The chief operating officer of Helium told us the 3 key factors that affect how much the crypto’s miners can earn — and how the network has grown to include over 230,000 hotspots, with another 1,000 hotspots joining every day
Vicky Ge Huang Oct 14, 2021, 10:00 AM
- Frank Mong is the chief operating officer of Helium, which connects IoT devices to the internet.
- Mong told Insider how the network has grown dramatically thanks to crypto miners and early adopters.
- He also shares 3 key factors that affect how much Helium miners can earn with their hotspots.
When Helium (HNT) mining exploded onto the scene a few months ago, Frank Mong, chief operating officer of the internet-of-things startup, was caught by surprise. What didn’t surprise him was how fast the network would grow from there.
Launched in August 2019, the Helium blockchain draws on a decentralized network of individually owned hotspots to connect low-powered internet of things devices to the internet.
These hotspots typically generate enough connection for low-powered devices such as air quality sensors, tracking sensors for scooters, and pet trackers to connect to the internet. For example, bike-share company Lime tracks its bikes with Helium.
Mong recalled that he first realized the power of the network while testing it out with Lime scooters in San Francisco. Lime employees would take the scooters and purposely hide them all over the city for the Helium team to find them through the blockchain network.
“Every single time, we found them. We did this for weeks and I was literally riding on Lime scooters testing the network, testing the coverage, and making sure that it had a useful capacity,” Mong told Insider. “That’s when it hit me that this network could be extremely powerful, with a ton of applications that we haven’t even thought of.”
In just over two years, the Helium network has grown to include 232,193 hotspots in 19,000 cities across 136 countries, as of midday Wednesday. The network growth has seen no signs of slowing, with more than 1,000 hotspots joining the network every single day, according to Mong and the Helium block explorer.
“I think we’ve hit this flywheel effect on network growth and that has enabled a lot of things to happen,” he said.
Most recently, Helium partnered with the city of San Jose, California to finance internet access for over 1,300 low-income households with HNT tokens mined through Helium hotspots. The city will install 20 Helium-compatible hotspots for volunteer residents and small businesses. All the HNT tokens mined will be converted into prepaid cash cards and given directly to low-income families to fund their internet expenses.
How to mine HNT tokens
Helium mining has grown so rapidly because it is easy, low-cost, and environmentally friendly, according to Mong.
Helium mining hotspots use 5 watts of energy to provide long-range wireless coverage, which has a negligible effect on miners’ electricity bills. The cost of mining hardware is typically between $400 and $500, which is accessible, he said.
“This is not a bitcoin miner or ethereum miner that costs thousands of dollars with a need for tons of power,” he added.
There are two ways to mine HNT tokens, which had surged about 1,297% in the past year to trade at $19.37 as of Wednesday afternoon.
One method is to simply install Helium-compatible hotspots on your office window. As long as the hotspots can communicate with each other and prove to the blockchain that they are providing useful coverage, they can mine the HNT tokens through the network’s proof-of-coverage algorithm.
The other way is through usage. Internet-of-things devices or sensors have to pay something called a data credit to transport data through the Helium network. When one data credit, which equals $0.00001, is taken out, a fraction of one HNT token is burned.
The number of data credits users can obtain changes as the value of HNT fluctuates, but one data credit always allows users to transmit one packet of data, giving enterprises the stability to use the network and obtain tokens.
3 factors that affect how much miners can earn
Stories of helium miners generating substantial passive income on the side have mushroomed in recent months.
Brian Fakhoury, a 23-year-old analyst at Underscore VC, said he has made over $150,000 mining HNT tokens over the past two years. James Putra, who oversees product strategy at TradeStation Crypto, said he earned close to $7,000 mining HNT tokens in just a week. Fundstrat’s digital asset strategist Armando Aguilar also mines HNT tokens with a Bobcat miner on the side.
Such profitability may not be sustainable over the long term. One of the factors that affect miners’ revenues is simply the supply-and-demand dynamic. With no pre-mine HNT tokens, the total supply of HNT tokens is capped at 223 million, with a halving event taking place every two years.
“A few months ago, the monthly supply available for mining was 5 million HNT per month,” Mong said. “We had a halving in August. Since then, there’s been a max HNT supply of 2.5 million per month, and that’s split across your performance.”
Despite limited supply, there are more than 1,000 hotspots being added to the network every day, which could reduce earnings per hotspot as well. “The sheer number of hotspots added to the network affects the total potential mining revenue that you can gain because you are now splitting it across more hotspots,” he said.
