of coverage and a larger overall reach. The devices connected to this network can be tracked easily, which is very beneficial to many companies out there.
The devices that are compatible with Helium will increase, and they will be able to get stronger connectivity compared to the conventional WLAN routers. A wide-area coverage and hotspots can be the future of many devices that use IoT and this is something that many are expecting.