In a token sale coordinated by Andreessen Horowitz, the Helium Network, a decentralized peer-to-peer 5G wireless network, raised $111 million.
Helium, the company behind the Helium network, has announced a deal to purchase its native currency, HNT. The company mines HNT, the native network coin, to expand and improve wireless coverage on its Hotspots. Hosts receive HNT every time their Hotspots provide coverage and transfer data.
Ali Yahya, the general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in an email: “Helium is revolutionizing the way we connect to and scale wireless networks internationally.” He demonstrates how new bitcoin protocols would “challenge centralized incumbents” and eventually compete with larger telecom corporations.
Alameda, California-based startup Alameda Research says it has secured a deal with Helium to build 5G networks. The funds will support mobile virtual network operators as they use Helium 5G to expand their coverage. It is expected to accelerate the rollout of its decentralized network.
More than 500,000 more Hotspots are currently back-ordered waiting to come online, according to Helium. There are more than 118,000 Hotspots in 11,800 cities worldwide now, the company says. The Helium network isn’t like a standard cellular network. It uses different standards and frequencies. The company says the decentralized model will allow it to expand faster and more efficiently. Some of the Hotspots resemble a modem or a router.
Former video game entrepreneur Amir Haleem , and Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning co-founded helium. Haleem noted in an interview that Helium is being utilized for various applications, including air and water quality monitoring and smart infrastructure.