Helium-Solana migration: The Most Asked Community Questions

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11 hours ago

The Helium Network has seen significant performance and scalability benefits since its migration to the Solana blockchain this past spring.

It brings substantial advantages for the Helium community, enhancing Network’s capacity to handle large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile networks. This shift also facilitates the implementation of more advanced Proof-of-Coverage algorithms, further solidifying its status as a robust network for applications with high demand. Finally the composability of existing Solana programs has brought an abundance of new tools, services, and features to the Helium Network.

As the Helium community continues to ramp up its comprehension of all things Solana, this blog post is another resource for key questions surrounding the Helium-Solana integration. The Foundation team has gathered the most common questions from the community with answers to all below. If you have any questions that are still unanswered, please leave them in the comments below!

  1. What is SOL?

SOL is the name of Solana’s native token, which can be used to pay the small fees paid to process transactions on the Solana blockchain. All interactions with the Solana blockchain require fees, including sending tokens, staking tokens, making payments, swapping tokens, minting NFTs, claiming rewards from your Hotspots, and all on-chain Helium transactions.

Advanced users can use SOL to stake and secure the Solana blockchain. Read more.

2. Do you need SOL to use the Helium Network?

Yes, you do!

You need SOL to confirm (or “sign”) transactions which are required to operate Hotspots on the network, but not to be a Sensor or 5G Phone user of the network.

SOL tokens are necessary to complete transactions on the Solana blockchain (similar to “gas” on Ethereum). As of July 2023, the average gas fee for a simple transaction on the Solana network is around 0.00005 SOL, which is equivalent to a fraction of a cent. This low cost is due to the platform’s ability to process transactions in parallel and its efficient consensus mechanism, which reduces the overall time and cost required to process each transaction.

3. Where to get SOL?

It’s easy!

If you’re starting without any tokens, an exchange that supports SOL, such as Coinbase, can help you send some SOL to your Helium Wallet.

Once you’ve gone through the Coinbase onboarding process and purchased a nominal amount of SOL, you can send the tokens to your Helium Wallet App.

Sending SOL from Coinbase Wallet App to your Helium Wallet App:

  • Start by opening the Coinbase Wallet app on your device.

  • Next, tap on the “Send” option.

  • Select the amount of SOL you wish to send.

  • Tap on the “Next” button.

  • You will then need to input the Solana address for your Helium Wallet. To retrieve this, go to your Helium Wallet settings and select “Share address”, then “Solana”.

  • Finally, review your transaction details carefully and confirm the transaction.

If you already have HNT in your Helium Wallet App, you can swap for some SOL.

  • Click the globe icon, then select https://jup.ag connect your wallet, then input the amount of HNT you would like to swap. After clicking swap, the SOL will appear in your wallet. This swap requires a small fee in SOL.

Alternatively, if you already have HNT in your wallet but not enough SOL to pay for swap fees, you can swap for SOL via the widget in this link: https://docs.helium.com/helium-tokens/sol-token/#swap-utility

4. What are the fees of Solana? (i.e. send tokens, claim rewards) Do these fees vary?

They’re pretty minimal. Previously, transferring tokens incurred an average 35-cent fee in Data Credits, but now fees are paid in Solana tokens and are significantly less expensive.

The transaction fee is 0.000005 SOL. Just make sure you have at least 0.02 SOL in your wallet to cover it.

5. Why are transactions failing?

If a transaction is failing, it’s most likely due to insufficient SOL in your wallet. Remember to keep some SOL handy for transactions.

Keeping 0.02 SOL should be enough for most transactions. Monitor your SOL balance to keep it from running too low.

6. How often do I need to claim my rewards?

There’s no time limit to claim your rewards. They’ll be waiting for you whenever you’re ready.

Rewards will not expire nor disappear. The hotspot does not have to be powered on for you to access unclaimed rewards.

7. What are IOT and MOBILE Tokens?

IOT is the token that is rewarded to Helium LoRaWAN Hotspots. LoRaWAN Hotspots provide wireless coverage for the LoRaWAN IoT network, which is used by low-power and low-data devices and sensors. IOT is redeemable to HNT directly in the Helium Wallet App.

MOBILE is the token which is rewarded to 5G Hotspots. 5G Hotspots provide wireless coverage for the Helium 5G Network, and are primarily used by cellular devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc). MOBILE is redeemable to HNT either swapped directly in the Wallet App.

8. Where can I see my Hotspot activity?

You can access hotspot details on multiple websites listed below:

Explorer: https://explorer.helium.com/

HeliumGeek: https://heliumgeek.com/ (download their app in Google Play Store or Apple Store)

HeliumTracker: https://heliumtracker.io/

Hotspotty: https://app.hotspotty.net/

9. How do I get Data Credits (DC)?

To use The Helium Wallet App for converting tokens, follow these steps. First, navigate to the “$” tokens tab and select the center “swap” button. Next, within the “you pay” section, opt for HNT and for the “you receive” section, choose DC. Enter the quantity of HNT you wish to convert into DC, and then proceed by clicking on “Swap Tokens”. The conversion from HNT to DC will be executed and the new DC balance will be reflected in your wallet.

Regarding the location reassertion fees, please note that a promotional rate of 500,000 DC (equivalent to $5 in DC) is in effect for a three-month period following April 18, 2023. After the conclusion of this period, the fee will revert to its standard rate of 1,000,000 DC (amounting to $10 in DC).

10. Where can I view transactions on the Solana blockchain?

There are several different Solana Explorer websites where you can see and check the transactions on the Solana blockchain.

Copy your Solana address from the Settings by going to the ⚙️ icon in the upper left corner. Go to ‘Copy Address’ and select Solana.

Here are some popular options:

Add your wallet address in the search field and press ‘Go’ or enter!

Want to build on the Helium Network? Whether you have an existing use case or want to build one from scratch, the Helium Foundation is here to help you get off the ground.

Connect with the Helium Community, the developers supporting this project, and the global Helium network on Helium’s Community Discord.