HNT – Helium Developers Mull Migration of Crypto Wireless Network to Solana

The proposed change is would be ‘momentous,’ bringing more speed, stability, and scalability.

By Andrew Hayward

Aug 30, 2022

Originally Published at Decrypt

Solana and Helium. Image: The Helium Foundation
Solana and Helium. Image: The Helium Foundation

In brief

  • Crypto-fueled wireless network Helium is considering a move from its own custom blockchain to Solana.
  • Helium’s core developers have proposed the migration, which will be voted on beginning September 12.

HeliumOpens in a new tab., the blockchain platform that uses crypto token incentives to fuel decentralized wireless networks, may soon undergo a significant transformation if a newly-revealed proposal passes: it could move from its own blockchain to SolanaOpens in a new tab..

Published today, the HIP 70 proposalOpens in a new tab. details why Helium’s core developers want to move the network from its own bespoke chain to Solana, a leading smart contract platform used for decentralized appsOpens in a new tab. (dapps), NFTsOpens in a new tab., and decentralized financeOpens in a new tab. (DeFi) protocols. In short, the developers think it will improve Helium’s speed, stability, and ability to serve more users.

“Solana offers significant benefits to Helium that include, but are not limited to, scale, community, and composability,” reads a blog postOpens in a new tab. from The Helium Foundation. “This change will be momentous in scope, impact, and benefit to the Helium network and its users.”

Under the proposal, the Helium network would move all of its tokensOpens in a new tab.—HNT, IOT, MOBILE, and DC (Data Credits)—from its own blockchain to Solana. It would also rely on oraclesOpens in a new tab., or third-party data sources not on the blockchain, to manage Helium’s proof-of-coverage infrastructure and data transfer accounting functionality.

“The Helium community will gain a thriving developer ecosystem of thousands of developers worldwide who are working on applications that are only possible on Solana due to its fast and cheap transactions,” the proposal says.

Helium is a distributed wireless network that offers users crypto tokens as rewards for sharing their home internet service with a wider community. For example, a user can run a Helium node (or hotspot) attached to their modem or router, and then earn crypto tokens by securing the network and allowing nearby devices to share their connection.

The platform first launched with a network designed for internet of things (IoT) devices like trackers and sensors, and has thus far attracted more than 935,000 active node operatorsOpens in a new tab., according to current data. More recently, Helium launched a 5G networkOpens in a new tab. built for phones, tablets, and other devices, which has about 3,300 nodes online at present.

We’re breaking down web3 with your favorite crypto experts—get the alpha on gm with Decrypt!

Subscribe to hear podcast episodes with CZ, Sam Bankman-Fried, Cynthia Lummis, and more.

Subscribe on SpotifyOpens in a new tab. or Apple PodcastsOpens in a new tab..

The Helium Foundation and Nova LabsOpens in a new tab.—a startup composed of the network’s founders and some core developers—recently announced plans to embrace a “network of networks” approachOpens in a new tab. and expand beyond the original HNT reward token. With IOT, MOBILE, and other future tokens, Helium aims to incorporate a wider range of decentralized wireless protocols.

In the post announcing the Solana migration proposal, Helium’s developers said that when they first launched the network, there were few layer-1 blockchain platforms and it made the most sense to build their own. But as the network has scaled, they believe that it makes sense to embrace an open-source platform like Solana, which is built to handle large numbers of transactions.

“With the massive maturity that Helium has seen, so too has the blockchain and crypto ecosystem matured with it,” the post reads. “There is now a myriad of L1 options to build on. Rather than spend time and effort improving Helium’s L1, it became clear that the Helium community could benefit from the developments and shared resources from the larger industry.”

Also according to the proposal, a larger share of HNT reward tokens will flow to node operators, or miners, following the move to Solana, with a 6.85% increase over the current model. The proposal claims that the redistribution will push more than 2 million additional HNT to miners over the first two years, or more than $11.1 million at the current price.

The Helium Foundation will hold a token-based community vote on the proposal beginning on September 12 and ending September 18. No timeline was revealed for the planned migration, should the proposal pass.

Don't want to miss a post? Fill out the form below to be notified every time an article goes live:

Dale Calvert

Dale Calvert is a serial entreprenuer. He started his first business at age 14, a direct mail business out of his parents home. Dale has always believed that wealth is created in front of a trend. This business philosophy lead him into the cryptocurrency space in 2017, He made the decision in 2022, that the cryptocurrency space is where he will be spending the majority of his time.

Recent Posts