Don’t Forget the Importance of Censorship Resistance

Since people are once again talking about self-custody as one of crypto’s unique strengths, I would like to remind everyone about an equally important fundamental value proposition of crypto that, in the early days, was touted as the killer feature. I’m talking about censorship resistance.

The following opinion editorial was written by CEO […]

Washington Post, Forbes, Wall Street Journal Slammed for ‘Puff Piece’ Reports on FTX and Alameda Execs

Washington Post, Forbes, Wall Street Journal Slammed for 'Puff Piece' Reports on FTX and Alameda ExecsFollowing the highly criticized New York Times article that features commentary from the former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the public continues to give the mainstream media flak for publishing “puff pieces” about SBF and the Alameda Research executive Caroline Ellison. A number of articles have been called out for being too lenient on […]

What is a Helium miner and how does it work?

A wireless device called a hotspot, or helium miner, uses radio technologies for HNT minting and rewards HNT tokens for providing coverage.

Mining helps verify the legitimacy of transactions conducted via a blockchain network such as the Bitcoin blockchain. Miners can start mining cryptocurrencies using hardware like a central processing unit (CPU) or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Alternatively, they can use smartphones powered by Android and iOS systems to mine the cryptocurrencies of their choice.

But, how about mining cryptocurrencies via a decentralized wireless network? Strange it may sound, but miners can now mine cryptocurrencies without relying on expensive infrastructure. Helium Network has made it possible by allowing nodes to act as hotspot devices. 

This article will discuss the Helium ecosystem, Helium mining, HNT hotspot miner and how does a Helium miner work?

What is the Helium network?

Helium is a dispersed network of hotspots that offers LoRaWAN-capable Internet of Things (IoT) devices, a long-range wireless service that is publicly accessible by global citizens. LoRaWAN stands for Long Range Wide Area Network, and IoT devices may communicate with one another via LoRa thanks to the open LoRaWAN protocol. IoT devices are smart “gadgets” that connect to a network and exchange data, offering a more comprehensive range of connectivity than Wi-Fi.

Helium blockchain was developed exclusively to encourage the development of real, decentralized wireless networks. With Helium, anyone can own and manage a wireless IoT network using a unique, portable radio router known as a hotspot. Hotspots are wireless plug-and-play devices that offer superior connectivity than WiFi. 

Hotspots are used by miners to build The People’s Network, a long-range wireless network that provides coverage for IoT devices with meager power requirements in exchange for Helium (HNT), the Helium blockchain’s native cryptocurrency. The Helium Community has permitted third-party manufacturers to sell a range of Helium Hotspots.

Proof-of-coverage (PoC), a novel work algorithm, is used by the Helium blockchain to confirm that hotspots accurately describe their location and the wireless network coverage they are generating from it. Radio waves are used during the mining process and hotspots are rewarded for acting as witnesses for peers’ performance, completing PoC challenges and sharing device data. The most valuable tool for viewing data linked to POC is the Helium Network Explorer.

But, why would someone choose Helium Network over their standard internet service provider? The possible reasons include a high level of security, Helium being completely encrypted and affordable universal internet access.

Additionally, users do not need to bear charges that a cellular provider might impose, such as overage fees or the cost of extra hardware like a SIM card. That said, users only pay for the data they used to connect their devices using the Helium Console to begin using the Helium Network.

What is a Helium miner?

Utilizing specialized hardware known as hotspots, Helium miners offer the Helium network wireless network coverage. By acquiring or constructing a WHIP-compliant hotspot and staking a token deposit corresponding to the density of other miners operating in their area, users become miners on the Helium network.

In addition to the blockchain protocol, the Helium Wireless protocol called WHIP, a network of independent providers rather than a single coordinator, offers a bi-directional data transfer method between wireless devices and the internet. The task of verifying to hotspots that device data was sent to the intended location and that the miner should be compensated for their services falls on internet applications that buy encrypted device data from miners called routers.

Hotspots are of three types, as explained below:

  • Full hotspots: These hotspots maintain a full copy of the HNT blockchain and receive rewards for all participation activities, including proof-of-coverage.
  • Light hotspots: With the help of the Light Hotspot software, these hotspots use validators to participate as full hotspots without incurring the additional costs of keeping a local copy of the blockchain. In addition, they are rewarded for proof-of-coverage and data transfer activities.
  • Data-only hotspots: Just like light hotspots, these hotspots use validators to get information about the Helium blockchain. However, they are rewarded for data transfer activities only.

How does Helium mining work?

Radio wave technology is utilized to carry out Helium mining instead of CPUs or ASICs. In addition, blockchain technology is used to create a wireless network that is more reliable than the network provided by established traditional wireless service providers. 

Helium hotspots or miners provide long-range wireless coverage using special devices called LoRaWAN transmitters. So, how to earn Helium tokens in return? By mining and expanding The People’s Network’s coverage with suitable hotspots, miners gain HNT. The reward amount is correlated with the data a miner will transfer, i.e., more money when miners transfer more device data. 

