IoT Blockchain Helium Halts After Issues With Validators

Helium halted

Major network issues

The largest IoT blockchain, Helium, has halted completely after issues involving the consensus group of block producers, known as validators. 

Helium completed the important light hotspot upgrade earlier in May. Although, almost immediately, users complained of low mining rewards and the team implemented a series of fixes. Specifically, the upgrade removed Helium hotspots' need for storing an entire copy of the blockchain and creating geographical challenges to other hotspots. A hotspot is a small device with an antenna, which allows data to be transferred across the world to other hotspots.

Before the light hotspot upgrade, hotspots would become "relayed," meaning they would go offline and rely on other more powerful hotspots to function. Now, all hotspots are online and involved with Proof-of-Coverage. PoC is based on the Honey Badger BFT consensus protocol.

What happens next?

The light hotspot upgrade also introduced a new type of device involved, called validators, which are now responsible for creating blocks and challenges to hotspots. The network will not work if all validators go offline, as shown by today.

Helium has already started rolling out their plan to integrate 5g into the network. Notably, major telecom company Dish has been a partner with Helium since 2021. If Dish continues to build on Helium along with other large entities, then these network bugs will have to be decisively patched before consumers are affected significantly. The team said that they will issue an update on the network issues in a few hours.