Helium — The first wireless peer-to-peer network for IoT devices
Time Magazine named startup Helium the best invention of 2019. Helium is building the world’s first peer-to-peer wireless network for the Internet of Things devices and is already in more than 1,000 cities in the US. Devices include smart pet collars, e-scooters, medical devices, and more. Helium Hotspot operators are paid with a new cryptocurrency based on the Helium Blockchain.
How the Helium network works — The concept behind it
The Helium Network is designed to allow customers to benefit from energy-efficient, cost-saving, high-quality, and innovative IoT devices. So smart home devices, smart pet collars, e-scooters, shared bikes, environmental monitoring sensors, medical devices, and much more.
The system behind it is very open, so end-users or businesses can buy the Helium Hotspots and operate them themselves. Each operator of a Helium Hotspot thus builds the network and owns the associated nodes themselves. Thus, the Helium network is a composition of many individuals and is therefore also called People’s Network.
Each Helium hotspot has a Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN), which, in contrast to average WLAN routers, has a range that is almost 200 times greater. As a result, the IoT devices can connect to the networks cost-effectively and without a WLAN or SIM card. Additionally, connecting via LoRaWAN is more power-efficient than via WLAN.
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Helium Blockchain and cryptocurrency
The Helium Blockchain is responsible for providing the immutable and append-only transaction system. The transaction system is verified using the Helium consensus protocol. In addition to the consensus protocol, a novel working algorithm is also used. This is known as “Proof of Coverage” and is used to secure the network and cryptographically verify the location of hotspots. Hotspots configured by operators are then responsible for providing wireless coverage to IoT devices. Helium hotspots also transmit coverage proofs; the hotspots with the best proofs are more likely to verify transactions and mining blocks.
Why it pays to operate a Helium hotspot
Helium hotspot operators benefit from the People’s Network in several ways:
- Network-compatible devices connect optimally to the Internet, providing strong connectivity to owners and vendors.
- Operators are paid with the new cryptocurrency based on the Helium Blockchain. The payment depends on the amount of data flowing through each hotspot.
- Each additional operator helps expand the network and drive the proliferation of IoT technologies.
- CryptocurrencyHotspot operators pay hotspot operators are paid by cryptocurrency (Helium)
Conclusion on Helium’s peer-to-peer network
Helium hotspot operators are instrumental in helping to establish global networks for IoT devices. With the help of the hotspots, large areas can be covered where the devices can connect to the network and be tracked. The network of hotspots is much larger than the conventional WLAN router and enables wide-area coverage. Hotspots are essential for the future of IoT devices!
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