The news broke on Friday. Mashable announced that Helium the crypto-based project, which was which was praised in the pages of The New York Times earlier this year, and its parent company is supported by investment firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, had been misinforming people about the businesses they work with. Helium is announcing on its website that Lime is the company that provides mobility behind these electric bikes and scooters, utilizes its crypto-powered mesh network. Helium, however, said to that magazine that it hadn’t been in contact with Helium since its inception in 2019and was only testing with Helium’s technology.
Then, Salesforce, whose logo appears on Helium’s site in front of Lime’s claims that it does not use the same technology. “Helium is not an official Salesforce partnership,” Salesforce spokesperson Ashley Eliasoph stated to the Verge in an email. When I contacted her to inquire about the image below, which appears on Helium’s site Eliasoph told me that “it is not true.”
Between 4:35 pm ET and 5:30 PM ET, Salesforce’s and Lime’s logos were removed from Helium’s homepage page. The Verge sent an email to Helium to inquire about their relationship with Salesforce at 4:48pm ET. Salesforce has not responded to at the time of this writing.
In contrast to other crypto projects, it’s relatively simple to comprehend the underlying pitch of Helium (though there’s no way to get it complicated in the event that you desire). The idea is to place an Helium hotspot — which can cost anything from hundreds to thousands dollars — inside your home, and then users of the network connect to it whenever they’re near and require some information. The more data flows via your Hotspot more HNT (Helium’s cryptocurrency) you’ll earn.
In essence, it’s a kind of decentralized mesh network in which the users of the nodes are able earn money by sharing their data. (It is important to note that using your internet at home such as this is in violation of the conditions of service agreements with numerous Internet service companies.) The theory is that people or companies pay Helium’s internet instead of for instance, cell data.
But, now we must think: who is willing to purchase it? There aren’t many seem to think so. In fact, as an unrelated Twitter thread states that an report by The Generalist states that about $6,500 dollars worth of data credits (or DCs) were used to access Helium’s network during the month of September.
This is in stark comparison to millions that people have invested in devices to establish hotspots on the network, hoping to make making money, and it would be astonishingly low If Lime had actually connected its scooters to the network or in the event that Salesforce customers were using it to track warehouses, as Helium announced in the year the year 2017.”YES these are real and they are glitzy.”
New York Times article that called Helium an instance of “how crypto could be extremely beneficial in solving specific types of issues,” included Lime in addition to well as Victor, a rodent – and reptile trapping company, in the list of Helium users.
Lime’s now denying that’s true. The website that Helium claimed to be the best site to purchase helicopter-enabled Victor mousetraps in its announcement of the partnership doesn’t seem to be selling the mousetraps. There don’t appear to any references to Helium in the Victor’s manual.
The documentation of Helium However, it does provide hints of Victor’s products. It states, “a Helium Network user needs 50,000 DCs per month to transfer data to their mouse traps that are connected to Helium. (Yes there are actually such things and are absolutely stunning. )”
We also contacted Dish who has announced in the past that it was going to use Helium’s new 5G service. This announcement is also published on the homepage of Helium, on top of the page, in the section titled “latest information.”
I’d like to close this with a final thought. The person who wrote this Times report says Helium isn’t able to function without crypto technology. noting that the company was founded without any form of integration with crypto, and was able to come up with the idea at the edge of falling apart. However, for the past several years communities in need of help have been forced to develop their own networks because they were left out by both the government and communication companies. This is in stark contrast to the idea this slick Helium advertisement implies that people will only want to contribute to your community when they’re money for it. However, it’s not surprising that Helium has misrepresented a crucial element to the piece.