Helium (HNT) is a decentralized blockchain-powered network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to its website, it is a cryptocurrency earned when Hotspots provide and validate wireless coverage and transfer device data over the network.
HNT was launched in July 2019 and its mainnet allows low-powered wireless devices to communicate with each other and send data across its network of nodes. These nodes come in the form of Hotspots, a combination of a blockchain mining device and a wireless gateway.
This way, users who operate nodes can mine and earn rewards in Helium’s native cryptocurrency token. HNT is mined and distributed to Hotspot Owners, Helium Inc., and Investors. Data Transfer Rewards are issued at a 1:1 ratio to HNT expenditure, and are capped at 30% (in Year 1) of all minted HNT. The remainder is granted to the Proof of Coverage Rewards Pool as a bonus for providing early coverage.
Besides, net Emissions effectively recycle a pool of ‘burned’ HNT available for use in rewarding Hotspots, when there are no longer enough provided through minting. Net Emissions are capped at 1% of current issuance (3,424 HNT minted per epoch) at 34.24 HNT. The system monitors DC usage on the network and adds that amount onto the issuance supply. The Net Emissions allow rewards to exist in later years, while also not extinguishing deflationary pressure after the cap has been reached. After the cap is exceeded, the overall value of the network should increase, satisfying a Burn-and-Mint equilibrium.
The distribution of Helium is supposed to change over time, as it’s explained on the website, in order to align incentives with the needs of the network. “In the early days, a higher proportion of HNT is allocated to Hotspot owners for building and securing coverage. As the network grows, Hotspots earn more for transferring device data on the network while Helium Inc. and investors earn less. After 20 years, distributions no longer adjust and remain fixed.”According to CoinMarketCap, Helium’s price today is US$40,09 with a 24-hour trading volume of US$41.679.142. HNT’s current position at CoinMarketCap’s ranking is number 43, with a live market cap of US$4.208.658.121, a circulating supply of 104.984.696 HNT coins and a maximum supply of 223.000.000 HNT coins.