A democratized approach to 5G connectivity, Helium hotspot mining allows users to keep physical mining devices in their homes that can connect with others for a strong network. Miners receive payment in the form of Helium cryptocurrency (HNT) based on how many people they're able to connect.
Devices that use a Helium network
First, let's get one thing straight. The Helium network isn't the same thing as Wi-Fi. It's something called Long-Fi—a radio signal that can connect low-power devices using minimal internet connectivity.
These devices include:
- Dog collars like trackers or invisible fence devices
- Soil sensors in farms
- Water cooler bottle level trackers
- Ring cameras
These are just a few examples of devices that might use a Long-Fi connection provided by a network of Helium mining devices.
The reach for Helium hotspots depends on where you live and who's around you.
The Helium network requires PoC (proof-of-coverage) to function. This just means that there needs to be a viable network of miners within a certain range of each other to validate their positions (which they do through challenges).
Also, those who live in cities with a more robust base of Long-Fi users will garner more use than those in rural areas.
With that said, you don't want too many devices in your home or they can compete with each other and you won't earn as many Helium coins. An estimated 0.2 miles is a good distance to maintain.
How people can make money with Helium
This is the part that everyone wants to know. A Helium hotspot miner can earn money as soon as they set up their device.
Here are the five ways miners earn Helium:
- When something tries to send information over the Long-Fi network using your hotspot
- When a mining device initiates a PoC challenge
- When your device participates in a PoC challenge
- When your device serves as a witness to PoC challenges in your area
- Joining a consensus group, aka a group of elected hotspots that create blocks on the blockchain
These are all passive methods of earning Helium, which is why so many people find Helium hotspot mining attractive. People can make anywhere from $1.70 to $260 per day (give or take), depending on how populated their region is and if there are miners near them.
A Helium wallet holds your cryptocurrency payouts
The Helium app has a wallet for the coins you earn. You can hold or sell Helium coins and even send them to friends. The accounts are very secure and require 12 one-word passwords to access.
If you're ready to tap out of some of your Helium holdings, you can exchange them for Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency on major exchanges like Binance or Coindesk.
Helium coins are currently worth $16.34 per coin, with 37 percent of the 223 million max supply circulating.
Helium mining hardware is becoming harder to find, but you can score it here.
Three of the top contenders for Helium mining devices are:
Nebra and CalChip are already sold out with resupplies extending months out. The Bobcat miner is in stock as of this writing and retails for $429. Make sure to purchase one that's suitable for your region and provides the right radio frequency.