Nearly 1 million NFTs minted as Helium completes migration to Solana

Nearly 1 million NFTs minted as Helium completes migration to Solana

Helium, the wireless network powered by cryptocurrency, has successfully migrated from its own blockchain platform to Solana. As part of this transition, nearly 1 million Solana NFTs have been minted to represent each physical hotspot node operating on the Helium network.

Solana ecosystem offers new opportunities for Helium

Helium’s team and supporters are optimistic that this migration to Solana will provide new opportunities for expanding the network, which can be further enabled by the mass-scale NFT mint tied to the migration.

As a critical aspect of the migration process, every hotspot on the Helium network is now represented by an NFT. The NFT minting process has been completed in conjunction with the migration.

When hotspot owners log into their associated wallets, they can claim their unique NFT. Furthermore, they retain the freedom to transfer or modify their hotspot location as per their requirements. The contracts are on-chain and permissionless, as confirmed by Noah Prince, the Head of Protocol Engineering at Helium Foundation.

Cheaper fees and greater scalability

The testing phase is significant as it aims to evaluate Solana’s new state compression feature, which permits creators to mint vast numbers of NFTs at a relatively lower cost compared to other platforms.

The compression feature cuts the estimated cost of minting 1 million NFTs to approximately $113 worth of SOL, a drastic reduction from the $253,000 worth of SOL required for minting on Solana without compression technology.

Alternatively, minting 1 million NFTs on the Ethereum scaling network Polygon costs around $32,800 worth of MATIC. However, both Ethereum and Polygon offer greater decentralization than Solana.

Helium has opted to create a Solana-based NFT to authenticate each of its nearly 1 million hotspots and serve as a decentralized network credential. This NFT has the potential to facilitate ecosystem-wide integrations, such as token-gated benefits and hotspot owner access.

Helium DAO voted for the migration

In September 2022, the Helium community voted to approve the migration to Solana, a public blockchain network commonly used for NFT collectibles and DeFi protocols. This migration process took several months to complete. The Helium LoRaWAN network, which provides connectivity for lightweight IoT devices such as sensors and trackers, is responsible for the majority of the hotspots on the network.

Users on the Helium network are motivated to share their wireless service by earning rewards in the form of crypto tokens. To power the global network, hotspot operators share their home or business internet bandwidth. Helium is also developing a 5G network that caters more to consumers and is used for devices such as smartphones and laptops. Currently, there are over 8,000 hotspots on the network, with early 5G nodes costing significantly more than the IoT hotspots used for lightweight devices such as sensors and trackers.

Building wireless services

Nova Labs, the original founders of the Helium network, is set to launch Helium Mobile, a wireless service for smartphones in the US. Helium Mobile combines Helium’s 5G connectivity with T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G coverage and is being promoted alongside the newly-launched Solana Saga smartphone, which is compatible with other carriers.

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