Why we joined Helium
Helium network, coined ‘The People’s Network’’ is taking real-world adoption of cryptocurrencies to new heights. Helium’s native cryptocurrency (HNT) is used to incentivise individuals around the world to provide coverage on a global peer-to-peer wireless network. This is done using a Helium compatible hotspot, which to date provides coverage for low-power IoT devices.
Traditional networks such as WiFi do not suit IoT devices well because of their lower range compared to other types of networks such as LoRaWaN. To solve this problem, Helium pioneered LongFi, which represents a mixture of LoRaWaN and blockchain technology. In the past, there were not enough incentives for participants to operate LoRaWaN hotspots resulting in higher costs for companies using IoT devices. With the introduction of LongFi and using HNT to reward participants to grow the decentralised network, IoT companies now have a cheaper alternative to use. Helium has already secured multiple partnerships with IoT companies, such as Salesforce, Lime, Airly, Nobel Systems, and more.
Migrating Consensus to Validators
Previously on Helium, hotspots used to not only transmit data to IoT devices, but also play a role in the consensus of valid transactions. In recent times, Helium has experienced immense growth, which has impacted network performance whilst hotspots were involved in consensus. As 86,540 Helium-compatible hotspots have been set-up around the world (at 39% MoM growth), it has been harder for hotspots to secure the network. This is because Helium-compatible hotspots had built-in hardware specifications that limited the number of hotspots that could take part in consensus per epoch and the addresses of hotspots were not static, making it harder to reconnect if a block producer (hotspot) crashed during consensus. Low powered hardware (hotspots) using consumer-grade (personal) internet was a risk to Helium network and exposed to attacks such as DoS. Not only was network security at risk but incentives to secure the network in consensus also decreased as more hotspots joined the network (because new hotspots diluted consensus rewards from other hotspots).
For these reasons, Helium governance proposed in HIP-25 to introduce validators that use high-end servers and enterprise-grade internet with specialised experience in securing networks to help improve block performance and alleviate the consensus pressure from hotspots. The governance proposal passed and validators are now live on Helium network as of July 8th. There are now 1802 validators online on Helium network as of time of writing, translating to 19.96% of the whole network (HNT) being staked (18.02m).
We recently released research into the updated staking economics of Helium and how it improves the utility of HNT. Introducing validators into Helium network importantly assists network performance and block propagation and results in reliable returns for stakers.
We are excited that Helium governance has voted on introducing validators into the Helium network ecosystem and we have every intention to contribute to the network’s long-term success by ensuring the security of it.
Helium’s network is unique in that delegations are not currently possible. For this reason, we support Helium network with our NaaS offering. For information on pricing, please contact email@example.com. To read about the benefits of our NaaS service for those interested in staking HNT, please visit: https://chorus.one/products/whitelabel-staking/
About Staking HNT with Chorus One:
Epoch: An epoch in Helium is 30 blocks. A block occurs roughly every 60 seconds. Thus, each epoch is lasting around 30 minutes. Staking rewards are distributed at the end of each epoch.
Minimum Bond: 10,000 HNT
Helium APR (as of 14/07/2021): ~11%
Chorus Commission: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing of HNT NaaS offering
Withdrawal Delay: After withdrawing, your staked funds will only become accessible after a 5-month cooldown period has passed.
Slashing: Slashing is not currently possible on Helium.
Partial Staking: Partial staking of HNT is not possible with Chorus One as we are operating a non-custodial staking service.
Overstaking: Overstaking on Helium does not earn additional rewards (i.e. a node with 15,000 HNT staked and a node with 10,000 HNT staked earns the same rewards). To earn more rewards, HNT holders need to launch multiple nodes with 10,000 HNT each.