Revolutionizing Decentralized Wireless Networks: Helium’s Migration to Solana Blockchain
Helium has successfully migrated to Solana blockchain after over a year of planning and development, ushering in a new era of reliability and scalability for decentralized wireless networks. This upgrade establishes a new era of scalability, expansion, and reliability for the world’s largest decentralized wireless network. This article provides an overview of the Helium Network, the reasons for migrating to the Solana blockchain, and the benefits of the upgrade.
Overview of the Helium Network
The Helium Network was launched in 2019 with the mission of delivering a decentralized, open-source, accessible, and secure wireless network for the entire world. The foundation of the network was its own blockchain to incentivize the usage and expansion of a community-built wireless network. Helium is now the largest LoRaWAN network in the world, with almost one million Hotspots deployed since launch and coverage in more than 77,000 towns and cities in 192 countries. The Helium 5G network is also experiencing rapid growth, and the community has deployed more than 8,000 5G radios in less than a year.
Reasons for Migrating to the Solana Blockchain
To keep scaling, however, the Helium community determined last year that a new architecture would be required for its L1 blockchain. Core developers were spending an inordinate amount of time maintaining the Helium blockchain as two foundational elements of the network — proof of coverage and reliable data transfer activity — were becoming challenging for the blockchain to handle. The Helium community determined and successfully voted on a proposal to upgrade the network by migrating to the Solana blockchain, to solve these challenges and set up Helium for long-term success.
Benefits of the Upgrade
- Adding smart contract functionality to the Helium Network unleashes the massive potential for more programmatic features and tools.
- The Solana blockchain offers new smart contract capabilities that provide more utility for the network, including faster transaction speeds.
- The Helium Network can introduce dynamic markets to allocate rewards better based on regional demand.
- The average transaction fee on Solana is $0.00025 compared to $0.35 on Helium blockchain, meaning lower costs and faster transaction speeds.
- Owners of HNT, IOT, or MOBILE tokens can access more markets and provide liquidity in exchange for rewards on platforms such as Orca or Kamino.
- Direct access to DeFi through the open-source Helium Wallet app provides more utility and value for HNT, IOT, and MOBILE token owners.
The migration of the Helium Network to the Solana blockchain marks a significant milestone in the evolution of decentralized wireless networks. The upgrade offers several benefits for network users and the community, including faster transaction speeds, new smart contract capabilities, lower costs, access to DeFi, and more. As the world’s largest LoRaWAN network, Helium is poised to continue its rapid growth and expansion, bringing new applications that create economic efficiencies and close the digital divide. The Helium Foundation and other contributing organizations can now direct more resources toward their shared goals of accelerating the growth of decentralized wireless networks.