Mining always has been an essential part of the Cryptocurrency industry. Without mining, acquiring some of the largest Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) would be physically impossible. Not long ago, a new player has entered the market. In this article, I will address every important aspect of HNT Coin and Helium Mining.
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Without further ado let’s dive into it:
- 1 What is Helium Network?
- 2 What is Helium (HNT) Coin?
- 3 HNT Market Overview
- 4 How To Buy Helium Coin
- 5 HNT Coin Price Prediction
- 6 How To Mine Helium Coin?
- 7 Hotspot placement for better earnings
- 8 How to choose the suitable Hotspot Antenna?
- 9 How to buy Helium miner?
- 10 Frequently asked questions about Helium mining setup
- 10.1 How to maximize mining profits?
- 10.2 How to install outdoor helium miner?
- 10.3 Can I use more than 1 antenna on my hotspot?
- 10.4 Can someone steal and use my hotspot miner?
- 10.5 Which websites should I avoid when purchasing miners?
- 10.6 How to exchange HNT to fiat currency?
- 10.7 Is Helium mining risk-free investment?
- 11 Final Words
What is Helium Network?
We all know what WIFI is right?
It helps people to transfer and receive data wirelessly.
The Helium Network is very similar to WIFI except it’s more cost-effective and peer-to-peer.
There are a few features that make Helium Network stand out from a regular WIFI Network:
- Privacy & Security – It provides total encryption from Device to Cloud.
- Reliability & Scalability – Helium blockchain makes scaling secure & easy.
- Open Sourcing – Helium is committed to open collaboration.
The Helium Blockchain is a new blockchain built from the total scratch to encourage the creation of decentralized, public wireless networks.
It’s based on a new, work algorithm called Proof-of-Coverage (PoC).
PoC rewards miners in HNT, the native token of the Helium blockchain for helping to build and develop the network.
What is Helium (HNT) Coin?
Helium (HNT) is a decentralized blockchain-powered network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
It provides real-life usage unlike most of the duplicate coins on the market.
HNT is a new cryptocurrency Hotspots earn for providing and validating wireless coverage and when devices on the network connect to the Internet through Hotspots.
Launched in July 2019, the Helium network allows low-powered wireless devices to communicate with each other and send data across its network of nodes.
Nodes come in the form of so-called Hotspots, which are a combination of a wireless gateway and a Blockchain mining device.
To clarify, users who operate nodes thus mine and earn rewards in Helium’s native Cryptocurrency token, HNT.
Helium’s mission is to make IoT communication much more refined and prepared for the future.
HNT Market Overview
At the time of writing, a single HNT coin is worth $7.45 with a market cap of $549,129,911.
Currently, Helium ranks as the 97th largest Cryptocurrency on the market.
Just in a single week price has surged from $4.18 to $7.45. That is a 78% increase in just seven days and the coin is still showing bullish signs for future growth.
There is a total supply of 223,000,000 HNT. Currently only 73,602,046 (33%) HNT is in circulation.
HNT distribution is divided into three different sectors:
- Network Data Transfer (30%) – Rewarded for hearing devices and relaying their packets to the internet.
- Hotspot Infrastructure (35%) – Rewarded for participating in, witnessing, and creating Proof-of-Coverage (PoC) challenges.
- Helium, Inc., and Investors (35%) – Assigned to founders, investors, and organizations who will manage blockchain governance.
How To Buy Helium Coin
Unfortunately, most of the platforms don’t have Helium coin added to their trading pairs yet.
It’s highly likely that more and more exchanges will add HNT as coin’s popularity grows.
It’s up to you which exchange you will use to buy HNT.
Binance and Crypto.com also allow trading the coin in HNT/USDT and HNT/BTC pairs.
Note: You can read more about Binance in our ultimate Binance review.
HNT Coin Price Prediction
I look at HNT as one of the sleeping giants which’s potential has not been discovered yet.
Helium coin is not your average Cryptocurrency, which is similar to hundreds of others on the market.
I believe that its current market cap ($ 549,129,911) is relatively small compared to the important role HNT can play in modern technology’s development. Also, imagine the number of funds that will flow in Helium after other major exchanges besides Binance add it to coin selection.
As more and more money flows into the Cryptocurrency market day by day, reaching a market cap of at least $ 1,000,000,000 is very achievable.
That is to say, with Helium’s presumable integration in the modern world, I expect it to reach more than $15/coin in the nearest future.
How To Mine Helium Coin?
This is where things get even more interesting.
I think that hotspot mining will be a great competition for GPUs.
To mine HNT with hotspots you use radio technology, not expensive or wasteful GPUs.
Forget high electricity bills and complicated set-up procedures. HNT miner is the thing you were looking for without even realizing it.