The location of the hotspot is also critical. Mong said the best wireless coverage is achieved when the hotspot is installed in a place that’s high up and free of obstructions such as trees and metals. It is also important for a hotspot to be near other hotspots so that they can communicate with each other.
Because the helium blockchain rewards people for creating useful coverage, miners could be penalized by the blockchain if they are providing coverage that’s not useful, Mong said.
For example, when multiple hotspots are placed in the same dense area on top of each other or placed in the middle of nowhere, they may not be able to transfer data efficiently.
Kraken Hints at Listing SHIB, Elon Musk Slams U.S. Inflation, OpenSea Burns $400 Million Worth of ETH: Crypto News Digest by U.Today
Kraken hints at listing Shiba Inu
A recent tweet by Kraken’s product lead, Brian Hoffman, stirred up the Shiba Inu community. In his post on the social media platform, Hoffman said that he was “feeling good” about the upcoming week, adding a Shiba Inu GIF. Two weeks ago, Kraken announced that it would add support for the meme coin, but then decided to take its time, saying that there is more work to be done. It is unclear, though, whether the exchange is going to keep its promise this time since the aforementioned post is no longer on Hoffman’s Twitter account.
$6 billion worth of Ethereum moved from a wallet to the Kraken exchange
Yesterday, the Whale Alert crypto tracker detected several large transactions, carrying a total of 1.25 million Ethereum, or $6 billion in fiat equivalent. The funds were moved from the “unknown wallet” to the Kraken centralized exchange. According to the Etherscan data, 100% of funds have been transacted from the Kraken cold wallet. The reasons behind these transactions are the increasing funds inflows and users continuously withdrawing their funds from exchanges due to the strong bullish trend on the market and the deflationary path of Ethereum.
Elon Musk and Dogecoin’s Billy Markus criticize U.S. inflation
The topic of U.S. inflation has been raised by many economic experts as well as crypto influencers. Now, Elon Musk and Dogecoin creator Billy Markus decided to join the choir of those who are displeased by the current state of United States inflation rates. The Tesla CEO showed support for the Blockworks tweet about the dollar losing 91% of its purchasing power in the last 70 years, claiming that inflation is “the most regressive tax of all.” The Dogecoin developer joined Musk; Markus added that the U.S. mainstream media is trying to hide the real impact of inflation on the country’s economy by portraying it as something “good.”
$400 million worth of ETH burned by OpenSea
According to data from ultrasound.money, more than 10% of 892,000 burned Ethereum coins is coming from NFT marketplace OpenSea. It remains the biggest coin burner since the beginning of the NFT rally that started back in August with its peak in September. At the moment, OpenSea has burned a total of 100,854 ETH, which is around $400 million worth of coins. Before the update, the same amount of coins would have been transferred to miners who would then sell it on an exchange.
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The growth of the non-fungible token sector continues, with the most recent data showing that the number of Google searches has reached a new all-time high.
At the same time, the trading volume on the leading NFT marketplace – OpenSea – saw a massive uptick following several weeks of decline.
NFT Google Searches Through the Roof
Aside from the massive price records charted by the likes of BTC, ETH, SOL, BNB, etc., and the enhanced institutional and mainstream adoption, 2021 will go down in history as NFTs’ breakout year.
Although non-fungible tokens were not invented this year, they managed to garner the attention of people and companies from all types of industries – from musicians and athletes to investors and even politicians.
The ability to allow famous individuals to strengthen their relationships with fans brought countless new participants to the NFT space, including retail.
This narrative received further confirmation by Google trends, which is typically a good indicator of retail investors’ behavior.
The number of “NFT” queries on the world’s largest search engine reached its previous peak in March, which was later duplicated in late August and early September. After a brief decline, the searches started to increase again in October and have seen a new record now.
The situation with “buy NFT” searches is rather similar as they have reached a new peak as well.
OpenSea’s Trading Volume
OpenSea is among the leading NFT marketplaces that exemplify the growth of the entire sector quite distinctively. Its total trading volume for the whole of 2020 was just 21 million, while the metric skyrocketed to $1 billion by April this year and reached $10 billion earlier in November.
Its daily peak came on August 29th with more than $300 million, according to DuneAnalytics. Since then, though, the trading volume was gradually declining aside from a few sudden and brief spikes.
Such was the case during the weekend when the trading volume went from below $50 million to north of $100 million. This was mainly because of an increase in sales volumes for Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, which went up by nearly 1,000% in a day.
Trader Who Called Latest Bitcoin Correction Says XRP Is One Resistance Away From Rallying to New All-Time High
A popular crypto strategist and trader is highlighting a crucial resistance area for XRP that it must take out to clear the way for a new all-time high.
