Per block while in Consensus Group
Proof of Coverage
The Helium blockchain uses a novel work algorithm called “Proof of Coverage” (PoC) to verify that Hotspots are located where they claim. Put another way, PoC tries to verify, on an ongoing basis, that Hotspots are honestly representing their location and the wireless network coverage they are creating from that location.
Helium Consensus Protocol
The Helium blockchain uses a new consensus protocol based on a variant of the HoneyBadgerBFT (HBBFT) protocol, which has the following characteristics:
Permissionless – Any Hotspot operating in accordance with the consensus rules and network specifications should be able to participate freely in the Helium Network.
Truly decentralized by design – No incentive should be available for taking advantage of factors like inexpensive energy cost or deploying more hardware in the same location.
Byzantine Fault Tolerant – The protocol should be tolerant of Byzantine failures such that consensus can still be reached as long as a threshold of participants are acting honestly. For this, we selected a variant known as HoneyBadgerBFT detailed below.
Based on useful work – Achieving network consensus should be useful and reusable to the network. In Nakamoto Consensus-based systems like the bitcoin blockchain, work performed to achieve consensus is only valid for a specific block. By comparison, Helium’s consensus system should perform work that is both useful and reusable to the network beyond simply securing the blockchain.
High rate of confirmed transactions – The protocol should be able to achieve a high number of transactions per second, and once the transaction is seen by the blockchain it should be assumed confirmed. Users sending device data through the Helium Network cannot tolerate long block settlement times typical of other blockchains.
Censorship-resistant transactions – Hotspots should not be able to censor or otherwise select / deselect transactions to be included in a block.
The Helium Token
The Helium Token is the native cryptocurrency and protocol token of the Helium blockchain and is designed to serve the needs of the two primary parties in the Helium blockchain ecosystem:
Hotspot Hosts and Network Operators – Hosts and validators mine HNT while validating transactions and deploying and maintaining network coverage.
Enterprises and developers using the Helium Network – to connect devices and build IoT applications. Data Credits, which are a $USD-pegged utility token derived from HNT in a burn transaction, are used to pay transaction fees for wireless data transmissions on the network (in addition to things like adding Hotspots and sending).
The Helium Community
The Helium Community uses a governance mechanism called Helium Improvement Proposals (known as “HIPs”). Modeled on BIPs from the Bitcoin community, HIPs are used to introduce, debate, and approve/reject new changes to major elements of the Network like the core blockchain, $HNT token economics, and Network governance itself.
Staking on Helium
Staking on Helium requires us to run custom hardware on your behalf. We charge a monthly fee per node which is a combination of fiat (EUR or USD) and a percent of your earned HNT rewards. Our fees are quite reasonable and there are no long-term commitments, you simply pay each month.
We do not operate a Helium staking pool, we only operate full nodes for our customers. In order to stake with us you will need 10,000 HNT per node. Our staking service is non-custodial, which means that you never lose control or custody of your HNT tokens.
There are several pricing options that you can choose from. We would be happy to discuss them with you should you wish to stake.