Helium Network to migrate to Solana blockchain by late March

Helium Network to migrate to Solana blockchain by late March

On Feb. 17, 2023, Helium Foundation announced that its network is migrating to the Solana (SOL) blockchain. The transition plans have been underway for a period, and the final part is set to happen on Mar. 27.

Helium Foundation decided to upgrade the network to increase its scalability and reliability. The Helium to Solana migration will include Hotspots, the Helium Network state, and all wallets. The transition will take over 24 hours, starting at approximately 15:00 UTC on Mar. 27. 

Amid the news, the project’s native token is seeing a 6% price rise, changing hands at $3.05 at press time.

Helium price chart
Helium price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Helium before the upgrade

The Helium community has signed up nearly one million hotspots, and its commercial demand keeps increasing. The migration will cover a grander scale. Currently, the Helium Community has divided its attention between maintaining the running Helium Layer one purpose-built blockchain and accommodation expansion of decentralized wireless networks.  

The Helium network can scale up by exploiting Solana’s high transaction speed, applications, integrations, and the versatile ecosystem of developers. With these responsibilities delegated to Solana, the Helium core developers will focus on building and enabling utility on wireless protocols. 

The Helium developers have been working on new programs for the Solana Blockchain, establishing Open LNS, building new Governance tools for Realms and Data Transfer Accounting Oracles, and loading Helium account state data to the Solana Devnet. The transition will ensure that the Helium Network is compatible with other platforms in Solana’s ecosystem, adding utility for internet of things, mobile and HNT token holders.  

The company formed an ad-hoc upgrade readiness working group to ensure a smooth transition. The group has technical experts, representatives from the community and other stakeholders to examine the migration, provide sufficient documentation, and identify and solve any errors in the process.

Helium has also called upon stakeholders to join the group, including a minimum of 50,000 deployed hotspots, organizations interacting with the Helium API, and service providers maintaining and managing token balances. 

The transition process 

Helium Foundation enabled the transition to Solana by approving HIP-70 in 2022 and introducing different measures to scale the Helium network. Helium also initiated the data transfer processing to oracles and the change of proof-of-coverage, doing away with obstacles for both functionalities. 

Activities on the current Helium blockchain will be interrupted during the 24-hour transition break, but proof-of-coverage and data transfer activities will not stop. Most HNT and MOBILE token holders and hotspot owners are not required to take any steps to participate in the upgrade. 

However, large hotspot fleet owners may want to work with the upgrade readiness working group and Helium community developers to develop custom wallet solutions and test certain claim functionalities as they exist on the Helium L1. Helium users working with the original blue icon Helium Hotspot app will have to upgrade to the new Helium Wallet app with a black icon.

Potential risks may cause a delay or extension in the transition period, such as receiving a new HIP by the Helium community, identification of remediation of smart contract audits, and technical breakdowns. However, the chain migration will only proceed after the upgrade readiness working group addresses the hitches.

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