In 2014, Dish became the largest company to begin accepting Bitcoin, indicating an early interest in blockchain
Dish Network has signed up to be the first major carrier to utilize Helium Network’s blockchain-based incentive model
The Helium Network, which is a decentralized open wireless network and gateways equipped with blockchain technology can be used by consumers to mine HNT, the native cryptocurrency of the Helium Network, by providing 5G cellular coverage.
Helium wanted to answer the question of how to create a massive global network without spending “billions and billions of dollars.” Frank Mong, the company’s COO, told RCR Wireless News previously that the answer came to them in the form of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Inspired by bitcoin’s rise to fame, Helium’s HNT is a new cryptocurrency that hotspots earn for providing and validating wireless coverage and when devices on the network connect to the internet through hotspots.
Dish has long been keen on the idea of blockchain, and in 2014, became the largest company to begin accepting Bitcoin, as well as the first subscription-based TV provider to accept the currency. Further, the company added BitCoin Cash as a payment option in 2018.
“Blockchain technologies hold tremendous potential for the wireless industry, and Helium is among the leading innovators who have demonstrated that the blockchain incentive works by creating the largest decentralized, unlicensed wireless network across the U.S.,” said Chris Ergen, head of the Dish Office of Innovation. “As we build out DISH’s 5G facilities-based network, we will continue to look for innovative technologies and business models that complement or support our wireless business.”