Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.
Its native token HNT has surged by over 5.5% to trade at more than $25 in the last 24 hours.
Helium, an Internet of Things connectivity company, has become the latest crypto unicorn startup after hitting a $1.2 billion valuation in a $200 million Series D funding round led by Tiger Global Management, a New York-based investment firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY), etc. The company also announced that it is changing its name to Nova Labs Inc.
According to Nova Labs founder and Chief Executive Officer Amir Haleem, the rebranding is meant to draw a clear line between the company and the helium blockchain meant to be managed by its users. This follows the speculations that the rebranding was due to bad press.
He further disclosed that the company plans on using the fund to create new products that rely on the helium wireless network.
The network depends on a device called a hotspot that people purchase and place in their homes. The company was founded in 2013 and later switched to a crypto-powered incentive model in 2019 after it was proposed and agreed that users who install hotspots should be rewarded with cryptos. Also, its blockchain is backed by a “Proof of Consensus” algorithm said to be more energy-efficient compared to the “Proof of Work” used by Bitcoin.
It has come out with several collaborations in the last couple of years including its partnership deal with connectivity company FreedomFi. The Helium community also voted last year to make it the first consumer-owned 5G network.
Its operation has not always been a smooth ride. It had constantly been affected by extensive shipping delays and supply chain issues. This frustrated potential miners who had to wait for up to a year to receive their equipment, slowing the expansion of the network.
The “People’s Network” has also recorded an impressive growth of about 680,000 mining hotspots online. Nova Labs Chief Operating Officer Frank Mong disclosed that 75,000 hotspots are added monthly. It is worth noting that hotspot owners provide spare bandwidth in exchange for HNT tokens. He further stated that an estimate of about 50,000 cities across the world has hotspots with 5,000 cities added each month. Mong re-emphasized that the technology would be managed by the Helium Foundation, and would be community-driven.
“It will be community-run, community-driven, community-owned, and -governed. And Nova Labs, the original creators, not only are we still participants but we’re still investing in driving growth and innovation,” he said.