“Which is all well and good,” the surviving crypto doubters say, “what does that coin truly do in the actual world?” So, even the most skeptical crypto skeptic should be satisfied with this response: How about using decentralized, long-range WiFi to power the Internet of Things? Helium (CRYPTO: HNT) is attempting to make just such a case in the actual world.
What Exactly Is Helium?
Helium is now the 46th most valuable cryptocurrency, with almost $3 billion market capitalization. The Helium network’s purpose is to make it easier for the Internet of Things (IoT) and the devices connected to it to communicate and connect.
Individuals can earn HNT for enabling access by installing Helium routers or “hot spots” in their homes or offices. Because linking to cellular WiFi is pricey and attaching to a store/business’s WiFi is impractical, Helium’s parent firm seeks just to provide connectivity to IoT-enabled devices. The Helium hot spots offer LongFi, a long-range WiFi that purportedly goes 200 times far more than a typical WiFi hot spot, or up to 10 miles based on the environment.
In terms of adoption, Helium is making significant progress. DISH Network announced a partnership with Helium in October to “promote open source & low-cost wireless connection ecosystems” and to use Helium to deploy 5G. In addition, San Jose, California, has become the first city to integrate the Helium network & it will utilize it to have internet access to low-income inhabitants. For a test scheme, the city donated Helium routers to volunteers.
Helium Has The Potential
With increased concern in the United States about the connectivity split or data divide, Helium might potentially have a use-case outside of IoT by helping to bridge this gap. In addition, helium has the potential to improve connectivity in underserved places if they are low-income metropolitan areas or isolated rural locations.
Helium has been a volatile asset. It is up more than 500% during the past year, but it is also down more than 50% from its 52-week high set just a few months ago in November. Based on the volatility, I would say that Helium is not for the faint of heart but for risk-tolerant investors. There is a lot to like here.
Increased adoption of the network, the growing prevalence of connected devices, more cities and municipalities looking for solutions to give internet access to their populations, and the rollout of 5G nationwide are all catalysts that should increase the prevalence of Helium’s network, reports Nytimes.com