About Helium (HNT)
The Helium network is a decentralized, interconnected system of wireless devices, the Helium hotspot, powered by blockchain technology. The native Helium token (HNT) is designed to facilitate the growth and operational efficacy of the infrastructure that powers the network, dubbed by its creators as "the people's network."
The company was created in 2013. Co-founder Amir Haleem, a long-time proponent of a decentralized internet, created a decentralized IoT networking protocol called LongFi.
HNT tokens are an incentive for users to become nodes on Helium’s network.
Network participants who create hotspots are compensated with distributions of HNT tokens.
The linchpins of the infrastructure base are the hotspots comprising two main elements, which are the physical blockchain node and a wireless gateway.
The node serves as a device by which blockchain mining can be conducted by platform users.The wireless gateway functions to connect a user to the network and other devices that make up that network, thereby regulating data traffic between the IoT–Internet of Things.
Overall, a fully operational network of hotspots allows connected devices to use the Helium LongFi wireless protocol to transmit data across large geographical distances, all without having to route data flows through a centralised source.
Haleem along with co-founder Shawn Fanning, one of the original developers of Napster, and Sean Carey all had experience in peer-to-peer internet connectivity services and by virtue of their enterprises were keenly aware of the limitations of wireless communications. WiFi and Bluetooth both seemed overly vulnerable to interruptions, prohibitively expensive, and just not conducive for full, fluid integration of new technological devices.
What is the price of HNT?
As of mid-April 2021, the price of HNT was hovering around $15. On April 7, HNT hit an all-time high of nearly $21.
Year-to-date, HNT has returned a staggering 1,000%. Only one year ago, the token was eleven cents.
The 10-day average trading volume of $53 million is indicative of growing market activity around HNT, as average daily trading volumes were stuck below $1 million for much of last year.
In the near-term, a manic crypto market at large might be subject to volatility impacting altcoins such as HNT which with its $1.2 billion market capitalization is the 98th largest crypto, per CoinGecko’s ranking of largest cryptocurrencies by market-cap.
Upside appears abundant looking at the long-term. Helium represents a platform located at the intersection of blockchain infrastructure and wireless communication.
The cellular industry is trying to build a low-cost network for IoT on traditional licensed spectrum called NB-IoT, as tech-blogger Stacey Higginbotham pointed out in her Helium deep dive last year. Other companies, such as Sigfox and Senet, are also trying to build low-power IoT networks from scratch.
Haleem’s contention is that in order to cost-effectively connect smart devices (e.g. smoke detectors) to a network, that network must be decentralised and look more like a shared, user-created network.
As blockchain, wireless, IoT and other various related technologies continue to advance and become embraced across a global marketplace, HNT could conceivably reap benefits for years to come.
How to buy Helium (HNT)
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This article is for informational purposes only and takes no account of particular personal or market circumstances, and should not be relied upon as investment, tax, or legal advice. For investment, tax, or legal advice and before taking any action you should consult your own advisors. Note that digital assets such as cryptocurrencies present unique risks for investors. Please see our disclaimer regarding risks specific to holding digital assets before investing.
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This content is correct as of January 2021
Note: this cryptocurrency is not available for withdrawal to external crypto wallets. It can be bought, held, and sold on Uphold.
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