Helium is a decentralised blockchain network for IoT, or Internet of Things smart devices. It uses UHF radio frequency wireless technology, coupled with a blockchain to create a perfect creates a comprehensive network. This model, launched in July 2019, allows low-power wireless devices to communicate with each other and send data between nodes in the network. These nodes are known as hotspots, which are a combination of a wireless gateway and a blockchain mining device. Users operating hotspots can both provide low bandwidth internet to thousands of wireless IoT devices over several kilometres and also mine. Network participants can buy hotspots or build one themselves using open source software. And Helium offers HNT token rewards as an incentive for owners to participate in building a global wireless network. IT businesses and developers can use these networks at a low cost to power their own devices. HNT is also shared when hotspot owners transmit data packets to other external IoT devices. The more data, the more rewards. Users pay transaction fees on the HNT in a separate token, called Data Credit, which is non-exchangeable and tied exclusively to each user. The principle of the network is POC, or Proof-of-Coverage, which is called network maintenance. This algorithm continuously validates the status and geographic location of the hotspot.
The advantage is that the batteries last for years and the network tariff is much more affordable. This is the decentralised grid concept. "We don't charge for using the network, we encourage others to be the operators of their own network, to be built by the people themselves, which is why we have nicknamed it the 'people's network'."