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HNT Price Skyrockets as Coinbase Announces Upcoming Listing

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As Bitcoin and Ether hold steady, altcoins are continuing to see greens, with Helium (HNT) being the latest token to rally 38% in a matter of hours on Thursday.

At the time of writing, the $232.6 million market cap token has been trading at $1.54, having given up some of its gains but still up 6.4% in the past 24 hours against USD and 12% against BTC. These gains also have the market activity gaining tremendous traction, as evidenced by the nearly 300% increase in its trading volume from a day ago to $8.48 mln.

While HNT is enjoying gains right now, 2023 hasn't been good for the crypto asset, unlike the majority of the cryptocurrency market. HNT's price is only up 5.45% this year so far while being down 81% over the past year and 98% from its almost $55 peak in Nov. 2021.

The native token of the decentralized, open wireless Helium Network, HNT's latest price action is due to its listing on the largest crypto exchange in the US, Coinbase (COIN). Boasting 108 million users as of 2022 in over 100 countries, the Coinbase listing will help boost the accessibility and liquidity of the project.

Coinbase Announcement

“We're excited that Coinbase has decided to list HNT on their platform, one of the most trusted places to buy and sell crypto,” said Abhay Kumar, CEO of the Helium Foundation, a not-for-profit dedicated to steering the network's growth and the proliferation of secure, cost-effective wireless coverage around the globe. “This new listing enables the Helium Network to expand access to users beyond its current community and add to its growing global footprint,” he added.

In addition to this big milestone, the project recently also successfully passed two critical Helium Improvement Proposals (HIPs): HIP 83 and HIP 89. And both are expected to bring substantial improvements to the network's performance.

HIP 83 aims to enhance the efficiency and reliability of the network by improving the link layer protocol used by PoC devices. By facilitating better communication between PoC devices and the network, it will lead to increased network performance and coverage. Meanwhile, with HIP 89, the idea is to rectify the Mobile Onboarding Fee from 0 USD to 40 USD and the Location Assert Fee from 0 USD to 10 USD to ensure that the fees charged are consistent and equitable for all users. Both proposals have been successfully implemented.

Click here to learn all about investing in Helium (HNT).

Helium Network Expansion Continues

Helium was co-founded by Amir Haleem, Shawn Fanning, and Sean Carey in 2012, and the token was produced in 2019. According to Crunchbase, the project has raised a total of $364.8 million, including $38.8 million in an ICO.

Helium is a decentralized network of hotspots providing long-range, wireless services to IoT devices. The network uses a novel type of work called Proof-of-Coverage (PoC) and a unique consensus algorithm based on HoneyBadger BFT. The Helium network also allows devices to make immutable, secure, and verifiable claims about their location at a particular time via proof of location.

The network further makes use of WHIP, a standards-compliant and open-source wireless network protocol created for low-power devices over large areas, and Helium Decentralized Wire Network (DWN), which enables wireless access to the internet for devices through several independent miners.

It relies on the utility token HNT as a means to incentivize the expansion of its wireless network. The token is used to access the network's wireless connectivity and can be burned for ‘Data Credits.' Besides HNT, there are two subnetwork tokens, MOBILE and IOT, which are backed and redeemable for HNT.

Helium has also made a platform for partial staking where users can stake HNT tokens without a minimum amount and split the rewards based on their proportion.

Helium Case Study Tweet

Earlier this year, in April, Helium migrated to the Solana blockchain abandoning its own crypto infrastructure. The transition makes it faster and cheaper to operate on Helium. In the process, the project minted non-fungible tokens (NFT) with each hotspot on the wireless network represented by an NFT.

Speaking of NFTs, this week, Google Play announced a policy change, as per which now apps and games on the online store can incorporate “tokenized digital assets” such as NFTs onto their platforms, opening up new opportunities for creators and projects.

When it comes to Helium's adoption, so far, nearly one million hotspots have been deployed, up from a mere 47,000 in Jan. 2021, expanding the network across 77,000 towns and cities around the world.

Most recently, the project collaborated with the likes of Deutsche Telekom, Oxit, Trackpac, and many others. Nova Labs (formerly Helium Inc.) has also partnered with America's 5G leader T-Mobile to launch the world's first crypto-powered mobile service called Helium Mobile, which will enable subscribers to earn crypto rewards.

Click here to learn all about buying Helium (HNT) in just four steps.

US Inflation Down But Bitcoin Not Up

While HNT is enjoying gains, Bitcoin is not so much. BTC shot up to almost $31,000 on Wednesday on the news of a big slowdown in US inflation, but it didn't last long, and now on Thursday, BTC/USD is trading at $30,580 while Ether is exchanging hands at $1,880.

