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Helium Improvement Proposals

Purpose and Scope

Helium Improvement Proposals (HIPs) define modifications to the open-source Helium protocol and Network itself. Proposals can modify economics and incentives, technical properties, or meta-governance, including the governance process or changes to the rules controlling how HIPs are managed. Anyone in the Helium ecosystem can introduce a HIP. All HIPs are publicly available in the open HIP Repository, managed by the Helium Foundation on behalf of the community.

Users participate in network-wide token holder voting. You must have tokens to vote on Helium Improvement Proposals. The Helium Network and subnetworks vote with three tokens: HNT, IOT, and MOBILE. These tokens do not inherently provide governance rights and privileges and must be locked to create a user's voting power. Voting power is a multiplication of tokens locked and the time duration of locking. Locking tokens aligns a user with the long-term success of building a decentralized wireless network.

  • Holders of HNT vote on proposals that concern meta governance, economic, or technical changes to the entire protocol. Proposals that exclusively affect a subnetwork do not fall into HNT voting.

  • Holders of IOT tokens vote on proposals concerning the IoT (LoRaWAN) subnetwork. These proposals include economic, technical, or governance changes to the IoT subnetwork.

  • Holders of MOBILE tokens vote on proposals concerning the Mobile (5G) subnetwork. These proposals include economic, technical, or governance changes to the Mobile subnetwork.

Proposing a HIP

Anyone can create a HIP by submitting a Pull Request in the HIP GitHub repository.

Ideas often are sparked through community discussion in the Official Helium Discord, which is managed and owned by the Helium Foundation. The appropriate channel for new HIP ideas is #hip-discussion. After an initial discussion to vet an idea, HIP Authors make a copy (“fork”) of the HIP repository and create a new one, titled with a name and '.md' to designate a Markdown file. All instructions are provided in the format from the HIP Template within the repository. This new file will be the basis of their Helium Improvement Proposal.

After a HIP Author creates a Pull Request, the HIP is submitted for review by the Helium Foundation. It will be reviewed for editing by the community and designated Helium Foundation HIP Editors. The Helium Foundation acts as a steward in the HIP Editing Process, ensuring HIPs are clear, concise, informed on the nuances of the network, and able to be read and interpreted by a typical reader with the fundamental familiarity of the Helium Network.

During the HIP Editing Process, a HIP Editor defines the scope of the HIP and determines the Voting Requirements for the community. Voting Requirements comprise which token should be used to cast a vote and which subnetwork this Proposal affects. Token holders are eligible to vote based on the subnetwork that the HIP impacts. After HIP Editing, the HIP is merged into the public repository of all documented Helium Improvement Proposals. The Helium Foundation creates the status of the HIP, and a new HIP-specific channel in Discord is opened for community discussion.

HIPs are managed entirely from the HIP GitHub repository, which is public and fully transparent. Read the Steps to Create a HIP to understand how to bring an idea into a proposal.

Discussion on HIPs occurs on both the Official Helium Discord and within the GitHub repository as comments. All community members are welcome to participate in the governance process at any stage.

View, create, or comment on a HIP at:

HIP Editors

HIP Editors support the governance process by moving HIPs through each stage of their lifecycle. They review new HIPs, flag formatting and structural issues, and keep the GitHub repository current. Today, there are currently two HIP Editors on the Helium Foundation team who are supported by additional subject matter experts. To contact a HIP editor ask in the #hip-discussion channel on Discord:

Steps to Create a HIP:

  1. Idea Generation: Stakeholders propose ideas for improving the Helium Network, including technical, economic, and meta/process-related changes.
  2. Vetting: The idea is shared and discussed within the Helium community, typically via Discord, to assess initial support and identify previous discussions.
  3. Proposal Writing: The author of the idea prepares a Helium Improvement Proposal (HIP) using the provided markdown template. The template can be adapted to suit the information required to illustrate an idea.
  • Author is ready to draft a HIP.
  • Author seeks out the HIP Template in HIP 7 (also located in the Discussion tab of the HIP repository).
  • Author drafts a HIP within the template.
  • Author makes changes to the template as needed to craft their argument.
  • During drafting, Author may seek other information and knowledge to craft their proposal.
  • Author may seek feedback or input from collaborators.
  • Author may seek feedback or input from Helium Foundation.
  1. Pull Request Submission: The Author forks the Helium GitHub repository, adds the HIP file with a title (without allocating a number), commits the changes, and submits a pull request. – see step-by-step guide to using GitHub here.
  • Author navigates to GitHub in the web or desktop application.
  • Author forks the Helium HIP repository.
  • Author creates a new branch to submit changes to.
  • Author inputs their HIP as a new file within the branch.
  • Author submits a branch as a pull request to the helium/hip repository.
  1. HIP Review: A HIP Editor reviews the submitted pull request. They check for adherence to the outlined standards, focusing on formatting and structure rather than the proposal's substance.
  • HIP Editor received GitHub notification of new PR.
  • HIP Editor reads the draft HIP.
  • HIP Editor adds edits and comments for clarity, consistency, grammar, punctuation, formatting and viability.
  • HIP Editor submits edits to Author for revision.
  • HIP Editor requests changes.
  • At the same time, the HIP Editor begins a conversation with the HIP Author on Discord or GitHub to make sure they are available for questions and engage the Author if more clarity or revision is needed.
  • HIP Editors define the Voting Requirements for the HIP and confirm the voting token.
  • If all Edits are made and accepted, the HIP will be merged.
  • If all Edits are not made and accepted, the HIP will remain in Draft as a PR.
  • Once merged into the main HIP repository, a HIP Editor creates an issue ticket, adds basic information about the HIP, tags, and updates the README file with status.
  1. Discussion and Approval: The HIP enters the discussion phase, during which comments and feedback are provided on the associated GitHub issue or Helium Discord Community. Community calls are scheduled to discuss the HIP. Rough consensus and motivation towards making timely changes are used to achieve approval to move towards proposal voting.
  • HIP Editors have finished merging the file into the main Repo and move on to opening discussion.
  • HIP Editors create a new channel in Discord.
  • HIP Editors title the channel, add essential channel information, and begin the discussion.
  • HIP Editors or Community Managers make an announcement letting the community know the HIP is live and open for discussion.
  • From here on, HIP Editors monitors discussion.
  • HIP Editors engage Authors to present HIPs at a following upcoming Community Call, or other Public Community events.
  • HIP Editors monitor discussions for rough consensus.
  • HIP Editors may use non-binding Temperature Check votes to determine if a rough consensus is achieved to move the HIP to a vote.
  • If rough consensus is achieved, HIP Editors inform Helium Core Devs of a proposal that requires voting in the Realms voting and governance platform.
  • HIP Editors prepare the vote, including proposal descriptions, and announcements to the community, and inform the Author.
  • Helium Core Devs make the proposal available for the community to vote on in Modular Governance.

Vet an idea in the community by joining the #hip-discussion channel on Discord:

Implemented and Vetoed Proposals

All HIPs that have passed, been implemented, or vetoed in the Helium Community can be found at Helium HIP Repository on GitHub. Not all HIPs get to the vote stage or pass super-majority voting, so you will see different status indicators against HIP numbers as you go down this list. Just like bills that become law, HIPs often amend each other. To get a full understanding of how HIPs have been implemented and how each HIP impacts another, join the Helium Discord. Long-time Community Members are a wealth of knowledge and can help folks understand changes over time.