Pseudonymous crypto analyst Credible tells his 263,300 followers that XRP is currently taking it one level at a time and should see clear skies to new all-time highs (ATH) once it breaches a high timeframe (HTF) resistance.
“Once we manage to clear $1.70 on HTF, we are going to absolutely take off targeting new ATH… You can see here why this region, in general, is so significant.”
According the Credible’s chart, the area between $1.50 – $1.70 was the point of breakdown in May, which ignited a multi-month bear trend for the seventh-largest crypto asset until it bottomed out in July.
Looking at Bitcoin, Credible says that BTC is primed for a short-term bounce after retesting support around $62,000.
“[BTC] decided to take the lows first. Let’s run it back to $66,000 = now. Note that while BTC made a local lower low here, most alts did NOT. This is a good sign.”
On November 8th, when Bitcoin rallied above $67,000, Credible predicted the rally would fall short and BTC would go through a short-term pullback.
The crypto strategist is also looking at Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR), which is a public network for peer-to-peer payments. According to Credible, HBAR looks bullish after climbing above a critical level.
“Ladies, gents, and HBAR-barians, we just got our first confirmed daily close above the supply zone that I was referring to below ($0.42). Buckle up. Your patience is about to be handsomely rewarded.”
Credible also says most altcoins look bullish despite the recent across-the-board correction.
“Downside limited from current levels. Most alts took big hits but ultimately were retesting key breakout levels and have maintained their bullish structure, leaving long [liquidation] wicks in their wake. This was just a shakeout and most of the damage is done in my opinion.”
Pseudonymous cryptocurrency entrepreneur and analyst who goes by @TechDev_52 on Twitter unveiled one more pattern that can be fruitful in the identification of a Bitcoin (BTC) macro cycle peak.
2.272 (Log), 5.618 (Linear): Crucial levels to watch
According to the latest tweet shared by @TechDev_52, the performance of Bitcoin (BTC), the flagship cryptocurrency, repeats itself on macro level.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1459128547642126338&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fu.today%2Fcrypto-analyst-shared-one-more-simple-indicator-for-btc-bull-run-peak&sessionId=8c2757728c84777f5148cc68c2ee270aad2f2147&siteScreenName=Utoday_en&theme=light&widgetsVersion=f001879%3A1634581029404&width=550px
Should we take 1.272 as the Fibonacci level for the bottom of the Bitcoin (BTC) cycle, the 2.272 level would safely predict its peak. This assumption worked perfectly in both the 2013 and 2017 cycles.
This calculation works if the Fibonacci Retracement Levels are applied on a logarithmic scale.
On a linear scale, the Bitcoin (BTC) bull run peak can be found at the 5.618 level. If true, Bitcoin (BTC) might print the peak of its next bullish cycle over $233,000, or roughly 3.6x from today’s price.
What can RSI tell us
One of the commentators below the tweet indicated the $233,000 level as the next Bitcoin (BTC) peak is also confirmed by the “Golden Triangle,” a sophisticated macro technical analysis pattern. The crypto king may reach the highs between Dec. 2021 and March 2022.
As covered by U.Today previously, @TechDev_52 also shared a report on how to utilize the Relative Strength Index (RSI) to find out when Bitcoin (BTC) approaches the final phase of its bull run.
What will happen on November 14
On Nov. 14, the Securities and Exchange Commission of the U.S. will give the industry its final decision on the approval or disapproval of the first physically-backed Bitcoin ETF in the U.S.
The approval of the new fund will be another step toward mass adoption and the creation of exposure for institutional investors without additional rolling costs and issues that are currently tied to the existing futures-based ETFs.
The main difference between current ETFs and VanEck’s product
The key difference between the two financial products is the type of exposure that they give. For example, ProShares’ product gives investors exposure to Bitcoin futures rather than Bitcoin itself, while VanEck’s product is designed for physical exposure.Related$140 Million XRP Moved Between Wallets While Someone Purchases 14 Million Coins from Binance
By buying the VanEck shares, investors would be able to expose themselves to Bitcoin directly without losing a significant part of their potential profits due to high roll costs and contango bleed.
What are the chances of approval?
Unfortunately, the SEC’s sentiment toward physical cryptocurrency ETFs has been loud and clear: the commission will not approve any products with underlying assets that they cannot control.
Due to Bitcoin trading being almost completely decentralized, the commission currently cannot directly control the trading process—thus protecting the country’s citizens from possible market manipulations.