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How Much HNT Will My Hotspot Earn?

One of the most fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions in all of the Heli­um space is: “How much will I earn?”
As always the answer is, “It depends”.

BUT… after going through the stats I can give you 3 gen­er­al num­bers that may apply. They’re at the bot­tom for those of you who like to read and just-can’t‑wait.

Oh, the oth­er ques­tion you’ll have is along the line of: If I only have XX hotspots in my city, and I own them all, how much can I expect to earn? There are many caveats to this, most­ly cen­ter­ing around how many of those hotspots can “see” each oth­er. One SUPER impor­tant thing to note from these exam­ples is that most hotspots own­ers do a poor job of deploy­ment, earn­ing on aver­age 2 HNT/day. An opti­mized hotspot with good place­ment should earn at least 8 HNT/day. If you’d like help with doing a much bet­ter job, con­sid­er hir­ing me to help you max­i­mize your earn­ings.

I’ll give you a few real world exam­ples of 7 day earn­ings. (data here, as of May 9th, 2021).

  • Flagstaff, AZ — 6 hotspots — 79.52 HNT
  • Jerome, AZ — 6 hotspots — 97.91 HNT 
  • Mid­land, TX — 4 hotspots — 57.3 HNT
  • Col­lege Sta­tion, TX — 4 hotspots — 68.25 HNT
  • Char­lottesville, VA — 4 hotspots — 46.15 HNT
  • Erie, PA — 4 hotspots — 25.89 HNT
  • Elfri­da, AZ — 3 hotspots — 57.98 HNT
  • Ari­zona, TX — 2 hotspots — 24.67 HNT
  • Colum­bus, GA — 2 hotspots, 42.50 HNT
  • Three Rivers, MI — 2 hotspots — 14.26 HNT

For those of you who want to see how I come up with aver­ages and be able to do it them­selves, here’s a 10 minute video that uses Site­bot. Site­bot used to be a superb resource, but has degrad­ed and is no longer good for this. Still, I’ll leave this up so you can see the thought process. 

This will show you how much HNT you should expect to earn on aver­age, and you’ll learn how to eas­i­ly refine that num­ber for your­self, in your city.

Before we move on, let me set some expec­ta­tions. This post was orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten in mid-March of 2021. We only had 22k hotspots on the net­work at the time. 3 weeks lat­er (April 5th) we had 25k. That num­ber will con­tin­ue to go up, prob­a­bly to 200k by the end of the sum­mer of 2021. With­in a few weeks of it being writ­ten, all the hard num­bers in this post will be wrong. Still, you can use the method in the video to cal­cu­late what the num­bers *should* be for the next few weeks for you. 

First, I’ll knock out my assumptions:

I’ll assume that you are NOT going to plug in your hotspot at Mom’s house and walk away. If you do that, you should expect to earn less than .1 HNT a day. 

I’ll assume that you’re will­ing to spend mon­ey, time, and effort to opti­mize your hotspot place­ment. As in, more time than your friends and fam­i­ly think is “rea­son­able”.

As I learned long ago from Shawn Alla­dio (one of only two humans to ever ride a jet­s­ki over a 100′ wave) if you want to do awe­some things you should be unrea­son­able. Be like Shawn. She’s rad.

I’ll assume that you under­stand the gen­er­al intent of Heli­um. Psst, it’s to pro­vide as much use­ful cov­er­age as pos­si­ble for IoT devices run­ning on the Heli­um network.

Final­ly, I’ll assume you’re not con­tem­plat­ing a “lone wolf” place­ment, which is one where there is no pos­si­ble way for anoth­er hotspot to con­nect with you via radio signal.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s start high. Like, way high. The top earn­ing hotspot in the world (as of March 14th, 2021) is Rough Chili Bird, in Spring­dale, Arkansas. Before I tell you how much HNT they’re earn­ing, let’s define “top earning.”

Basi­cal­ly, no Heli­um data for earn­ings is use­ful at any­thing less than a 30 day cycle. 24 hour, 48 hour, even 7 day stats are just too vari­able to be use­ful. As an exam­ple, here are the dai­ly earn­ings for a rea­son­ably high per­form­ing hotspot.

As you can see, they vary wild­ly day by day, and if you con­stant­ly fid­dle with it in order to improve, you’ll be respond­ing to noise, not signal.

Heli­um is all about signal.

