Among the cryptocurrencies making headlines this week is Helium (HNT -6.06%), an intriguing blockchain-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) play. This network, which allows users to install Helium hotspots and receive decentralized 5G wireless network coverage, made a big announcement on Tuesday. Developers behind the Helium project put forward a proposal, dubbed HIP 70, that would transition the entire Helium network onto the Solana (SOL 5.08%) blockchain.
This proposed shift has certainly startled many within the Helium community. Helium has operated on its own blockchain since its inception in 2013. However, developers have noted that Solana can provide economies of scale that aren’t possible with the current network. Accordingly, many in the Helium community appear to have initially backed this proposal.
That’s not to say everyone’s happy with this idea. Some have pushed back against Helium’s switch to the Solana blockchain. Among the concerns cited are downtime issues and questions of how decentralized the Solana blockchain really is.
Truth be told, Helium is a project I’ve yet to dive into. At first glance, there’s some real utility that appears to be possible with the Helium network, should end users really start adopting this network. Thus far, it appears demand for Helium’s 5G wireless services remains limited, with some reports of only $6,500 a month in revenue, despite capital raises of around $350 million.