The Gristle King Industry Insider Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 1.



This is the inau­gur­al issue of the GKIIN (Gris­tle King Indus­try Insid­er Newslet­ter), which is writ­ten and researched by myself, Nik Hawks, and my good friend Max Gold, own­er over at PPL Anten­na and one of the most dogged inves­ti­ga­tors into these projects you’ll find. We’ll be writ­ing and releas­ing these on a week­ly basis. Unlike much of the con­tent here on GK which is free and writ­ten for the gen­er­al pub­lic, or the Gris­tle Crüe mem­ber­ship, which is paid access aimed at Hotspot own­ers and enthu­si­asts, the GKIIN is a paid sub­scrip­tion writ­ten specif­i­cal­ly to help indus­try pro­fes­sion­als and investors under­stand the space.

This week in review: The Rise of TIPIN, launch of XNET, Com­mu­ni­ty Calls & oth­er updates.

Last week’s TIPIN Sum­mit, put on by Lat­tice Cap­i­tal in NYC, was a water­shed moment in the world of blockchain + meat­space, ini­ti­at­ing both this newslet­ter and a rapid­ly grow­ing inter­est in the space itself.

After talk­ing with many of you over the past few weeks, I real­ized one assump­tion I’d been mak­ing was total­ly wrong; that you all have a good feel­ing for the industry. 

Being more or less at the cen­ter of the space, Max & I are con­stant­ly con­nect­ing across every active project that’s out there as well as a few stealth ones. 

Whether it’s Heli­um, Pollen, Hivemap­per, XNET, GEOD­net, or the long list of real­ly excit­ing projects out there, we want­ed to share with you what we uncov­er in our research and con­ver­sa­tions (whilst of course respect­ing con­fi­den­tial­i­ty where request­ed) and help you, as an indus­try play­er, have a clear under­stand­ing of what’s going on in the min­i­mum amount of time.

If you’d like to sub­scribe and get these once a week (again, this post is just the first issue and is free for all, the rest will be emails with access only via paid sub­scrip­tion), hit the but­ton below.

Think of this as an email from your insid­er bud­dy who catch­es you up quick­ly on the most impor­tant parts of what hap­pened last week.  You’ll find news and updates along with analy­sis of key events, all in a length you can read in about 7 min­utes. Where applic­a­ble we’ll add links so you can go deep­er if you need to.

If you have a ques­tion and you’ve sub­scribed, just hit reply.  By the nature of it, this newslet­ter has a small read­er­ship. If YOU have a ques­tion, there’s a good chance many oth­ers do as well.  If we don’t know it off the top of our heads we can usu­al­ly run down an answer for you in a day or so. 

Unless oth­er­wise stat­ed, noth­ing you’ll read is a “paid edi­to­r­i­al”.  If we get paid to pro­mote some­thing, you’ll know about it.

Final­ly, noth­ing in here is finan­cial advice.  We love learn­ing about projects and shar­ing what we learn, but make your own deci­sions based on your own research.  The blockchain is a dark for­est, filled with both glo­ri­ous sur­pris­es and dan­ger­ous pit­falls.  Beware!

With that as the intro, here’s the latest:

XNET Analy­sis

XNET launched this week as a com­peti­tor to Heli­um & Pollen’s CBRS play.  Head­ed up by for­mer Google employ­ees, XNET is claim­ing that they’re a cryp­to tele­com indus­try “start­ed by indus­try insiders.” 

In the world of blockchain, the accept­ed state­ment is, “Do not trust, ver­i­fy.”  The recent launch of the XNET project was an exam­ple of just how harsh this rule can be. 

XNET launched into the space assum­ing cus­tomers would sole­ly trust in the promise of “smart guys from Google”, but that line has been worn a lit­tle too thin.  While they may have an excel­lent long term idea in terms of focus­ing on build­ing out a true MNO with voice, 911, and data (some­thing nei­ther Heli­um nor Pollen can boast at the moment), they made some incor­rect assumptions.

First, they did­n’t under­stand how savvy their com­mu­ni­ty would be when it came to deploy­ing small cells as part of a cryp­to project. XNET assumed that by using cool names (Felix and Lucius, for their indoor & out­door units, respec­tive­ly) their cus­tomers would­n’t be able to suss out the make and mod­el. This proved incor­rect, and after pulling FCC Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion records, the XNET Felix is a Neutrino430 Indoor TDD eNB (Pollen uses the same thing and calls it a “Camel­lia”) and the XNET Lucius is a Nova430i Out­door TDD eNB (again, Pollen also uses this radio and calls it a “Elder­flower”).

