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Nova Labs (Helium)

Nova Labs (Helium) logo



Nova Labs aspires to expand beyond LoRaWAN to be a “network of networks” disruptor to telecommunications and internet services. By August 2022, Nova Labs planned to bring ~1.9K 5G nodes online across 700 cities in the US. Providing 5G networks increases the potential market size to $25B. As Nova Lab matures, the company’s CEO, Amir Haleem, aspires to utilize blockchain and decentralized infrastructure to revolutionize other network protocols like Wifi and VPN.

Initially, Nova Labs used crypto tokens (HNT) issued to hotspot operators for “coverage” to incentivize buying and operating the hotspots. In the early days before 2021, the price for the tokens and the rate of token issuing could make an operator attractive returns. However, in 2022, the incentive structure has unraveled; the overall crypto market decline put downward pressure on HNT ($2.20 as of November 21, 2022 down from a high of $50.77 a year before) and lagging demand for the Nova Lab infrastructure slowed token issuing. It remains to be seen if Nova Labs can sell its infrastructure in a way that makes money or if the token economics are viable for operators that provide the infrastructure.

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