Helium, a blockchain-based network that powers wireless communication protocols powered by thousands of individual users, will migrate its own purpose-built Layer 1 blockchain to the Solana blockchain.
The network, which initially focused on powering Internet of Things (IoT) devices like sensors and trackers, currently has more than 950,000 nodes, or hotspots, with operators being incentivized with crypto tokens.
The Helium Foundation announced the move after a community vote that saw a total of 7,447 votes cast ended on Thursday morning showing 81.41% support for the Helium Improvement Proposal (HIP 70).
Solana, which was designed to support massively scaling decentralized applications (dapps), is currently the industry’s ninth-largest blockchain network with a market capitalization of about $11.3 billion, per CoinGecko.
Today’s news comes hot on the heels of news that Nova Labs, the creator of the Helium Network, is partnering with German telecom giant T-Mobile to launch Helium Mobile, a 5G wireless service for smartphones.
Shifting focus on scaling the network
According to Scott Sigel, COO of the Helium Foundation, moving to Solana will allow the project to realize “an ambitious mission of deploying and managing wireless networks at scale.”
“Solana has a proven track record powering some of the world’s most important decentralized initiatives and they were an obvious choice for us to partner with. Moving to the Solana blockchain allows us to focus our efforts on scaling the network as opposed to managing the blockchain itself,” Sigel said in a statement.
The Helium Foundation, which first proposed the migration in August, said the developers chose Solana after analyzing multiple other blockchains over the last several months. The Foundation stressed that the migration will provide users with “better access in the form of hardware and software wallets, DeFi, NFT marketplaces, and composability with other applications in the Solana ecosystem.
Another advantage of moving to the Solana blockchain, according to the Foundation, is that data transfer for devices will become “faster, more reliable, and more scalable,” while the network’s own token will become natively compatible with other innovative projects within the Solana ecosystem.”
“Solana and its primary differentiators of scalability, low cost, and energy efficiency are an ideal foundation for Helium to realize its ambitious mission,” said Anatoly Yakovenko, CEO of Solana Labs. “The Helium community’s vote to migrate to the Solana network is a tremendous endorsement of Solana as the foundation for the next stage of growth for the Helium ecosystem.”
Per the announcement, the migration is scheduled to take effect in Q4 of this year, with a new version of the Helium Wallet App to be rolled out once the move is completed.
The migration will not impact the Helium ecosystem’s tokens HNT, MOBILE and IOT, which will be issued on the Solana network. HNT holders will also be able to use other wallets within the Solana ecosystem, such as Phantom or Solflare.