Well, the race is officially on. With at least two unofficial halvings coming in the near future, it’s pretty darn important right now to:
A) Get your Helium hotspot up and earning and
B) Secure the best spot you possibly can.
In the case below, this hotspot is on private property with an incredible view of both my favorite place to fly a paraglider in San Diego AND an excellent view of the southern half of San Diego county.
Wait, what? More halvings? Yep, you’ve got 2 coming. One from network growth (network size will probably double by the end of the year) close to 300k.
Doubling the network equals (for the AVERAGE hotspot) half the rewards. Now, that’s the average hotspot, but it’s best to be conservative with these calculations.
What’s the second halving? 5G. IF 5G rolls anywhere near as fast as they rolled out the current hotspots, it’ll chew through the “up to 35%” of HNT set aside for network data transfer.
Remember, 5G is the opposite of LoRa. LoRa is small packets/large distance. 5G is large data, small distance. 5G chews through data like I used to eat gallons of ice cream; it disappears.
The catch (and really the current “doubling”) is that if the “up to 35% of” HNT for data transfer doesn’t get used, it gets redistributed to PoC rewards. That’s us, running regular hotspots, collecting HNT for challenging, beaconing, and witnessing. Mostly, for witnessing, but that’s another story.
Since our current PoC (Proof of Coverage, more on that here) rewards account for 26% of all HNT (let’s call that about a third) and the data across the network isn’t anywhere near capacity of “up to 35%” (we’ll call that another third) we’re basically getting two thirds of all HNT distributed, which is double what we’re technically earning.
So, when that data gets used up by 5G hotspots, our rewards will be halved again from today. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that wherever there’s challenge, there’s opportunity. For you hard chargers who are willing to hustle for the love of crypto and fun new enterprises and high-risk/high-return livin’, giant opportunities still abound. Let’s talk about a few of ’em.
First, there’s the stuff you do yourself. You can use Helium.Vision or Hotspotty or Kudzu to go deep or HotspotRF (or even Google Earth) to keep it simple. Find the high points and places where your hotspot can be placed for maximum earnings. Maybe you get fancy on Google Earth and run an altitude layer to make sure you’re only looking at islands in the sky, or you re-watch the demo I did on Helium.Vision and make sure you know how to use all aspects of that super powerful tool.
A hotspot with a high volume / low density view is optimal, but even a high volume / high density view like the one below can be a high earner.
You find the spot, you figure out who owns the rights to it, you contact them, negotiate an agreement, install your hotspot, and, as my English uncle says, “Robert’s your father’s brother.” Us Yanks are little more direct and just say “Bob’s your uncle.”
Hot tip? Look for land brokers. They represent empty lots of land that could use a little income. That tip came from one of my most successful clients who is also an absolute wizard marketer. He has built a marketing & sales system for Helium placements that gets a 50% callback rate on leads (unheard of!) and he cherry picks the best spots. Without giving away his location, out of the top 10 Helium hotspots in his area (a place with over a thousand hotspots), he’s runs 3 of ’em. He sells that system, if you’re interested in that just reach out.
Finding your own placements is one of those “most work equals most rewards” deals, but if you’ve got a lot of hotspots, that’s a lot of work.
That brings us to your second option, a recent start-up called Sitenna.com. They connect you (the antenna/hotspot owner) with land owners. You don’t look for spots, you just supply the hardware, pay the rent, and collect HNT. Obviously it’s slightly more complicated, but that’s the gist.
If “pay to play” is your game, Sitenna is looking to be a very promising option. Tell ’em Gristleking sent ya, it’ll be good for a laugh. They’re a couple of recent Y‑combinator types on a trajectory to crush; we Helium peeps might as well go along for the ride.
Third, you can make your own placements. This is by far the hardest, as well as in the long run *probably* the most profitable. You go out and find a business that could actually benefit from LoRa. It’ll need to meet very specific requirements: They’ll want to cover a large area, they don’t need a ton of data, there’s a clear profit motive, and they’re willing to see the world in a new way.
Whether that’s a cattle rancher in Montana, a scooter operator in Cancun, a boat tour operator in Cabo San Lucas, or FedEx, well, there’s a whole giant world of opportunity out there for ya, but it does wear overalls and look a lot like work.
Here’s me and a buddy at the beginning of my very first off grid placement (when I thought antennas mattered), about to do a 12 mile round trip hike in the mountains carrying 60 lbs each on the way out and running out of water on the way back. That was straight work, yo.
If you’re looking for help to optimize YOUR hotspot placements, whether it’s the one on Mom’s house or the fleet you’re rolling out in a far off land, consider hiring an expert for help.
In the meantime…get ’em!