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Helium, an IoT startup and crypto mining modem distributor, is expanding to more than 250 cities in the U.S. They started out from Austin, Texas, but now are shipping their units much more broadly.
An Internet of Things startup Helium has expanded from one city to more than 250 in the U.S. Cities like New York, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta, are the key cities.
They started out from Texas capital where they sold their first batch of these mining modems which they like to call “hotspots”.
To clear things out, Helium is a network which helps IoT devices like e-Scooters, sensors, and even pet trackers to get low-volume data to the internet quickly at a very low cost. With these “hotspots”, that are more like mining machines, people can store them at home and eventually earn Helium tokens by running the network and verifying the location of the nodes.
However, for companies that are willing to transfer data using Helium, need to pay with a second token, which is called “Data Credits” which they get only by burning Helium tokens. Need to mention that the device costs $495.
“Several approaches have been researched, especially within the cognitive radio domain, for radios to cooperate with each other so that they can use network resources more efficiently when transferring data. The Helium case seems like a good example of putting this to practice,” commented a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, Marcela Gomez.
As the company mentions, their first batch got sold out pretty quickly.
That is why they have noticed that people are buying loads of these devices of some even 50 at once. By doing this, more and more nodes are participating in the network, thus making it easier for Helium. Also, the company uses spectrum, that can move through just about anything, however, they tend to ease the customer by saying that still different materials and conditions can impact the transmission.
“That baseline can’t be established before you join a network. It can only be established after you join the network. As hotspots come on board, it’s like a living organism that learns and adapts,” explained Frank Mong, the COO of the company.
However, the weird thing starts when we start to talk about exchanging these Helium tokens. The Helium team doesn’t want to join any exchanges, but clarifies, that anyone can do just about anything with the tokens as soon as they show up.
The company explained that eventually the Helium tokens will be available to sell, but they will have to be denominated in Data Credits. So by putting it simple – the tokens stay in the network and you cannot sell them. The tokens, basically, are worth as much as the network has expanded. But industry experts remain optimistic about the project.
“The process of what Helium and others are doing is it’s a next step in the generation of technology being all throughout our lives,” said Kyle Ellicott, the founder of ReadWrite Labs.