is helium mining worth it

The helium mining ecosystem has exploded in the past year. Hundreds of thousands of miners have come online hoping to reap a share of the huge rewards that are distributed to hotspots around the world.

But the question everyone is talking about Is Helium Mining worth it in 2022. What are your requirements? are you a holder or cashing out every day, week. month? What price will HNT be in a few years? This all needs to be taken into account before you decide if helium mining is still worth it.

Let’s dive into some statistics and show you how you can see your ROI yourself.

Is helium mining worth it?

Some people are in it to learn about the helium blockchain, antennas, radio signals, and be part of a movent. While others are in it just to earn some money fast.

For myself, I find it a very exciting project, and I love to learn all I can on how to set up hotspots and antennas for maximum range. Getting paid in HNT is an added bonus while the network expands out.

As I live in a smaller city that is not fully built out with thousands of helium miners, my return on investment has been fast at just over 2 months per hotspot. But I am not selling yet as I believe the price of HNT has further room for growth. (My views only not investment advice)

Is helium mining worth it?
Blue high-earning helium hotspots are good.

But saying that I have seen a decline in earnings as the network expands out to close to 600K hotspots. This month has seen a decline of 14% for the month due to a large number of hotspots coming online.

decreasing helium hotspot earnings
30 day earning on one of my hotspots. Current as of 16/2/22.

Still earning $250 USD per month is a great return but it will slowly be declining if the HNT price stays the same or lower. This is due to so many hotspots coming online with new and existing orders.

But let’s check out a helium miner in New York City. He is 80m up with a 4dBi antenna so looks to be in an apartment block.

As there are so many helium miners in this city the average transmit scale is around 0.03. This makes earning from POC proof of coverage extremely low.

Helium hotspot profitability low
Low earning helium miner in New York City is not profitable

This hotspot shown above is only making 0.009 HNT a day or 0.374 HNT a month which is around $10. Is it worth your time for $10 a month? Don’t forget to take into account electricity which would also be a few dollars.

In this case, if the average cost of a helium miner and accessories is around $600 then it will take approximately 60 months or 5 years to pay off the helium miner. If it was me I would box it up and sell it. The ROI is just too long.

This is why using the helium explorer earnings filter is so important to investigate the area before deploying a hotspot.

Helium hotspot profitability

The profitability of a helium miner comes down to a few basic qualities.

  • Location to other hotspots
  • Other helium hotspot transmission scales
  • Standard or external antenna
  • Lenght of external antenna cable
  • Height of antenna
  • Wifi or Ethernet cable communications
  • Relayed
  • Quality of helium miner
  • If you have a 32GB or 64GB internal storage on the helium miner. (Soon to be not a factor when the light hotspot firmware kicks in)
  • Cost of helium miner and associated equipment.
  • Are you on a denylist?
  • Troubleshooting your helium miner problems and solutions.

If you have the best of everything on this list you will earn above the average of all helium miners around the world which is currently around 0.1 HNT a day.

Helium hotspot explorer

The helium hotspot explorer is a very handy piece of web-based software that lets you see all of the hotspots around the world and check out their earnings.

We can see some other basic details such as the HNT market price, the number of hotspots around the world, block height, validators, and other details.

What’s cool is if you click on the bottom right (desktop) image that is the blue and purple layer you can toggle on and off the earnings of each hotspot on a quick color chart.

Helium hotspot explorer earnings tab

As you can see the hotspots that earn above 0.22HNT are in blue and those that earn close to 0 are red. Plus every color in between. This lets you have a quick scan of a location to see if helium mining is worth it for that area.

Is helium mining safe?

Is helium mining safe?

Helium mining is a safe project that only has access to one open port on your network. This port 44158 must be opened by you manually on your router unless you are using UPnP which I don’t recommend. Do a manual port forward. Now you don’t need to open port 44158 but you will be relayed and earn fewer rewards.

The frequency output of the antenna is between 915 and 868 MHz bands depending on which country you live in. Most times the antenna is only listening for data, beacons, and witnesses. Transmission for beaconing is only for a few seconds a couple of times a day. So if you are concerned about the radio waves you don’t need to be. It is safe.

Be mindful that currently, the blockchain size is getting close to 27GB in size, and data usage will be between 30-50GB per month. This is depending on how active your helium miner is. It is recommended to have a large data plan for your internet.

