Helium, the crypto-powered wireless network, will officially move to Solana after a community vote on a proposal. In the end, over 81% of token-based votes supported the migration.
Enabling the New Solana-driven Design
A Q4 launch for the transition was announced by Helium Foundation. Nova Labs CEO Amir Haleem told Decrypt in an interview at the Helium House event in New York City on Tuesday that he’s optimistic about reaching the goal.
In fact, Haleem explains that the Nova Labs team, which represents the Helium network’s founders and core contributors, has already been working on the off-chain oracles to enable new Solana-driven design.
According to him, the on-chain work ahead, such as minting and redeeming tokens, will be “quite a lot easier.”
In the beginning, Helium was a wireless network for IoT devices such as sensors and trackers, rewarding users with tokens when they ran nodes and shared their connectivity. Following rapid growth since the beginning of 2021, the network is now approaching a million active nodes.
The Need to Change Infrastructure
With 4,500 active nodes already deployed, Helium now intends to do the same with a 5G network for smartphones. And Nova Labs just announced Helium Mobile, an upcoming 5G phone service that uses both Helium’s and T-Mobile’s networks.
Haleem said that changing the infrastructure was necessary in order to scale these networks in the future and accommodate other wireless protocols.
During the development of the network bank in 2017, Helium went on to say that even then the developers weren’t convinced that Ethereum could handle a large distributed wireless network, given its slow transaction speed and sometimes high fees. Founders created their own layer-1 blockchain network since other options were limited at the time.
In view of Haleem and Nova Labs, the move is more about scaling and expanding Helium’s ecosystem than about Solana, but other layer-1 blockchain networks could have also been viable. However, Helium’s core developers decided to choose Solana after months of considering other options.