• “Ethereum was just too slow,” one Helium network participant said recently
  • The move is intended to help Helium scale its operations and user base

Helium, a peer-to-peer blockchain network designed for the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) that works to connect devices via emerging wireless technology is likely to transition from its own cryptocurrency onto Solana’s proof-of-stake blockchain. 

Helium’s network operates by offering crypto tokens to community members willing to run nodes to share internet with other users,and the protocol’s core developers recently launched a 5G network for tablet devices. 

The proposal, dubbed HIP 70, is trying to improve the operational efficiency and scalability of Helium’s network by moving its ability to verify hotspot locations and hot spot transferability capabilities onto Solana.

“Such a move would bring significant economies of scale through the vast range of composable Solana developer tools, features, and applications,” The Helium Foundation, the governing steward for the decentralized wireless networks powered by Helium’s network, wrote in a blog post. 

According to Arman Dezfuli-Arjomandi, host of the crypto-oriented “Hotspot podcast,” Helium needed to build its own Blockchain when the protocol first started as “there was no blockchain that this could have been built on that existed at the time.”

“Ethereum was just too slow,” Dezfuli-Arjomandi said on a recent Twitter Spaces. “The other alternatives weren’t all that appealing, maybe had certain controversies or drawbacks that would not have made it possible to build.”

Now, three years after the blockchain’s genesis, Helium’s growth ambitions have outgrown its own blockchain, and the move to Solana will be necessary for Helium to remain competitive and “meet the demands of current and future users,” according to the proposal. 

“There [are] now a myriad of L1 options to build on. Rather than spend time and effort improving Helium’s L1, it became clear that the Helium community could benefit from the developments and shared resources from the larger industry,” the proposal said.

HIP70 has been in the works for several months, according to The Helium Foundation, which is behind the proposal. 

If the motion passes, all current Helium would be ported to Solana, including the following:

  • HNT, the token earned when a user provides hotspot coverage
  • IOT, a token earned by node operators for providing the original LoRaWAN network,
  • MOBILE, the token earned when 5G coverage is provided 
  • Data Credits (DC), used to pay transaction fees on Helium, would move to Solana.

“This developer ecosystem would start to leverage Helium on-chain and in the real world, accelerating the adoption of Helium across many industry verticals,” the proposal said.

On top of scalability, the potential move would also unlock hotspot beacons once per hour and improve the accuracy of accounting of data credit usage —which is thought by most followers as significantly undercounted at the moment. 

A vote is scheduled for Sept. 12th. Once this — or any — proposal is ready for voting, it will appear on heliumvote.com, and any HNT token holders can participate in governance votes by issuing a small token burn transaction from their wallet to a wallet associated with a ballot option. There are currently 125.2 million HNT tokens in circulation.  

This proposal is expected to receive a significant amount of support from the Helium community and is currently backed by core team members at Helium, including the pseudonymous technical director of Helium, Joey Hiller. 

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  • Bessie Liu

    Blockworks

    Reporter

    Bessie is a New York based crypto reporter who previously worked as a tech journalist for The Org. She completed her master’s degree in journalism at New York University after working as a management consultant for over two years. Bessie is originally from Melbourne, Australia. You can contact Bessie at [email protected]

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