Cryptocurrencies are virtual decentralized currencies – i.e. they have no physical basis and are not regulated by government bodies. Like other tangible as well as intangible currencies, their value changes over time.
Helium is one such cryptocurrency that uses device data of hotspots to provide long-range internet, also called Long-Fi. The miner receives HNT that are capped at a certain number, which is decided by the community. Helium is based on radio technology and does not require GPUs to mine. A network (Internet of Things) is created simultaneously as mining takes place. The idea behind Helium is to improve connectivity and provide internet to low-income families. It also makes the act of mining more accessible to aspiring crypto miners who cannot afford powerful GPUs. The ecological impact of crypto mining has been a subject of debate in recent times. The blanket ban on crypto trading in China citing electricity shortage is proof of active dialogue on the ecological and environmental implications of crypto mining. That is another tangent that should be pursued by anyone who is interested in cryptocurrencies.
Another thing to be noted is that the network created by Helium mining cannot support laptops or smartphones. It can only support I.O.T. (Internet of Things) such as smart household objects and whatnot. The proposed pilot program’s sole aim is to provide access to the internet. It’s an adventurous venture and the long-term and short-term effects of this program are yet to be seen. What’s clear is the fact that this program aims at economies where the internet/connectivity is not affordable or accessible.