Helium miners with an internal 32GB micro SD card will fill up within a few days and will need constant wiping of data and resyncing to the blockchain. This is why I recommend replacing all 32GB cards with the best micro SD cards for helium miners.

Helium miners run cool and don’t use much electricity that is why I like to place them away out of sight in my linen closets. This way it gets them closer to the antenna mounted on the roof of the house. When I deploy miners at my family and friends’ houses I give them recommendations on the best location to place a helium miner but ultimately it is up to them.


Will helium mining be profitable in 2022?

If you live in a major city with more than 5 people in each hex around you with low transmit scales under 0.2 I would say it won’t be very profitable. But if you are in smaller cities/regional towns with good transmit scales of 0.5 or better you should be profitable in 2022.

You will need to put some effort into your setup with an external antenna and extra height to get above the other houses around you. This isn’t hard with an antenna mast and a few u-bolts for the antenna. Check out our post on how to install an external helium antenna on double-story houses.

But what is profitable for me may not be profitable for you. Once it takes over 3 years for a return on my investment I may look elsewhere to park my funds and stop buying hotspots. 1-year payback is a 100% return whereas a 2-year payback is a 50% return on investment.

Working out how long your helium miner will take to pay itself off has to be factored into your calculations. This is at current prices but if we have a rush of new IoT devices that pay to access the helium network, maybe the price will increase in the future. This is a variable that is hard to calculate.

The same can be if the $HNT price decreases in value this will increase the time for payback earnings.

Is helium mining worth it? Yes, it is for me. But everyone’s situation is different such as the cost of living, the need for funds, renting or owning your own home. It’s hard to start drilling into walls to run cables in a house you rent.

So do I think will helium mining be profitable in 2022? For me yes, my miners have already paid themselves off so any extra is just the icing on the cake. New people getting into the game will have to do area research on topology and helium miner density.

With the large increase of Helium miner spoofers, and cheaters, who are gaming the system I am glad to see that Helium has implemented the denylist and also HIP40. This will be used to only give mining rewards to legitimate miners like you and me. People who game the system are stealing rewards from people building the network.

How halving impacts Helium mining rewards

One big question is the halving of the rewards. Every two years the number of $HNT minted will decrease by 50%. The first halving of HNT happened on August 1, 2021, and our next halving is on August 1, 2023. Before the halving 5million was being minted every month. Now after the halving only 2.5M HNT is being minted per month.

Below is a chart showing the first 10 years of HNT supply and minting, the HNT halving actually has a lifetime of 50 years.

Year12345678910
HNT at Start of Year060M120M150M180M195M210M217.5M225M228.75M
Total HNT Minted60M60M30M30M15M15M7.5M7.5M3.75M3.75M

The halving creates a slight vacuum of HNT that can be sold into the exchanges. Fewer rewards could mean a higher price, but at the end of the day, real-world use is what the helium network is about not speculation on future price. Instead, more rewards are given to the Helium miners that actually get used by users spending Data Credits.

So the maximum supply is 223,000,000 HNT after 50 years.

 

How Halving impacts Helium Mining rewards
Helium HNT chart growth after halving.

Now many cryptocurrencies follow bitcoin and HNT helium is no different. But at least helium is trying to solve the world’s problem of low power tracking. Plus the low energy requirement of helium miners is a plus for the environment.

The future for Helium Mining

As we progress to 1 million helium hotspots this IoT network will become one of the largest publicly owned mesh networks in the world. The new internet of things devices such as dog trackers, parcel tracking, personal location beacons, smart locks, smart thermostats, smart lighting, security, remote water, and rain sensors.

Many companies will want to pay to become part of this network. I would love to be able to have real-time tracking of parcel delivery. In fact, lime scooters already use the helium network to have real-time access to where their scooters are located.

With sensors that can last up to 10 years on a single battery, I believe that the helium Lora network has a very bright future. I’m glad that I can be part of this exciting future growth network even though returns are dropping every month.

Helium price prediction 2030

Now, this is just my fun helium price prediction for the year 2030 with a price of $125 USD per HNT. This prediction is around 8 years away and I can see the price doubling every 2 to 3 years. We will have boom and bust cycles where prices go to the moon and back but I see HNT as a more steady growth cryptocurrency. We may follow bitcoin for a while yet. (Not financial advice)

Helium mining is still profitable for me and my neighbors at current prices but for how much longer is the real question.

This is my personal view only and not investment advice but it is fun to dream. So are you a seller or a diamond hands holder? Let me know in the comments below.

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