Helium Says Its Crypto Mesh Network Is Used by Lime and Salesforce — It’s Not

on Friday, Mashable Said praised Helium, a crypto project new York Times Earlier this year and whose parent company is backed by investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz, she was misleading people about the companies she works with. Helium advertises on its homepage that Lime, the mobility company behind those electric scooters and bikes, uses its crypto-powered mesh wireless network. However, the company stated Mashable That it has no affiliation with the company since 2019, and has only conducted preliminary testing with Helium’s technology.

Now, Salesforce, whose logo appears right next to Lime on Helium’s website, says it doesn’t use the technology either. “Helium Isn’t a Salesforce Partner,” Tells Salesforce Spokesperson Ashley Eliasoff ledge in an email. When I asked about the graphic below, which appeared on Helium’s website, Eliasof said “it’s not accurate.”

Even hours after Mashable’s report was released, Helium’s website listed Lime and Salesforce as customers.

Sometime between 4:35 PM ET and 5:30 PM ET, the Lime and Salesforce logos were removed from Helium’s home page. ledge Helium at 4:48 PM ET to ask about its relationship with Salesforce, to which the company has not responded at the time of this writing.

Helium’s website no longer mentions Lime or Salesforce.

Unlike many crypto projects, Helium’s key pitch is actually relatively easy to understand (though there are absolutely ways to complicate it if you wish). The idea is that you put a helium hotspot—which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars—in your home, and users of the network connect to it when they’re nearby and need some data. The more data that goes through your hotspot, the more HNT (Cryptocurrency of Helium) you will earn.

In short, it is a type of decentralized mesh network, where the individuals running the nodes are able to profit from providing their data. (However, it’s worth noting that using your home Internet this way violates the terms of service contracts for many Internet service providers.) The economics are assumed because companies or individuals use helium’s network instead of cellular data. to pay.

Now, though, we have to ask: Who wants to pay for it? Not many people, it seems. as A Twitter source tellsa report from generalist says that last month only $6,500 worth of data credits (or DCs) were spent to access Helium’s network. People have spent millions of dollars setting up hotspots for networks in the hopes of making a profit, and it would be surprisingly low if Lime was actually connecting their scooters to the network, or if Salesforce customers were using it in warehouses. is for monitoring, like Helium pitched in 2017.

new York Times The article, which called Helium an example of “how crypto can be quite useful in solving certain types of problems”, listed Lime as well as Victor, a rodent and reptile trap company, as helium users. Lime apparently now denies that this is the case (and says it is sending a ceasefire and Helium), and Victor did not immediately respond. ledgeQuestions about whether it uses the network. However, the site that Helium touted in the partnership announcement as a place to buy helium-enabled Victor mousetraps no longer sells them. There is no mention of helium in Victor’s documentation.

However, Helium’s documentation hints at Victor’s products, saying, “A Helium network user needs 50,000 DCs per month to send data to their fleet of helium-connected mouse traps. (Yes, these actually exist). are, and they are glorious.)”

We also reached out to Dish, which announced last year that it would be using Helium’s 5G network. That announcement is also posted on Helium’s homepage at the top, under “Latest News”.

I want to end this with a parting thought. author of Times The story goes that Helium couldn’t really function without being involved with crypto technology, citing the fact that the company launched without any sort of crypto integration, and only came up with the idea when it was on the verge of collapse. was. But for years, under-served communities have had to build their own local networks, after being overlooked by the government and communications companies. This goes against the meaning of the chipper helium advertisement; That people would be willing to do something for their community only when they are being paid for it. So again, this doesn’t necessarily mean that helium misrepresented an important piece of the puzzle.

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