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Validator Operator Migration Guide

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.

For operators of Helium Validators at the time of the Solana Migration, this guide will outline the changes you can expect and the steps necessary to continue earning a return for your staked HNT.


Before proceeding with the migration, ensure that you have:

  1. Access to your validator's Wallet, either through the Helium Wallet App or a Ledger hardware wallet.
  2. Familiarized yourself with the new veHNT governance model and the concept staking to subnetworks (IOT and MOBILE).
VeHNT, a New Way to Stake:

After the transition, veHNT will replace staked HNT and will be represented by a non-transferable Solana NFT held in your Wallet. veHNT grants holders voting rights to influence the future of the Helium Network and the ability to earn IOT and/or MOBILE through subnetwork delegation.

The Landrush Period

For the first ten days after Helium's transition onto Solana (ending 23:59:59 UTC on April 28, 2023), there will be a 3x multiplier bonus for new veHNT stakers. This includes validator owners migrating from Staked HNT to veHNT. This is called the "Landrush" multiplier.

New stakers can only receive this veHNT bonus during the initial ten-day Landrush period. HNT staked after this period will receive veHNT at the standard rate with no multiplier.

Positions extended past the default 6-month lock-up period also receive the Landrush multiplier if set within the initial 10 days.

For example:

Staking 10,000 HNT during this Landrush period with a lock duration of six months gets 375,000 veHNT (10,000x12.5x3). The position decays from 375,000 to 0 veHNT at the end of the staking period, and 10,000 HNT is returned to the Wallet.

Increasing the stake to 20,000 HNT during this Landrush period with a lock duration of 24 months returns 3,000,000 veHNT (20,000x50x3). At the end of the staking period, 20,000 HNT is returned to the Wallet.

Migration Steps

Follow these steps to migrate your validators:

Step 1: Monitor the status of the migration Communications will be provided throughout the day of the migration via Twitter & Discord. The migration will begin at 16:00:00 UTC on April 18. After 16:00:00 UTC on April 19, Helium validators can be shut down following comms from core developers. Validators will no longer produce blocks for the Helium Network and will not receive HNT rewards.

Step 2: Access your staked HNT If you haven't already, move wallets holding staked validators into the Helium Wallet App. After the migration, your staked HNT will automatically become veHNT and stay entirely in your Wallet's custody. A non-transferable Solana NFT held in your Wallet represents veHNT ownership.

If your validators are staked with HNT on a Ledger, migrate the Ledger Wallet using the Ledger Migration Guide.

Step 3: Automatic conversion to veHNT On April 18, 2023, all validators still staked or in cooldown will automatically convert to veHNT with a six-month staking release date, as described in HIP-70. Each validator will receive 375,000 veHNT as a veHNT position for six months with rolling lock-up, called "constant lock-up."

Step 4: Delegation to subnetworks Decide which subnetwork or combination of subnetworks (IOT and MOBILE) you want to delegate your veHNT to. You can have multiple positions of veHNT delegated to different subnetworks or for different lock-up periods. Each position of veHNT can delegate all or nothing of the veHNT.

Delegation of veHNT can be managed within the Helium Wallet App using Realms.

Step 5: Managing lock-up periods

Decide if you want to lock up all or part of your veHNT for longer than six months. You can increase your lock-up period to a maximum of 48 months at any time. If you want to top-up your veHNT position with more HNT, you must add it to an existing position or transfer it from a position with a lesser lock-up time.

Step 6: Monitor and adjust

Monitor your subnetwork earnings and adjust your delegations as desired. Remember that as more veHNT is delegated to a particular subnetwork, individual holder earnings will be reduced due to the sharing of the 6% subnetwork token emissions.

Important notes:
  • Validator Operators must take action to delegate veHNT to enable MOBILE Network or IOT Network emissions
  • Validator Operators must take action to return from a veHNT position to HNT (unstake).

Key Take Aways

  • Until the Solana transition is completed, staked Validators continue to earn HNT rewards for block production.
  • veHNT gives holders voting rights to determine the future of the Helium Network.
  • Validators who remain staked receive a 3x veHNT bonus for staked HNT, and their HNT remains locked up for the six-month lock-up period as defined in HIP 51.
  • Stakers will no longer receive a reward in HNT tokens. subnetwork delegation rewards IOT and/or MOBILE which are convertible to HNT.
  • HNT can be released back to the veHNT owner's Wallet after the minimum six-month lock-up period after selecting the staking cooldown.

Common Questions

How Will Staking Rewards Change with veHNT?

As of February 2, 2023, Oracle Based POC removed the Challenger role from Validators as Hotspots began to beacon independently. As a result, the PoC Challenger rewards pool returned to Hotspots.

After HIP-70 and the L1 transition are implemented, the existing Validators will no longer produce blocks for the Helium Network and will no longer receive HNT rewards. As their staked HNT will convert to veHNT, these holders can optionally delegate to specific subnetworks.

