Helium cryptocurrency generating access point first impressions
As I mentioned in my Previous post, I learned of the Helium network at the All Things Open conference a few weeks ago. I ended up purchasing one of their access points and got it online this past Friday.
World, meet the "radiant quartz bobcat":
So, what is this thing? It's a wireless access point that delivers connectivity to low power "Internet of things" ( IoT ) devices that work on a new protocol on the unlicensed 900MHz band.
The deal is, people deploy these access points, and they mine cryptocurrency called Helium ( HNT ) while providing the coverage. Devices that use the network will pay some amount of the Helium tokens to talk on the network and the access points will earn some of that by providing the connectivity.
So, how much crypto are we talking about?
Since Friday afternoon until today, so about 72 hours online, I've earned 48 HNT tokens. What does that translate to in USD or bitcoin? I have no idea and since it doesn't trade on any exchange, I don't know that anyone else has any idea either. It might take 10,000,000 HNT to equal one penny, I don't know.
How many of these will be needed? Apparently you don't need many to blanket an entire city with coverage. Unlike wifi, which doesn't go very far, the protocol and technology used by Helium ( LongFi ) can do coverage measured in miles for a single access point.
For more info on the technology, see here:
The number of these is growing, as it was only 1100 on Friday and now nation wide we are over 1200.
Anyway, I feel like this is a cool experiment and I hope it catches on. There's several companies that say they are going to be making IoT that will use this, so I guess if we build it, they will come.
Want more info? There's a good youtube video that they just released talking about it here:
There's also a zoom meeting that will be on Thursday afternoon to hear about the SDK and actually sending traffic on the network. https://t.co/dcDPFArWYX
What do you think? I thought this sounded interesting enough to pay money to support it.