What is helium (HNT)? Helium (HNT) is a blockchain-based decentralized network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Launched in July 2019, Helium's core network enables low-power wireless devices to communicate with each other and send data through its network of nodes. The nodes come in the form of so-called hotspots, which are a combination of a wireless gateway and a blockchain of mining devices. Users managing the nodes then mine and earn rewards in Helium's native cryptocurrency token, HNT. Helium's goal is to future-proof IoT communication by identifying gaps in the current infrastructure since its inception in 2013. Who are the founders of Helium? Three co-founders, Amir Haleem, Shawn Fanning, and Sean Carey, founded the company in 2013. Haleem has an active background in esports and game development. Fanning, by contrast, is best known for developing Napster, the music-sharing service that was one of the first peer-to-peer (P2P) Internet services in the late 1990s. Meanwhile, Carey held various positions before Helium, including ad optimization company Where, which was acquired by PayPal. The Helium team now consists of members who the company says have expertise in "radio and hardware, manufacturing, distributed systems, peer-to-peer technologies, and blockchain." What makes Helio unique? Helium aims to improve the communication capabilities of wireless Internet of Things (IoT) devices. In 2013, the infrastructure around IoT was still in its infancy, but developers wanted to add decentralization to their offering, which is why they called it "The People's Network" in the official literature. space, with economic incentives that offer greater possibilities of raising awareness. Network participants buy access points, a combination of a wireless gateway and a miner, or build their own. Each access point provides network coverage in a certain range and also mines Helium's native token, HNT. The network works with proof of coverage, a new consensus algorithm based on the HoneyBadger BFT protocol that allows the nodes of a network to reach a consensus while the quality of the connection is highly variable. In addition to the HNT, users pay transaction fees in a separate token called Data Credits, which are non-tradeable and tied to the individual users themselves. Related Pages: Read more about IOTA here. Read more about IOTW here. Crypto beginner? Find all the answers with Alexandria, CoinMarketCap's dedicated educational resource. How many helium coins (HNT) are there in circulation? Approximate mining periods of 30 to 60 minutes unlock rewards that are distributed according to a rolling growth plan. Helium explains it in the beginning, the node owners will accumulate more HNTs for the creation of the network infrastructure, while later it will be more profitable to transfer the device data. This token distribution adjustment mechanism is expected to last around 20 years. As of October 2020, HNT 48,712,218 are in circulation. When the token was launched, the supply was zero, with no premine. How is the Helium network protected? Helium uses a bespoke consensus mechanism called Proof of Coverage (PoC) that rewards users for contributing to mining (by validating transactions) and ensuring stability. PoC is based on the HoneyBadger BFT protocol, specifically designed to communicate with nodes when conditions are unreliable. Helium claims that the most likely attack vector affects node operators in the form of access point gateways. For token holders, the platform wallet uses asymmetric keys to help users with private key security. Where can you buy Helium (HNT)? HNT is a popular tradable token on major exchanges as of October of 2020. Major pairs are active on Binance and FTX and include USD and stablecoins like Tether (USDT). New to cryptocurrencies? Check out our easy guide to buying Bitcoin (BTC) or any other cryptocurrency.