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History of the Helium Network

This page has not been fully updated to represent the latest state of the Helium Network following the migration to Solana on April 18, 2023.

Founding and Early Vision

The Helium Network was founded in 2013 by Amir Haleem, Shawn Fanning, and Sean Carey. The founders envisioned creating a decentralized wireless infrastructure that could support the rapidly growing IoT industry. They aimed to lower the barriers to entry for IoT connectivity by creating a people-powered network, driven by economic incentives.

Launch of the Helium Hotspot

In 2019, Helium launched its flagship product, the Helium Hotspot. This device allowed users to provide wireless coverage for IoT devices over a new protocol called LongFi, which combined the long-range capabilities of LoRaWAN with the Helium blockchain. Early adopters started deploying Hotspots to earn HNT tokens as a reward for providing network coverage.

Expansion and Adoption

As more Hotspots were deployed across the globe, the Helium Network continued to grow, attracting interest from developers, companies, and individual users. The Helium Network expanded its coverage to various countries, enabling new use cases and further solidifying its position as a decentralized wireless infrastructure provider.

Transition to Solana Blockchain

To improve scalability, security, and decentralization, the Helium Network migrated to the Solana blockchain. This transition allowed Helium to leverage the high-performance capabilities of Solana, which was crucial for supporting the increasing number of network participants and transactions.

Introduction of Subnetworks and New Tokens

As the Helium Network matured, it diversified its offerings by introducing subnetworks for different wireless technologies, such as LoRaWAN and 5G. These subnetworks employed their own tokens, IOT and MOBILE, and used the unique Proof-of-Coverage consensus algorithm to reward participants for network coverage.

Present and Future

Today, the Helium Network is a rapidly growing decentralized wireless infrastructure with a global footprint. It continues to attract new users, developers, and organizations, paving the way for innovative applications and services. As the Network expands, it aims to revolutionize the wireless communication landscape and further democratize access to connectivity.