The government reported an increase of 3% year-over-year in consumer prices, the smallest annual increment since March 2021, versus the 4% rise in May. The core rate – which excludes food and energy prices – also slowed to a 4.8% increase after holding above 5% earlier this year.

While a positive development, the US Federal Reserve is still expected to make additional rate hikes in July, and this could be why crypto prices couldn't stay elevated. After all, the inflation rate is still far off of Fed's targeted 2% and, therefore, may not have been enough to boost sentiment in the crypto market.

The Fed is slated to meet later this month on July 26 to discuss its next move on rates, with the majority expecting a 25-basis-point rate increase this month. Currently, the interest rates are in the 5% and 5.25% range. This is in contrast to South Korea, where the central bank kept its interest rate unchanged for a fourth consecutive time as the country's inflation eased in June.

The good thing is that BTC is holding strong above $30k after rising more than 20% since mid-June and currently being up 83% in 2023 so far.

However, unlike the crypto market, traditional markets embraced the weaker inflation report, with both S&P 500 and Nasdaq in green and hitting new all-time highs as yields lowered. The 10-year Treasury yield is at 3.84%, while the two-year yield is down to 4.74%.

The lack of momentum in Bitcoin could be due to on-chain data showing that two wallets labeled as belonging to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and linked to seized Bitcoin holdings from the Silk Road marketplace, moving 9,825 Bitcoin ($300 million). This move by the US government could have exerted pressure on the largest cryptocurrency, much like it has been with other large transfers in the past.

The DOJ seized 50k BTC in Nov. 2021 after hacker James Zhong confessed to stealing crypto assets from the Silk Road darknet marketplace and pleading guilty to wire fraud. Zong kept his BTC stash hidden since 2012, which had its value skyrocketing to $3.3 bln.

Ever since then, the Fed has been selling the seizing crypto, with $215 million worth of BTC sold in March. The agency said at the time that they planned to dump another $1.1 bln. However, it's to be seen if the transfer between wallets will lead to the US government selling this time as well.

A Look at Altcoins' Recovery

For now, BTC is still down 55.76% from its $69k ATH. But with Bitcoin halving imminent in the second quarter of 2024, big gains are ahead for the crypto king. The expectation of BTC repeating its previous pattern of gains before and after the next halving event has Berennberg bullish on MicroStrategy, which holds around 152,000 BTC, 0.78% of the total Bitcoin supply.

In its research report this week, the investment bank said that based on the pattern established by the first three halvings, Bitcoin's pre-halving rally could begin four months from now, and the post-halving rally could continue until around October 2025.

If the fourth halving event repeats the bullish pattern for BTC, the bank notes that the shares of MicroStrategy, which account for around 20% of the daily average BTC trading volume, will also gain in value. Bitcoin's rally would then lead altcoins, including HNT, to surge.

But for now, the past week has been good for Kaspa, which recorded 27% gains. Compound and Solana also recorded 12.4% and 11% gains, respectively, during this period.

MATIC, meanwhile, has been enjoying a rally of over 15% in the past two weeks, driven by investor optimism in the Polygon 2.0 upgrade to improve network performance and transition to what the company says is “greater community governance of the protocol and treasury.”

In the past 24 hours, Radix, COMP, LTC, and LINK registered the most gains, with the total crypto market cap currently at $1.23 trillion.

Interestingly, this bear market has resulted in crypto crimes dropping by 65% so far this year compared with 2022 based on digital asset inflows to illicit entities, according to blockchain data firm Chainalysis. The report said that inflows to “risky entities” like high-risk exchanges and mixers, which criminals often use to launder funds, have also dropped by 42%.

Despite this pullback across the board, Chainalysis said, “Illicit crypto transaction volume is falling much more than legitimate crypto transaction volume.” Much like always, scams have been the highest-revenue form of crypto-based crime this year as well, though total scam revenue has plummeted by 77% compared to last year through June. But unlike scams, ransomware attacks are on the rise, with $449 million extorted so far this year.

What's different this year is that crypto crimes and scam revenues dropped despite the rising digital asset prices. “Usually, positive price movements translate to higher scam revenue, likely because increased market exuberance and FOMO make victims more susceptible to scammers' pitches. But 2023's drastic scam decline bucks that long-standing trend,” noted the report.

Gaurav started trading cryptocurrencies in 2017 and has fallen in love with the crypto space ever since. His interest in everything crypto turned him into a writer specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Soon he found himself working with crypto companies and media outlets. He is also a big-time Batman fan.