The iPhone 14 launch may not have been, well, much of a “iPhone Moment”. Their the impact has been negligible so far. But it could mark a turning point for the “Internet of the people” revolution that is attempted band blockchain projects like Helium (USD-HNT)… Because of the technology that is now inside the iPhone.
Or should I say, NO inside the iPhone.
Look, the iPhone 14 is of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) first to be built without a physical SIM card.
“If you bought an iPhone 14 model in the United States, your iPhone is activated with an eSIM”, as Apple Support Explains. “…With eSIM Carrier Activation, your carrier assigns an eSIM to your iPhone when you buy it. With eSIM Quick Transfer, you transfer the SIM from your old iPhone to your new iPhone without contacting your carrier.
Activate without contacting your operator. This is the focus of blockchain and Web 3.0 analysts like those at Messari, who released a new report this week on “The Telecom Cowboys of the Decentralized Wireless Movement.”
Because eSIM allows you to connect your phone to a new network, for example by scanning a QR code, “This is a significant advance for [decentralized wireless] cellular networks because it reduces the costs of changing operators to almost zero”, writes the Messari analyst. “Also, since iPhone 14 has 6 eSIM slots, users can install a DeWi eSIM in addition to their existing traditional carrier’s eSIM and use both cellular networks.”
eSIM is more than Apple, of course. You can do this with many android phones toolike the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel models.
In 2019, Helium was the first decentralized wireless project to appear, with a LoRaWAN network designed for the Internet of Things (smart beer kegs.) devices. Think of smart homes and offices…environmental sensors…GPS trackers, personal security devices…and even
But a couple of months ago, Helium started its “Cellular Summer” with the launch of Helium 5G Hotspots for your smartphone.
This day, helium counts 6,500 5G hotspots, and nearly a million IOT hotspots, on their network for one simple reason: By sharing your connectivity on Helium, you get cryptocurrency in return.
Like the project you got The New York Times tell “Maybe there is a use for Crypto after all”… Helium has attracted a lot of venture capital. In March, its creators at Nova Labs secured another $200 million in their series D round of Andreessen-Horowitz (a16z), world tiger, Capital Panther and the like.
Of course, Helium also has its skeptics and trolls. A viral tweet from July noted that for all its billionaires in venture capital, Helium was attracting only $6,500 a month in real income. This is a problem for all those people who “spent $400-800 to buy a hotspot”… Only to see their crypto rewards dry up in the bear market.
Helium founder Amir Haleem felt compelled to use Twitter himself and provide corrections and context.
“Why only pay $6,500 worth of data?” Haleem wrote in reply to him in July. “Unlike cellular networks, there aren’t millions of existing devices that can switch to @Helium.”
Well, now with the iPhone 14 (and the latest Galaxy and Pixel models), there probably will be.
It may take a while for people to want to upgrade as most of us are just trying to stay on top of rising grocery, gas and utility bills… And for investors to come around and make the DeWi cryptocurrencies are great again.
Other DeWi Crypto Projects
meanwhile there is several other cool DeWi projects in the works now. Blockchain-powered 5G cellular networks include:
- Helium 5G;
- pollen mobile (PCN-USD), which also featured heavily in Messari’s report on Monday;
- And XNET, which aims to bring you SMS, e911 and voice functions as well as data connectivity.
If you are also interested in decentralized Wi-Fi, then “wayru (USD-WRU) Y wifi dabba there are two early-stage projects being built in this category,” says Messari.
WiFi Dabba is based on the Helium network, which in turn operates on the Solarium (SOL-USD) block chainalong with Pollen Mobile. wayru is building its blockchain WiFi service on Algorand (ALGO-USD). Perhaps there is a use for cryptocurrencies, indeed.
As of the date of publication, Ashley Cassell did not have (directly or indirectly) any position in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.