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How You Get Paid for Helium Mining is Changing

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

The Helium network is undergoing constant changes, and these changes come about thanks to community voted HIPs. HIP is an acronym for “Helium Improvement Proposal”.


For the purpose of this article, I will assume that the reader has a basic understanding of the Helium network and what HNT is, and I will try my best to avoid using too much jargon without explanation. This will be a very basic description of the proposal just to highlight the general changes, and there is a much more in-depth description available from the link at the bottom of this page.




In a nutshell, the Helium Token “HNT” that everyone with a LoRa Helium Hotspot currently get's rewarded, will remain as is, but will back-up two new tokens. This was proposed in HIP 51 which then passed in a round of voting.

So, what are these tokens and what do they mean?


IOT


The IOT token will essentially replace the current HNT token as the main reward token for all of those that own or host a hotspot, and are currently being rewarded in HNT. Once implemented, your Helium HNT Wallet app will display your new rewards in IOT, which you can convert should you so wish, into HNT via the same app.


There will be a “market cap”, which is the maximum number of tokens that can be minted (mined), of 200billion IOT tokens. This is approximately 1000 times more than the market cap of HNT which sits at 223million HNT tokens. Which means that you should see a roughly 1000 times increase in mining IOT when compared to mining HNT, in theory. Also in theory, it should mean that 1 IOT token is worth roughly 1000 times less than 1 HNT token, although this information is subject to variances, so take it with a pinch of salt for now.

MOBILE


The MOBILE token is being introduced to the network as a reward for those running 5G hotspots, which is currently only available in the US region. This market represents less than 3% of the entire Helium Network. The vast majority of Helium investors and hosts will be running LoRa hotspots, and not 5G hotspots. So, for our UK audience this will not be particularly relevant, other than the knowing that the Network is expanding into new protocols.


This process is a split in to 3 phases, published by Helium as “Chapter 2” -


Phase 1 = Helium 5G Hotspots will earn MOBILE. (US Only)


Phase 2 = Helium IoT Hotspots will earn IOT. Both MOBILE and IOT will be redeemable for HNT via the app.


Phase 3 = Full implementation


Implementation timelines have been pushed back recently due to a bugs found during testing, but expect the full implementation to occur within the next few months, again this is a placeholder and guesstimate so please take this as such.


What is the impact on HNT?


HIP51 enables massive new usage opportunities on HNT by allowing new network protocols to use the Helium ecosystem. The role of HNT becomes more important as new tokens would be backed by HNT and all network usage requires HNT for Data Credits.


What will happen to the HNT in my wallet?


Existing HNT wallet balances will remain unaffected regardless if it was mined or acquired on secondary markets.


What will happen to HNT mined by existing LoRaWAN Hotspots?


Existing LoRaWAN miners deployed on the IoT network will continue to mine HNT until Phase 2 of the HIP51 roadmap. By Phase 2, LoRaWAN miners will begin earning a new token, called IOT backed by HNT.


Is LoRaWAN mining still beneficial to the network?


Absolutely. IoT usage is a priority and Hotspots providing LoRaWAN coverage will continue to provide network coverage for millions of devices.


How do I start earning MOBILE tokens in Phase I?


Helium 5G Hotspots will earn MOBILE tokens for having their Hotspots on-boarded to the Helium blockchain and their Outdoor/Indoor CBRS antennas deployed and online.


How much IOT will I earn after Phase 2?


LoRaWAN Hotspot owners will earn IOT, proportional to their Proof-of-Coverage and Data Transfer activities. IOT is created on its own emissions and havening schedule as defined by HIP52, is backed by and redeemable for HNT, and can be traded on secondary markets if and when they are available.


I have LoRaWAN sensors using Helium - how does HIP51 impact me?


Implementation of HIP51 would not impact device data transfer, Console users, or Router operators in any way. Devices across different networks would use Data Credits to send data over the Network and burning of HNT would continue to be required for Data Credits. New 5G users will now be able to leverage the Helium Network for their applications.


I'm a Validator on Helium - how does HIP51 impact me?


Validators will continue to perform the consensus functions for the Helium Network and earn HNT. In the future, each new network could have their own Validator system (described as Oracles in HIP 51-53). A transition plan for Validators will be proposed for discussion after Phase 2 of the HIP51 deployment.


Will HIP51 help the 5G rollout?


Yes, HIP 51 enables 5G and other new network protocols in the ecosystem to grow with their own token economics that incentivize network creation, data consumption, Proof-of-Coverage, and governance.


What other types of mining will I be able to do after HIP51?


HIP51 unlocks IOT and MOBILE through Phase 2, but opens opportunities for other protocols like WIFI to join the ecosystem in the future.


For more information you can read the full proposal at https://github.com/helium/HIP/blob/main/0051-helium-dao.md

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