In addition, the network automatically and randomly assigns proof-of-coverage tests to verify the location of hotspots. Hotspots get directives or “challenges” from validators to communicate payloads to any nearby hotspots for observation and verification to participate in PoC. These difficulties are also referred to as “beacons.” However, as they can only mine HNT for data transfer and cannot have their beacons confirmed, HNT hotspot miners without neighbors get paid less.

Moreover, each compatible device needs data credits (DCs) to send data to the internet. DCs are created by burning HNT to achieve a burn and mint equilibrium (BME), which reduces the total supply of HNT. The BME model uses tokens as a proprietary form of payment, but customers who wish to use a service do not directly pay a counterparty. Instead, they burn tokens. 

The prerequisites to set up a Helium miner

How to set up a Helium miner?

As mentioned in the above sections, a hotspot miner, antenna (and its location), cables, smartphone and router are the prerequisites to set up a Helium miner. But how to find the best Helium miner? The position of antennas and one’s geographical location play a key role in finding a suitable Helium miner. The below steps provide an understanding of how one can set up a Helium miner:

Download and set up a Helium app

The first step involves downloading a Helium app (available for both Android and iOS devices) and setting up your account. After this, a Helium wallet will be generated that users can utilize to store their information.

An application will generate a 12-word seed phrase to back up your Helium wallet. The app will also prompt you to create a six-digit pin that you must enter each time you log in as an additional security measure. 

Add a Helium miner

The next step is to find out the plus (+) symbol to add a Helium miner, for example, the RAK Hotspot Miner, to the app. The chosen miner needs to be plugged in to operate and a tiny red light will confirm that it is working. Then, press a button on the back of the device for Bluetooth pairing. Alternatively, configure Wi-Fi by choosing from the available network settings in the Helium app. 

Select the Hotspot, verify its location and set up the antenna

Now, the list will include the chosen Hotspot Miner. To proceed, select “Hotspot.” A prompt to add a hotspot will then appear. Add the Hotspot, verify the Hotspot’s location and configure the antenna.

The first assertion is free (paid by manufacturers), and users are responsible for paying the transaction fee for further assertions. Press “Skip” if you still need to get ready to set a location. If you are good to go, select “Continue.” The added Hotspot can be viewed and managed under the Hotspots tab of the mobile app.

Is it worth it to mine Helium?

There are no sure-shot promises in the crypto industry, given its volatility. Helium hotspots execute device data transfer, prove coverage challenges with other nearby hotspots and send signals to create a decentralized wireless network. But, how much do Helium miners make in return? Miners gain data credits in the form of HNT tokens for successfully completing their tasks.

However, the rewards depend upon the angle of the antenna and one’s geographical location. That said, the higher the antennas are set, the further the radio frequency will travel. As a result, you can mine more efficiently and get paid more HNT if you can mount your antennas higher.

On the other hand, Helium mining may not produce the desired results in a hilly area due to weak signals. Moreover, always conduct due diligence about the project you want to invest in to protect yourself from unbearable losses. 

Proof-of-Reserves Concept Gains Traction as Major Crypto Exchanges Provide Wallet Lists and Promise Full Audits

Proof-of-Reserves Concept Gains Traction as Major Crypto Exchanges Provide Wallet Lists and Promise Full AuditsWhen it was first discovered that FTX might be insolvent, a large slew of crypto exchange executives said that they aimed to provide proof-of-reserves audits. While exchanges like Binance and have provided wallet addresses tied to company wallets, blockchain analytics firm Nansen has detailed the company is in the midst of creating a display […]

How a single strategy crypto algorithm gained 176.31% while Bitcoin tanked 65% in 2022

Warren Buffett said that “What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.” Crypto traders can change that.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how one simple rule created the kind of insane return on investment noted in the headline — during one of the worst Crypto Winters in recent history — let’s be clear on one thing.

You can’t copy this now.

But anyone with access to Cointelegraph Markets Pro in 2022 could have. This is not a mere backtested strategy. It’s a real-life strategy — although you’re about to see historical results. 

This is no longer a thought experiment or proof-of-concept; it is an actual way to make money in crypto trading. 

For our purposes, it’s also a perfect way to illustrate how a simple strategy can work for real traders in real life — even during extreme market pullbacks. 

So, let’s dig in. What could you do, right now, today, with this algorithm?

What does “Buy 85, Sell 80” mean?

Here’s the basic premise. In partnership with data firm The Tie, Cointelegraph Markets Pro has developed the VORTECS™ Score, an algorithmic determination of how bullish or bearish current trading conditions are for a given crypto asset.

The score is based on historical data, and it essentially sifts through the whole history of a coin or token looking for conditions that are similar to those it observes right now.

It’s looking for a variety of similarities and outliers — for instance, trading volume, recent price action, social sentiment and even the volume of tweets about that asset.

