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.
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.
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.
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!