Currently, the IOT and MOBILE subnetwork have a 6% token emission pool for veHNT stakers.

After the implementation of HIP-51, HIP-52, and HIP-53, all the subnetworks combined will receive the non-HST emissions of HNT. This is 68% of emitted HNT and will increase to 69% in the following yearly emissions change in August 2023. This emissions curve changes annually, so the subnetworks eventually receive 85% of all future HNT emissions.

Previously Validator stakers had a Validator performance-based randomized chance at 6% of the daily distribution of HNT. Now they have a share of 6% of the 68% of the HNT distributed to subnetworks based on how much HNT for how long they are willing to lock up that HNT.

What Happens to my HNT Previously Staked in a Pool?

Staking Pool providers have all made an effort to contact their customers to return the staked HNT. Contact the vendor managing your staking pool for more detailed information if you have yet to receive your HNT.

How much veHNT will validators receive?

Each validator will receive 375,000 veHNT as a veHNT position for six months with rolling lock-up - called "constant lock-up."

This amount is calculated as 10,000 HNT x 12.5 multiplier for six months lock-up x 3 for the Landrush bonus (for early veHNT investors).

You will receive all the veHNT for each validator as a single sizeable veHNT position if you have multiple validators.

Can I transfer my veHNT to another wallet?

No, veHNT cannot be transferred to another wallet, but you can move out of one veHNT position into another within the same wallet.

What Is a "Lock-Up" Period?

A lock-up period is a window of time when users are not allowed to transfer their HNT.

You will incur a lock-up period when you stake your HNT for veHNT. The lock-up period is between 1 day and 48 months, selectable in days but with block granularity.

Lock-up periods help incentivize long-term holders of HNT and deter short-term speculators and those with shorter-term interests in the governance of the Network.

The amount of veHNT received for a lock-up period can be seen in this table.

What if I do nothing about my validator stake?

If a validator owner does nothing, the stake will transfer to veHNT automatically.

The owner will receive 375,000 veHNT per validator in their Wallet as a single position. This position will not enter a cooldown period automatically. The position will only unlock once the cooldown option has been initiated. After selecting cooldown, they will get their 10,000 HNT per validator back in 183 days (6 months) after the date of the cooldown selection.

Validators will no longer receive any reward in HNT from the transition date. Stakes will need to be delegated to either the IOT or MOBILE subnetwork to get a reward in IOT or MOBILE tokens. A stake can also be split among subnetworks.

What if I want my HNT back?

The Stake will transfer over to veHNT.

The owner will receive 375,000 veHNT per validator in their wallet as a single position. The validator owner must select the cooldown option from within Realms on that position from within the Helium Wallet App.

After selecting cooldown, they will get their 10,000 HNT per validator back in 183 days (6 months) after the date of the cooldown selection. This is like the 250,000 block cooldown period validators previously had.

veHNT can be delegated to subnetworks to earn a linearly decreasing reward in IOT or MOBILE tokens while in cooldown.

"Top-up" of veHNT Positions

You can "top-up" your 375,000 per validator stake with more HNT from a minimum of 1 HNT, and this must be added to an existing position or transferred from a position of lesser lock-up time.

Positions started within the Landrush period cannot be topped up AFTER the Landrush period. However, they can be topped up within the Landrush period.

Why hold Multiple veHNT positions?

It is highly recommended that previous validator owners and large HNT stakers split their single position received after the transition into several smaller positions immediately upon lock-up and, when applicable, within ten days after the Solana transition, before 23:59:59 UTC on April 28.

This is because the subnetwork delegation of veHNT is a 0 or 100% all-or-nothing action.

  • Splitting veHNT across multiple subnetworks requires multiple positions.
  • Splitting veHNT over different lock-up periods requires multiple positions.
  • Splitting veHNT with some in constant lock-up and some in cooldown requires multiple positions.

Splitting positions after April 28 would mean that the veHNT transferred to the new part of the split does not inherit the 3x bonus multiplier. As this bonus multiplier only applies to positions created in the Landrush period.

Splitting as an action transfers some of the veHNT from one position to another new or existing position.

veHNT owners may want to frequently vary their split of subnetwork delegations and lock-up periods to suit their situations and the variance of the HNT per subnetwork emitted based on the DAO Utility Scores.

Can I Increase My Staking Lock-up Period At Any Time?

Yes. You can increase your lock-up period to the maximum of 48 months at any time, and each increase activates at the start of the next epoch. If the veHNT is delegated, you must undelegate, change the period and redelegate and lose delegation rewards within that 24-hour epoch. If those three actions take longer than an epoch or are split over two epochs, then delegation rewards are lost for two epochs.

Can I Decrease My Staking Period For Fast Access to My HNT and Take a Penalty?

No. You define your lock-up period at the time of staking and cannot unstake or decrease the lock-up period for any reason.

Can I Automate Re-Staking?

Yes, a constant rolling lock-up period will be the default option called Constant Lock-up.

Validator owners will be automatically staked for six months with a Constant lock-up.