Helium Founder Explains Why Crypto Wireless Network is Moving to Solana – Decrypt | Jewelry Dukan


  • Helium, a crypto wireless network, will switch to Solana from its own blockchain.
  • In conversation with decryptNetwork Founder Amir Haleem discusses the challenges Helium is facing with its current technology and the opportunities on Solana.

Helium, the crypto-powered wireless network, will officially transition from its own blockchain Solana after a community vote on a proposal. Ultimately over 81% of token-based votes advocated migration.

And it could happen quickly. The Helium Foundation announced a Q4 launch for the transition, and in an interview at the Helium House event in New York City on Tuesday, Amir Haleem, co-founder of the network and CEO of Nova Labs said decrypt that he is “optimistic” about achieving that goal.

According to Haleem, the Nova Labs team — which represents the founders and key contributors to the decentralized Helium network — has already been working on the off-chain oracles to enable the new Solana-powered design. He described the forthcoming on-chain work, including minting and redeeming tokens, as “quite a lot easier” in comparison.

It’s another important step for the Helium network. helium began with a decentralized wireless network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices like sensors and trackers that rewards users tokens for running nodes and sharing their connectivity. Now this network approaching a million active nodes after rapid growth since early 2021.

Helium now wants to do the same with a 5G network for smartphones that now has 4,500 active nodes — and only Nova Labs announced Helium Mobilea future phone service that will use both the Helium 5G network and T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network.

But to scale these networks and accommodate other wireless protocols In the future, Haleem said, the infrastructure would have to change.

When Helium started building the network in 2017, he said the developers didn’t believe it even then ether— with its limited transaction throughput and sometimes escalating fees — a distributed wireless network could handle at scale. Other options were limited at the time, so the founders built their own Layer 1 blockchain network.

But that has also caused problems. Haleem said that everything is “very tightly intertwined” in the current model, including Helium’s proof-of-coverage and data transmission elements, and that trying to fix or change one thing can have unintended consequences for other parts of the network.

“Everything is like one big, monolithic block,” Haleem said decrypt. “Fast iterations were difficult. Anything you touch…it was basically a massive, Jenga-like tower. You move down a block and the thing starts shaking and we’ve had downtime and outages.”

Helium’s LoRaWAN (IoT) network coverage is now widespread, but Haleem said it needs a more reliable backbone to appeal to certain types of businesses and customers who could leverage that coverage for their products. “The reliability of [network data] Basically, packages have to be perfect, right?” he said. “98% is not good enough, 99% is not good enough.”

In other words, looking at Haleem and Nova Labs at least, it’s less about Solana and more about scaling and expanding the Helium ecosystem. Other Layer 1 blockchain networks could have worked as well. But there are reasons why Helium’s core developers chose Solana after months of deliberation.

One is speed, since Solana can process thousands of transactions per second at peak times: “You can do stuff and it’s going to happen instantly,” Haleem said. He compared the performance to that of a Web2 app, which is ideal given what he claims are many Helium users who aren’t crypto die-hards.

Solana has also addressed its own stability issues, including downtime only in June– which some helium followers quickly noticed when the proposal was published. However following recent network upgradesSolana has appeared more stable than ever. Haleem said Solana developers are “madly focused on this issue,” and he’s confident stability issues won’t persist.

There’s also a more technical reason why Helium’s core team chose Solana: The Helium wallet’s current private keys are compatible with Solana, Haleem said, which is not the case with some other blockchains. That should ease the transition for users, allowing tokens to “magically” move to Solana without requiring “confirmative action” for current holders,” he added.

More broadly, Helium’s developers wanted to leverage a more mature blockchain network to tap into the broader crypto ecosystem and provide access to additional wallets. DeFi Protocols and various decentralized apps and marketplaces. In other words, users can easily take their Solana-based HNT tokens elsewhere and explore more of the crypto world.

Joining the existing Solana space means Helium’s developers can focus just on the wireless network, rather than having to build an entire ecosystem around it.

“For me, that’s the biggest win,” Haleem said. “That’s really the story here.”

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