Sec­ond, they missed the mark on estab­lish­ing bona fides. They said they did­n’t want to be doxxed (pub­licly doc­u­ment­ed and known), but details are avail­able for any­one who looked. Hop­ing they could hide it was sole­ly wish­ful think­ing, not a good PR strategy.

One of the main play­ers at Hexa­gon Wire­less, a large min­erde­ploy­er in the space, has post­ed a longer explain­er arti­cle on ‘em if you want to get deep­er. GKIIN has not con­firmed whether Hexa­gon Wire­less has invest­ed in the XNET project.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, XNET’s toke­nom­ic mod­el pro­posed may not solve the chick­en and egg prob­lem, which is the main rea­son to employ cryp­to in these DeWi projects.

The Big Dogs:
Both Pollen and Heli­um had their Com­mu­ni­ty calls this week. While those are always packed with info, not much of it was new in either of ‘em.  By the time this is pub­lished Heli­um will have announced they have a far stronger anti-gam­ing tool than they’ve had before, so we should see less of a bleed in net­work earn­ings to gam­ing scum.

Pollen is aim­ing to get paid data flow­ing through their net­work by the end of the year. Remem­ber, that’s a plan not a promise.  Pollen also announced that their grants are live. They’re look­ing to fund at least 3 grants with no cap to fund­ing, though 1 mil­lion PCN (approx $100k) was men­tioned. Dead­line to apply is Sat­ur­day, Oct 1st at mid­night. Got an idea? Ask your­self this: Does it bring back 10x the val­ue of what you’re ask­ing? If the answer is “yes”, you’ve got a great chance at get­ting approved.

Heli­um HIP 70 passed on Sep 22, Heli­um Foun­da­tion begins to address Val­ida­tor and Ser­vice providers vs Hotspot own­ers. A ton of work to be done, the next big announce­ment will prob­a­bly cen­ter around WiFi6 cell offload, which will mean non-US play­ers can earn MOBILE tokens if they have the right hard­ware to sup­port it. That’s a big deal, but again a lot of work and prob­a­bly not going to hap­pen in the next month. 

Hivemap­per announced Hivemap­per Fleet Day (full dis­clo­sure, I’ll be mod­er­at­ing the pan­els there and help­ing run that day’s show), they’re a lit­tle late on their launch sched­ule but have been releas­ing pics of their new min­ing cam­era hardware.

GEOD­net announces their first sta­tion to use Star­link back­haul. Pret­ty cool that cen­time­ter satel­lite accu­ra­cy is being sup­port­ed with satel­lite backhaul. 

Anode Labs launched the React Net­work, a cryp­to-based play on run­ning a Vir­tu­al Pow­er Plant (aggre­gat­ing pow­er man­age­ment across a ton of hous­es and build­ings). They’ll be focus­ing on what’s called “dis­patch­able” pow­er, which (in very gen­er­al terms) means they have excel­lent con­trol over how much pow­er is used. We’ll lay out specifics on this as they make those public.

Upcoming Events:

WIS­Pa­palooza, Oct 3- 6, Las Vegas NV. For those of you in the 5G world who want a crash course in run­ning a WISP.

Hivemap­per Fleet Day, Oct 20th — San Fran­cis­co CA — How Hivemap­per works and how you can lever­age your fleet.

LA Blockchain Sum­mit, Nov 1–3 — Los Ange­les - Not a ton of cov­er­age of blockchain + meat­space yet, though that may change.

Solana Break­point, Nov 4–7 — Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal — This is the chain Heli­um is mov­ing to, we’ll be pay­ing close atten­tion to what their ecosys­tem is building.

*For those of you well out­side the blockchain world, “FUD” stands for Fear, Uncer­tain­ty, and Doubt, and is one of the things being a sub­scriber to this newslet­ter will help you avoid.

Bot­tom Line Week­ly Take­away: The space is explod­ing, with new projects con­stant­ly pop­ping up and a bunch in stealth mode. The com­mu­ni­ty is far more savvy than it was a year ago, so projects that launch need to have sol­id fun­da­men­tals, a com­pelling & tight nar­ra­tive, and locked in PR ready to educate.

If you found this use­ful and want to get these type of week­ly updates for indus­try pro­fes­sion­als and investors deliv­ered to your inbox, sign up for a sub­scrip­tion below.

GKIIN will always dis­close when­ev­er we are invest­ed in a project we’re writ­ing about. Con­trib­u­tors to the GKIIN may at times be employed by var­i­ous enti­ties men­tioned in the newslet­ter. None of what you read is finan­cial advice. This newslet­ter is intend­ed for infor­ma­tion and enter­tain­ment pur­pos­es only.

Spe­cif­ic Dis­clo­sures
Nik Hawks cur­rent­ly holds con­tracts with GEOD­net and the Heli­um Foundation.


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