If it finds similarities, it looks at what happened next. Did the asset go up or down? How consistent was that movement? How significant was the rise or fall?

Combining all of these data points, Markets Pro creates the VORTECS™ Score, a dynamic and constantly evolving evaluation of the current trading conditions for each supported asset. The higher the score, the more bullish the outlook — and the more confident the algorithm is. 

Conversely, a very low score is bearish (with equal confidence). A neutral score of 50 means the algorithm sees no significant correlation between current conditions and past price performance.

The Markets Pro platform offers a whole range of strategies to traders. 

A “Buy 85, Sell 80” strategy means that a trader can buy an asset that crosses the 85 score, which is considered strongly bullish. And then “sell” the asset once it goes below the score of 80.

Of course, this is happening live on an exchange. Or a trader can simply “paper trade” the asset to test the algorithm out. 

For instance — if Solana’s SOL crossed 85, and was the sole asset with that high score, the trader could place a percentage of their current portfolio into SOL. But if Binance’s BNB then crossed 85 as well, the trader could allocate some other percentage of their portfolio to BNB. Or not. The choice is theirs. 

So why is this valuable to know?

The point here is to evaluate whether the VORTECS™ algorithm is good at its job.

When it sees bullish conditions, is it right more often than not? When the score goes up, do prices generally increase? Obviously, the answer is yes.

The Buy 85, Sell 80 is only one strategy. There are other strategies that have created a massive return on investment in 2022.

For instance, Buy 90, Sell 85. That one is sitting on gains of +96.89% in 2022. Even stronger strategies include:

Buy 90, Sell 90 | +159.15%

Buy 85, Sell 75 | +102.65%

In fact, Bitcoin (BTC) returned -65% since the start of 2022 and Ether (ETH) fared no better with returns of -68% while VORTECS™-based strategies averaged +81.50% across the board beating the pants off BTC and ETH respectively. 

And that signals that VORTECS™ is working correctly. It is — in general, over time — proving that historical trading conditions for digital assets can be a useful gauge for the current health of that asset.

In other words, a high VORTECS™ Score has a proven correlation to price appreciation. Not in every instance, not for every asset… but in general, the results in 2022 have made a compelling case.

Warren Buffett (perhaps paraphrasing Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel) once said that “What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.”

(As a crypto skeptic, he might want to revisit his stance.)

That’s what the VORTECS™ Score is all about. Learning from history. And that’s why a real return of 176.31% right in the middle of one of the worst Crypto Winters in the market’s history is important.

It tells us we’re looking at the right history.

Cointelegraph Markets Pro is available exclusively to members on a monthly basis at $99 per month, or annually with two free months included. It carries a 14-day money-back policy, to ensure that it fits the crypto trading and investing research needs of subscribers, and members can cancel anytime.

Cointelegraph is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions.

All ROIs quoted are accurate as of 8:00 am UTC on Nov. 17, 2022


Australian firm raises $28M to expand Bitcoin mining capabilities

The Sydney-based Arkon Energy secured $28 million in a recent funding round to expand its renewable energy Bitcoin mining operations despite the volatile market.

The turbulent climate of the crypto industry is not putting a full stop to builders in the space. Arkon Energy, an Australian renewable data center infrastructure company, recently raised millions to expand its Bitcoin (BTC) mining operations and acquired another European-based data center. 

The funding round was completed with $28 million raised by the data center infrastructure company, which uses 100% renewable electricity to mine BTC. Arkon extracts renewable power trapped in electricity markets to sustainably lowers its costs.

Arkon CEO Josh Payne said this type of market creates the perfect storm for growth due to many factors:

“The current market climate, with low prices for Bitcoin and mining equipment, offers a compelling opportunity to take advantage of our unique profitability and access to growth capital.”

In addition, Arkon acquired one of Norway’s leading renewable energy-based data centers Hydrokraft AS, as a part of a larger plan to create a “vertically integrated green Bitcoin mining platform.”

However, on Oct. 6, the Norwegian government recently proposed to eliminate the reduced electricity tax which is available for BTC miners in the country. The country’s finance minister said the power market is in a completely different situation now compared to when it first initiated the tax break in 2016.

Similarly, in the Canadian province of Quebec, the energy manager for the region asked the local government to cut power from crypto miners due to high energy demands.

Related: Bitcoin miners rethink business strategies to survive long-term

The current market downturn and industry turmoil has created a rough environment for many companies in the space to thrive.

One recent example is that the BTC miner Iris Energy, is now facing a default claim worth $103 million from creditors in the United States. A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 7 alleged that the company failed in restructuring to meet payment deadlines.

The Hashrate Index recently released its Q3 mining report which revealed low hash prices, along with soaring energy costs made the quarter particularly rough for the mining industry. After BTC dropped below $20,000 this past September, hash rates climbed to a new all time high on Oct. 3.

Amid the doom and gloom, some companies are pushing forward. The Chinese BTC miner Canaan, recently announced plans to scale its operations globally and include new research and development projects.

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