Cryptocurrency: Helium Network Guerrilla RF Antennas Popping Up Everywhere

grarpamp grarpamp at
Sat Jan 7 20:14:07 PST 2023

Mysterious Antennas Found In Utah's Hills; Some Speculate
'Decentralized' Blockchain Network

Salt Lake City officials are finding mysterious antennas across the
foothills of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. The first ones were
discovered nearly a year ago, but more have been popping up in recent
months. These devices appear to be relaying data across a wide area.

As first reported by KSLTV 5 in Utah, the mysterious devices consist
of a battery box, a solar panel, and an antenna.

"These towers have been bolted into different peaks and summits and
ridges around the foothills," Tyler Fonarow, the city's recreational
trails manager, explained, "and it started with one or two, and now it
might be as much as a dozen."

    Salt Lake City public lands officials hiked up the snowy Twin
Peaks trail today to remove a mysterious device (solar panel, antenna
& locked battery box). They're finding more in the foothills, with no
explanation as to who's putting them there -- or why. Story on @KSL5TV
at 6
    — Michael Locklear (@MichaelLocklear) January 5, 2023

Fonarow said whoever is installing these small fiberglass antennas
doesn't have a permit for authorization on public land. His department
has been seizing the devices. They found one last week and plan to
remove another later this month.

More antennas have been found on property managed by the Forest
Service and the University of Utah.

A university spokesperson just released a statement about the
mysterious antennas:

    "Since Salt Lake City leaders alerted the University of Utah to
the unauthorized solar panel towers in the foothills northeast of the
Avenues neighborhood, University of Utah representatives have been
actively coordinating with City Public Lands officials to determine
whether any member of our campus community is connected to the towers.
As far as we know, the tower located on university property is not
owned or operated by the university. We appreciate Salt Lake City's
collaboration and dedicated efforts to identify the owners."

Fonarow speculated the devices could be part of a decentralized
wireless connectivity platform:

    "It might be related to cryptocurrency and relaying networks and
being able to make money off that," he said, "so that's another reason
we want to stop it now before it becomes a dumping ground for dozens
and dozens of more antennas."

Last week, a Salt Lake City Public Lands Facebook posted pictures of
"unauthorized solar panel towers" found in the Foothills.

Some people who replied to the Facebook post speculated the devices
could be part of the Helium network.

    "Probably helium network like several have posted. Or some kind of
mesh network repeaters? I don't understand why they are being torn
down and huge effort to take them off public lands, when if it is a
mesh network repeater, can be used by the public, and is very
important in emergency/communication failure situations," one person

    "Those are very clearly off-grid Helium miners," another person said.

    Someone asked: "Ham radio repeater?"

If the speculation is correct, these mysterious antennas could be
hotspots connecting to a wireless blockchain-based network for Helium.
This entirely new incentive model allows people to set up hotspots
that act as Helium miners and serve data to devices. People can earn
money by simply buying a hotspot and plugging it in.

Here's what the Helium coverage looks like around Salt Lake City.

There are nearly a million hotspots nationwide.

"Mining HNT is done by installing a simple device on your home or
office window," Helium wrote on their website, adding these "hotspots
provide miles of wireless network coverage for millions of devices
around you using Helium LongFi, and you are rewarded in HNT for doing
this. And because of an innovative proof-of-work model (we call it
"Proof-of-Coverage"), your Hotspot only uses 5W of energy."

There's no confirmation Helium hotspots are the devices being found by
officials, but speculation indeed points to that.

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