The appeal to mine Helium is that you can earn rewards and the energy cost is “very” small. Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to it.
Mining Helium may be worth it if your in an area where there is low competition and high demand for the service!
Keep reading and I’ll share what Helium is all about, the 2 ways to earn it, 2 major challenges with this crypto project, and how to estimate your mining rewards. Lastly, I’ll share 3 other ideas on mining crypto for rewards.
What is Helium?
Helium was started in 2013. One of the founders was the co-founder of Napster (you know download music illegally.)
The CEO of Helium is Amir Haleem and he is a professional gamer and video game designer. In the year 2000, he placed #1 in a Quake tournament winning $10,000 USD.
Our lives are somewhat dependant on the internet right? Not just computers and phones use the internet, but many other things such as smart devices.
Helium is looking to compete in this field of the internet of things with hotspots and paying people to provide them.
A hotspot is similar to a Wifi router except it’s better. The hotspots submit a signal similar to a radio. They use as much energy as a lightbulb. The range of a Helium Hotstop could be 40 miles and sometimes more if there is nothing blocking the signal.
The benefit of having a hotspot is you earn a cryptocurrency called HNT.
HNT has a max supply of 223 million tokens and started from 0. Some projects automatically give out a bunch to early investors. The price of 1 HNT token is $19 at the time of this post.
Similar to Bitcoin there is a halving event. This means that every 2 years the amount of HNT tokens that will be given out will be cut in half. With Bitcoin every 4 years there is a halving event. (These halving events sure make miners nervous).
With HNT at the current pace, it could take around 50 years before ALL 223 million tokens are in circulation.
This HNT token gets distributed between Validators, Hotspot holders, and Investors.
The strange thing about this project is ALL transaction fees are paid in Data Credits and these are created by destroying HNT. They are pegged to the dollar, every 100,000 Data Credits equal 1 dollar.
Oh, and when the Data Credits are created the HNT token is destroyed.
These credits are similar to prepaid cell phone minutes for the network. You could think of it like a Satoshi unit for Bitcoin.
How to Mine Helium / HNT Tokens?
One of the ways to mine HNT tokens is by operating a Hotspot. The good news is that the energy cost to operate this hotspot is similar to a lightbulb, the bad news is that the device can cost $400-$500 dollars.
You’re probably wondering how much money you will earn if you invest in a Hotspot right? The best answer is go to this site HERE and you can see how much Hotspots are earning near you.
The ones closest to where I live are not earning a lot (around $0.30 cents a day), but I live in a small town. If you live in a bigger city with more demand then you could earn a lot more.
The setup of your antenna also can affect your earnings. The higher your antenna the larger your reach can be and the more money you can earn.
As for what Hotspot manufacture to buy the Voskcoin Youtuber recommends this one HERE.
Earn Helium by Being a Validator?
The second way to earn HNT tokens is to be a validator. The job of a validator is to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain.
They also get rewarded with block rewards. The rewards were larger when there were not many validators, but now there are 2,717 at the time of this blog post.
The APR will be 36% according to the website of Helium. The fine print says this is before the halving and this means every 2 years it gets cut in half. From my understandings, it’s 18% APR now and will be reduced in the future due to this halving.
To become a validator someone needs to stake 10,000 HNT, at the time of this blog post that would be around $190,000 dollars.
To run this node a validator needs to be online at all times. There is no slashing enabled (it’s where they take your money), but if a validator node is offline or has a weak network connection that node will earn fewer rewards. Also slashing may be enabled in the future depending on how things go.
Oh, and it’s discouraged to run a validator at home. There are some serious technical requirements and you can click on the link HERE to learn these requirements.
The bad news (apart from the cost) is that if you unstake your coins you can’t sell them for 5 months.
There is good news if you don’t have 10,000 HNT you can always join a pool. Some of these pools have fees, so you really should do careful research into them.
Here is a list I found on a Reddit post that shares many types of pools you can join.
Future of the Helium Project and Challenges?
Helium does have an interesting idea and with the rollout of 5G, it can be a big player in this space. There is a lot I like about this project!
It reminds me of a network marketing company I joined a long time ago called Excel. I had a lot of fun, made some good money with that company. We mostly just tried to recruit college students to make extra money.
With Helium just recently the first 5G hotspot went live on the network.
Helium wants to have 20,000 5G hotspots set up by the end of the year. One reason 5G hasn’t taken off is central companies are running into infrastructure setbacks, which Helium may be able to overcome.
The cost to set up 5G can be expensive.
Not everything goes up with Helium and this project does have some challenges. One of the biggest challenges is with the competition.
One LARGE challenger is Elon Musk who I really like, even if some people in the crypto universe don’t like him. Some people are just haters and it’s hard not to give the guy credit for ALL the stuff he has built.
During Saturday Night Live when Elon Musk was asked what Dogecoin was maybe he should have said it’s a joke, crypto is a joke and they both cancel each other which makes it NOT a joke. haha.
Didn’t Elon Musk start 5 companies? The Boring Company, SpaceX, Neurolink, Tesla, and Open AI. Oh, and Elon Musk has a project called Starlink that is attempting to provide satellite internet to the world. (Elon will save us all right?)
Another large player is another space guy called Jeff Bezos. Is there anything that Jeff doesn’t want to control? Yep, Amazon is interested in competing in the Internet of things field as well with something called Amazon Sidewalk.
Is Amazon getting too big? Am I the only one nervous about smart devices tracking me? These are just 2 players in this field and there will probably be a lot more.
The second challenge that Helium could face is chip shortages that may drag into the future. This low supply of computer chips and high demand for them could push the price of hotspots up and this could hurt Helium.
Helium has an interesting mining business plan and I do think it’s worth looking into. Back in the day, I used to mine dogecoin from my gaming computer, but the requirements outdid my system.
Another VERY interesting mining business is running a Chainlink node that supplies information to smart contracts. You can do it from a home computer, but requires some technical knowledge.
I tried to run a Chainlink node but lost interest and maybe you might enjoy it. You can learn more about running a chainlink node from the link HERE.
Probably the easiest way to mine crypto is with staking and many projects are moving in this direction. The one project I’m a big fan of is Defichain. A part of it is because it has a strong community. They also have some great ideas and I know the founders.
You can learn more about Defichain by clicking on the link HERE.
I hope this blog post on Is Helium mining is worth it was helpful, bye for now.