What do I need to start mining Helium?
A Simple Hotspot device and internet connection are enough for you to start Helium mining.
Just download the mobile application on your phone and activate the hotspot. The hotspot will start transferring device data and earning HNT.
Energy consumption and work model
Hotspots provide miles of wireless network coverage for millions of devices around you using Helium LongFi. You receive HNT as a reward.
And because of an innovative proof-of-work model (we call it “Proof-of-Coverage”), your Hotspot only uses 5W of electricity an hour.
That basically $10 in a year. Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it?
Helium miners’ pricing
The price varies from $300 to $600. Depending on the hotspot model you want to get.
Because of the high demand, all hotspot devices are currently out of stock.
On eBay people are selling each for 2-3X of the original price. The buyers’ side is willing to overpay for the product just so they can get the miners as soon as possible. That’s how you can tell that thing is really hot at the moment.
Choosing the right radio frequency
Before you purchase your Hotspot miner it will ask for the frequency of your country. Every continent has its own frequency:
- EU – 868
- AU – 915
- AS – 923
- CN – 470
- RU – 864
- IN – 865
- KR – 920
- US – 915
If you are not sure about your country’s frequency check LoRaWAN Frequency Plans and Regulations by Country.
How much can I earn with Helium mining?
Profitability depends on the total amount of miners that are in your area and the device data your hotspots transfer.
Hotspots earn HNT for transferring device data over the network.
The more device data a Hotspot transfers, the more it earns.
Hotspot’s location, availability and number of witnesses around it highly affect your earnings.
What brings your miner the most earnings is the number of challenges it participates in.
For better understanding, here are the current statistics:
- 3-5 Witnesses > 150 HNT per month
- 5-15 Witnesses > 500 HNT per month
- 15< Witnesses > 800 HNT per month
Hotspot Miners earn more HNT when they’re in range of other miners, but need to be at least 300-350 meters apart.
Single HNT Hotspot Miners earn less as they can only issue Challenges over the internet, and can’t participate in Proof-of-Coverage.
Take a look at the coverage map to see the number of hotspots in your local area.
Consider that HNT’s first halving date is the 1st of August.
Halving will cut the profitability of mining by 50% however it will most likely increase the value of the HNT coin.
In addition to that, as the total number of hotspots increases, the reward each hotspot receives decreases.
This happens because there is only a limited amount of HNT that should be paid to Miners.
Hotspot placement for better earnings
Correct hotspot placement is very important for maximizing your profits.
It’s recommended to place your hotspots in a clear line of sight to other hotspots and as high as possible.
Obstacles like walls or even windows can negatively affect the coverage of your miner.
Elevating the gateway gives your hotspot potential to reach other miners in 15km (12.5mi) radius and even further.
Image below perfectly describes the importance of a line of sight.
How to choose the suitable Hotspot Antenna?
The antenna is an essential part of the Helium Hotspot which transfers signals between the devices.
In the image below, you can see the coverage of different antennas.
The higher the dBi antenna is, the more narrow and longer its signal coverage gets.
However, a higher dBi Helium Hotspot Antenna doesn’t mean better earnings.
In some instances using the stock antenna that comes with a miner should be just fine. The selection is situational.
Some might say that the more elevated antenna is the better.
Well, that seems not to always be the case.
For example, the image below will show you exactly what I mean by this:
In simple words, lower dBi will provide better coverage in hilly terrain. While higher dBi will provide better coverage in flat terrain.
You can find out whether you have a clear line of sight between Hotspots on RF Line of Sight.
In addition, you can check the density of Hotspot Miners on Original Hexmap.
Unfortunately, the original hexmap provides information only about Helium Miners in the USA. But it will give you a general idea of how it would be in your area.
It is important for the frequency of your antenna to be the same as the hotspot’s frequency.
To sum up, if you plan to place your miners in a hilly area it’s better to buy a low dBi antenna such as 3dBi Glass Fiber LoRa Antenna.
But, If you plan to place your miners in a flat area it’s better to buy a high dBi antenna such as 8dBi Fiber Glass Antenna.
How to buy Helium miner?
There is a wide choice for the Helium hotspot miners.
Nebra, Bobcat, and Rakwireless have fairly good hotspots and will provide a great helium mining experience.
However, there are few differences that I am going to address below.
Nebra Hotspot Miner
So far Nebra miners have been approved by the community and tested by Helium itself.
And they offer shipping to every region.
Indoor vs Outdoor Miner
The biggest difference is the outdoor unit comes in a case that is suitable for outside usage and has a few extra features.
You can confidently place outdoor miners in mixed environments without worrying about their functionality.