Back to the world’s high­est earn­ing hotspot, Rough Chili Bird.

The Bird earned 2,850 HNT over the last 30 days. Yeah, that’s a lot. At cur­rent HNT prices well, peo­ple work a lot hard­er for a lot less mon­ey per month.

Sec­ond place is Docile Bone Pony over in Cam­bridge MA, earn­ing 1,787 HNT in the last 30 days. No, I don’t make these names up, and nei­ther do the hotspot own­ers. They’re ran­dom­ly assigned.

Here’s the top 10 earn­ers, pulled off of Site­bot.

So that’s the MOST you’re like­ly to make. You prob­a­bly won’t make that much. I went through a few cities (includ­ing my own, America’s Finest City) to give you some averages.

For your aver­age hotspot, you’re look­ing at right around 8 HNT/day.

I got that by going through and weed­ing out all the hotspots mak­ing less than 1 HNT/day. If they’re doing that, it’s pret­ty obvi­ous they’re not in this to crush, and that’s my goal. CRUSH.

I was curi­ous about the crush­ers, so I went through the top 1,000 Hotspots in the USA and found the aver­age was more than twice as high; about 23 HNT/day. You can rea­son­ably expect that if you opti­mize den­si­ty, ele­va­tion, and anten­na, in that order.

I went through a few exam­ple cities (San Diego, Seat­tle, Lon­don, and Berlin) and then I looked for the answer to the sec­ond most pop­u­lar ques­tion I get asked, which is:

I live in a small city and could buy 5–10 hotspots right now. Should I do it? How much will I make?”

The stats are in the video, here’s the bor­ing stuff for those of us who read.

San Diego has 142 hotspots earn­ing more than 1 HNT/day. The aver­age hotspot earns 9 HNT/day, and the top earn­er pulled in 1,334 in the last 30 days.

Seat­tle has 90 hotspots earn­ing more than 1 HNT/day. The aver­age hotspot earns 8 HNT/day, and the top earn­er pulled in 706 in the last 30 days.

Seattle Helium Hotspot Earnings

Lon­don has 188 hotspots earn­ing more than 1 HNT/day. The aver­age hotspot earns 8 HNT/day, and the top earn­er pulled in 1,266 in the last 30 days.

Berlin has 134 hotspots earn­ing more than 1 HNT/day. The aver­age hotspot earns 12 HNT/day, and the top earn­er pulled in 1,617 in the last 30 days.

Berlin Helium Hotspot top earner

Final­ly, I found a small clus­ter of hotspots that is typ­i­cal of any small deploy­ment in a city. It was on the south side of Cypress, in Limas­sol. While there are 10 hotspots deployed there, only 5 have been run­ning for 30 days or more. Those 5 aver­age 16 HNT/day, but the top earn­er only pulled in 592 in the last 30 days.

Helium Hotspots in Limassol, Cypress

This should help you get a rough idea of how much you’ll make. For more on Heli­um Hotspot Opti­miza­tion you can read my guide over here.

If you’d like a dif­fer­ent take on earn­ings with an ori­en­ta­tion toward what might hap­pen in the future as the net­work grows, check out Steve’s arti­cle over on DeWi.

Best of luck with your deploy­ments, let’s grow this net­work togeth­er and CRUSH! If you’d like help with a Heli­um deploy­ment, from a sin­gle hotspot to an entire ecosys­tem, con­sid­er hir­ing me.

None of this is invest­ment advice. Keep read­ing and learn­ing. You could lose every­thing. I hope you don’t. I hope you win so big that you track me down and plant a big wet kiss on my cheek and slip a QR code with 10 BTC into my pock­et because you just have that much to spare. Here’s to your success!

53 thoughts on “How Much <span class="caps">HNT</span> Will My Hotspot Earn?”

  1. How Like­ly would I be able to put a hotspot on a cell tow­er, and where would I go to find out more info.

  2. Hi Frank, at the base of most cell tow­ers (or on the fence around cell tow­er sites) is con­tact info for the tow­er own­er. Start there. You’re usu­al­ly bet­ter off look­ing up local WISPs (Wire­less Inter­net Ser­vice Providers) and work­ing with them. The big cell tow­er com­pa­nies aren’t real­ly set up to do busi­ness with indi­vid­u­als, but WISPs are usu­al­ly Mom ‘n Pop shops that’ll work with you.

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