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HNT Hotspot Miners

New options for cryptocurrency mining are now available!

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You probably read the title and wondered, "Is SparkFun really starting to offer cryptocurrency mining products?" And you're correct - two versions of these HNT Hotspot Miners are both available for pre-order: one for indoor use, the other weatherproof so as to be safely used outdoors!

Nebra Outdoor HNT Hotspot Miner (915MHz)


Nebra Indoor HNT Hotspot Miner (915MHz)


Earn HNT cryptocurrency by mining Helium and building coverage for The People’s Network using the Nebra Outdoor and Indoor HNT Hotspot Miners. Anyone can join The People's Network, and provide hundreds of square miles of wireless network coverage while mining HNT on the Helium Blockchain just as hotspot miners do.

  • Efficient miner for a new cryptocurrency, Helium (HNT)
  • Complete set-up in minutes using a smartphone
  • LongFi™ technology maximizes range and battery life
  • Low power – uses as much power as a broadband router (15 W)
  • Easily manage hotspots and tokens from the mobile app
  • IP67 case suited for outdoor use (outdoor version only)

The Nebra HNT Indoor Hotspot Miner earns HNT Helium tokens when devices connect, and for validating wireless coverage delivered by peers. Using a system called Proof-of-Coverage, Hotspot Miners earn more HNT when they're in range of other miners, but need to be at least 300 metres apart.

The range depends on the environment:

  • Rural areas: ~10 miles or more
  • Dense areas: ~1 mile.

Single HNT Hotspot Miners earn less as they can only issue Challenges over the internet, and can’t participate in Proof-of-Coverage.

Millions of compatible devices can use The People's Network and each device requires Data Credits (DC) in order to send data to the internet. Fixed in value, DC are created by 'burning' HNT, reducing the total supply to achieve a Burn and Mint Equilibrium. The more devices using DC, the more HNT will be burned.

Helium’s wireless network based on LoRaWAN is best suited for low-power scenarios, like sending data to and from sensors using low-cost radio waves, eliminating reliance on more costly networks like cellular and WiFi. It’s fully peer-to-peer, and leverages a robust network of hotspots connected to the network. With just 100 to 200 hotspots, the network can usually cover most cities. In return for hosting hotspots, hosts can earn $HNT for providing access to the LongFi network.

And that's it! The Indoor HNT Hotspot Miner is expected to start shipping as soon as March 2021, while the Outdoor HNT Hotspot Miner is due to start shipping in April 2021. Since both are available for pre-order only, each order will be fulfilled in the order they are received. If you are ordering this product alongside live/in-stock products and want to receive these products ASAP, be sure to designate your order for split shipments in checkout.

Comments 14 comments

  • Have to admit - never expected Sparkfun to indulge in this bitcoin nonsense. Of course, you are only following in the footsteps of those who came before you: the folks who really made wealth from the California 1849 gold rush wasn't the miners; it was the entrepreneurs who sold the picks and shovels.

    What's my beef? Global warming.

    Yup. Try this on for size: "the bitcoin network in 2020 consumes 120 gigawatts (GW) per SECOND. This converts to about 63 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year."

    Or this: bitcoin mining is estimated at producing well over 20 MEGATONS of CO2 per year. For more, google it or see this stuff: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption https://www.thebalance.com/how-much-power-does-the-bitcoin-network-use-391280 https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631503-300-bitcoin-what-a-waste-of-resources/ ad nauseum...

    • This is not a Bitcoin miner, it is an HNT(Helium) miner. Proof-of-work, what you are referencing, is one of many consensus methods used by blockchains today. HNT miners do not use proof-of-work, they use an entirely new and compute resource efficient method of consensus called proof-of-coverage, find a full explanation here https://docs.helium.com/blockchain/proof-of-coverage. These miners are first and foremost LoRaWAN gateways that are currently contributing to the largest public network in the US and growing by the thousands a week globally, see coverage map here https://explorer.helium.com/coverage. The blockchain component is purely a mechanism to incentivize host to operate the gateways.

      • Seems to be confusion. Sparkfun says it's a crypto miner, you say not. What is it.

        • Crypto mining is an overall general term vs Bitcoin mining would be subset or a type of crypto mining. The difference is the process in which the mining happens. Bitcoin uses proof-of-work which is extremely process and energy intensive and why there are articles out there on it's energy consumption. Helium what's being mined is HNT and it's a proof-of-coverage network so the devices are not running metric shit tons of hashes like Bitcoin is. So it's very energy efficient.

          Also unlike Bitcoin where you could setup a whole farm of mining machines in your house if you wanted to you cannot do that with Helium. The idea of proof-of-coverage is that you're well providing coverage. If you have all the devices in one location you're not expanding the coverage besides the same general radius from that one point.

        • It's a crypto miner, but not a Bitcoin miner, it 'mines' a different token / currency called Helium. Not sure why the product itself doesn't have prominent links to the background info on it: https://www.helium.com/hnt

    • Sounds like you need to get a life. You clearly have WAY to much time on your hand.

    • Peter Schiff, is that you? Classic FUD.

      Clothes dryers in North America use more energy than all BTC miners combined and the dryers don't even provide a means of storing and sending value to anyone on Earth. Plus, your computer uses more energy than your typewriter. Worth it.

      Besides, I am STOKED that SparkFun is getting in on this as I have been dreaming of something like HNT. Way to go SparkFun keep innovating!

    • Peter Schiff, is that you? Classic FUD.

      Clothes dryers in North America use more energy than all BTC miners combined and the dryers don't even provide a means of storing and sending value to anyone on Earth. Plus, your computer uses more energy than your typewriter. Worth it.

      Besides, I am STOKED that SparkFun is getting in on this as I have been dreaming of something like HNT. Way to go SparkFun keep innovating!

  • Well, I'll have to admit that it sounds a tad bit like some of the "get rich quick" scams that seem to crop up in the comments (until the moderators catch up with them -- thank goodness for the "report" buttons!), though it's likely more legit than they are.

    • Haha! Yes, we can assure you that these are definitely more legit than those annoying comments. Thanks for asking!

  • Anxiously awaiting my Nebra outdoor unit from Sparkfun. There is only one hotspot in my area and he has made 2100 tokens since last June. He has only witnessed over his internet connection not over RF. Those tokens are worth $21K today. Here is one example of the use case. https://blog.helium.com/literally-a-better-mousetrap-from-helium-victor-powered-by-the-peoples-network-b3e7af96947b

  • Defo not a get rich quick scheme... however, the price of Helium has risen to $11/token, and yesterday someone local to me cashed out with £0.5m earned in 6months. As with all successful cryptos, early adopters are definitely being rewarded.

    Just don’t use them to buy pizza...

  • This is great. I live in a city, near a main highway and freight train line, so lots of opportunity for tracking devices to connect. I'm still surprised there's as many devices near me as there are this early in the game, but this is going to be rewarding for those that understand this and get in sooner rather than later.

  • This is AWESOME and is a game changer. Creating mesh networks of communication devices like this is what I have been dreaming of! Not to get rich quick but as a resilient way of extending connectivity without a central provider. Super stoked to see innovative products like this on your site. Keep it up SprakFun!

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