Indoor hotspot’s 3dBi antenna is made from plastic while outdoor hotspot’s 3dBi antenna is made from glass fiber.
It’s a matter of personal preference and the environment you want to place your Hotspots in.
If you want an outdoor miner but can not connect it to ethernet, consider getting a mini-card with 4G coverage.
It will give your outdoor hotspot 4G internet access, with no need for an ethernet cable.
The Nebra hotspot miners come with two options for managing your hotspot remotely:
- Basic (Free) – This includes built-in auto-update functionality (via an auto updater-script) for the life of the device at no extra charge.
- Advanced (Paid) – The advanced plan includes a management dashboard allowing you to remotely manage your fleet of miners, check device stats, hotspot performance, and more. This is a paid service but you get 6 months free with the device purchase. This may not be available from when they first ship but everyone who purchases before the launch of the management platform will get at least 6 months free once it becomes available.
UPDATE: Unfortunately Nebra miners are no longer available for purchase at this moment. However, based on their 13th May update they are planning to reopen pre-orders at the beginning of June.
Bobcat miners cost $429 (excluding Tax).
Out of all Helium miners, Bobcat has the highest 4 dBi antenna.
Meaning it has a better proof-of-coverage compared to the other miners and earns more HNT.
Its signal allows the miner to connect with other witnesses in +10 miles range.
In terms of storage capacity, Bobcat has a 64GB storage flashcard.
While most of the other miners have only 32GB.
The shipping time estimates to 8-12 weeks from placing an order.
Rakwireless miners have the lowest cost ($345 Including Tax).
It has the lowest 2.8 dBi antenna and 32GB storage card.
However, the lower price of Rakwireless miner saves you enough to buy an 8 dBi antenna bundle and makes your earnings even bigger.
As I’ve mentioned before, higher dBi antennas are not always the best choice.
Instead, you should consider getting an antenna based on your terrain and the range between you and other local hotspots.
Similarly to Bobcat, shipping time is 8-12 weeks after placing an order.
UPDATE: Unfortunately Rakwireless miners are no longer available to purchase and there is no date when they will restock.
Frequently asked questions about Helium mining setup
How to maximize mining profits?
- Make sure your hotspot has a good internet connection and is always online.
- Try to create as clear line of sight for your gateway as possible.
- Choose the antenna based on your environment and hotspots around you.
- Do not overcrowd. Make sure your hotspot is 300-350m away from other hotspots.
How to install outdoor helium miner?
No need to get anxious. Installing outdoor hotspot is way easier than it seems.
Nebra Outdoor miner supports PoE (Power Over Ethernet).
Therefore, the best way to install it is using Ethernet cable.
Just put your hotspot in a desirable place, connect the Ethernet cable and you are ready to go.
Can I use more than 1 antenna on my hotspot?
Yes, technically you can split the cable into more than 1 antenna.
However, I would not recommend you doing that.
Your antenna will lose the dBi power and the miner will most likely generate less.
Can someone steal and use my hotspot miner?
Helium hotspot miners have strong encryption.
Once you set up the miner and register the device under your wallet nobody can use it except you.
Even if it gets stolen, hotspots can not be reset.
You will have 12 word security phrase to access your HNT wallet. Do not store it online nor share it with someone else.
Which websites should I avoid when purchasing miners?
With a great increase of Helium network’s popularity, the number of online scams increased greatly as well.
When buying a Helium hotspot make sure to buy them from an authorized Helium manufacturers.
Here’s the list of fake websites that you should definitely AVOID when shopping for Helium miners:
How to exchange HNT to fiat currency?
You will need to send HNT from your Helium wallet to an exchange that supports HNT and sell it for the national currency.
Is Helium mining risk-free investment?
No, definitely not.
Helium is basically a start-up network which is currently competing with already well-established telecommunication companies.
It can either be the next big thing (which I believe is very possible) and greatly reward its investors or flop like many other start-ups out there.
Invest according to your finances. Do not invest what you can not afford to lose.
To sum up, what worked really well a couple of years ago might not work with the same efficiency now.
Technology consistently evolves and to stay at the top of your game you need to see through the changes.
GPUs had their time when they were literally peaking.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still make a good profit with GPU mining today. But, it’s more of a hassle than it was back in the days.
I believe that Helium Network and Hotspot Mining is going to be one of the biggest projects in the nearest future.
Whether you do it for technology or just for a pure profit, getting involved in Hotspot Mining is a risk worth taking.
Have any further questions? Join our Helium community on Facebook and get answers from people who are already mining HNT.
Note: Don't risk losing your cryptocurrencies due to holding them on an exchange. Read our Ultimate Hardware Wallet Guide to keep your coins safe and sleep tight at night.