Helium and HNT - what to think of it

Hello everyone!

A friend of mine brought helium, “the people’s network” (www.helium.com), to my attention.

By self description it is a distributed network of wireless network nodes which you can buy, set up, connect to your internet access, and allow users to access with IoT devices for HNT crypto currency which you would earn.

Did anyone of you hear about this? Maybe even have first hand experience? What’s your take?

Hadn’t heard of this before, pretty interesting idea. Fun to see a cryptocurrency that’s not about consuming gobs of power just for the sake of consuming power. Too bad they’re not platform agnostic but I guess that makes the network more stable.

However, nearly all residential ISPs have clauses preventing this kind of network use. And now that we’ve decided net neutrality is bad for us (in the US, at least), I could totally see ISPs knocking this kind of traffic down under the guise of “security” or some such.


It was mentioned on TWiT a while back, I think, SN.

Interesting concept, but not something I’d feel comfortable with.

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I don’t know that I really see the use case for home users outside of possibly in extremely dense urban areas. In order for the AP to make sense someone has to want to pay to stick an IoT device within range of it, which is probably not reflective of most homes. Also the ISP issue that knewman mentioned is a legit barrier to entry for board home adoption.

I do see some potential for this in certain industries, like manufacturing for example. Let’s say all of the computer users are in one small part of the building, but the rest of the building has IoT monitoring/HVAC/lighting equipment which needs wifi. In this case Helium could provide all the wifi they need while gradually chipping into its own cost via crypto mining. This probably only really works though if the client is going with one IoT vendor who themselves partners with Helium, otherwise why does the IoT vendor want to pay for internet that the client is already paying for?

It’s an interesting idea, and it may even prove viable in some industries, but I’d be surprised if it made a splash in the consumer/SMB space.

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