Helium miner demand surges as HNT crosses $27.23, earning investors up to $1500 monthly. Black marketeers thrive as manufacturers struggle to keep up, waiting period being 10-20 weeks. Experts question sustainability of current model, with governments trying to clamp down on crypto. 

Recent boom in the ‘People’s Network’ has seen everyone jumping onto the Helium bandwagon. “I’m earning $1500-2000 from two miners,” says Ivan Silva, a delivery driver. The decentralised wireless platform being powered by common people is a good way to earn some passive income thinks ASM Romim, a crypto trader and expert based in London.

Blockchain abstract image

What is the Helium Network?

To get into the Helium network it is important to know a bit about blockchain and how it works. The user base of blockchain applications are increasing due to the decentralised nature of it. The technology is changing how the world operates by the second. The biggest advantage of blockchain technology is transparency as it cannot be controlled by any central body.

For a visual perspective, one can imagine a number of computers connected to a central server as to how majority of the world works. Blockchain challenges that concept and as the name suggests, all the computers are connected in chains; each computer being a server on its own. So if there is a change in any particular system, it automatically makes a log into all the other computers in the chain.

One such real world application which is taking off is the Helium network. It can be termed as a decentralised internet connection which is powered by the common people. The hotspots which people buy, act as long range wifi extenders which can be utilised by a range of industries. The more the data exchange happening through the miner, the more it earns.

Helium map of London

Helium map of London

Helium, expanding their coverage across the globe rapidly and its profitability has also meant that hotspot manufacturing companies are having a hard time keeping up with demand. Hotspot miners are being sold on E-commerce platforms way above their retail price of £500-600. “I try to keep at least 300-400% profit on my miners. You never know how long demand lasts,” says a seller on eBay who wants to remain unnamed. “I don’t want to wait 6 months for my miner” says Azizjon Janmyradov, a businessman who has bought his hotspot for 5 times its original price. Sudden spike in HNT coupled with unpredictability of the crypto world is making buyers splash the cash, in hope of making it up while the market is still hot.

1*9YhfFQqNCymRt1vNYkXqBgThe Future?

There has been disparity between incomes too. “My monthly earnings are just £200-300,” says Mohammad Shaheque, a resident of East London. “A miner alone doesn’t mean you’ll make money,” says Romim. It depends upon location, positioning, weather, density of hotspots in the area and also speed of the internet connection amongst other factors. Profitability was not designed to be so high for a prolonged period of time. Being a direct threat to the banking system, efforts made by governments to regulate crypto imposing restrictions also has its impact on the market. The constantly changing factors under which miners operate doesn’t really guarantee stability.

“Predictions say that rewards will be halved by the end of 2021,” Romim adds.

Though consistent stream of income is not a certainty, mining will still remain profitable in certain areas as the network grows.

This article has been written by Shovon Ray, who is a journalism student at University of London, a documentary film maker and also founder of Dynt.