Out of the 100s of Helium hotspots shown in Hong Kong on Helium Explorer, i have so far been able to confirm 20 real ones, by going around the city with a mapping device (see part 1 for details). Today i took my mapping device on a 45km car ride (red line), and its signal was only picked up by 2 hotspots, while i passed dozens of alleged hotspot locations. These 2 confirmed hotspots are:
- Cheery Vanilla Cow in Mui Wo (added in March 2022)
- Rapid Peanut Dolphin in Ma Wan (highlighted in below screenshot)
The Helium network and its Proof-of-Coverage system is seriously broken:
- it is clear that we can not rely on any coverage seen in Explorer (only 20 real hotspots found so far)
- real hotspots seem to earn a lot less than fake hotspots (see below for a very obvious example)
REAL HOTSPOTS EARNING LESS THAN FAKE HOTSPOTS
Looking at these 2 real hotspots on Explorer, we see that they have been earning less than 10% of the Network Average. They have not witnessed any nearby hotspots (see tab Witnessed), despite being nearby dozens of alleged hotspots (see tab Nearby); this means that probably most of the ‘nearby’ hotspots are fake locations: their beacons are not received by the real hotspots. The Helium Proof-of-Coverage cannot distinguish between real and fake hotspots, and because the fakes are witnessing each other, they earn more than the real ones.
These 2 are real hotspots, confirmed by mapping device, earning less than 10% of Network Average:
“Silly Indigo Rook”: HELIUM TEAM IGNORING 4 DENYLIST REQUESTS
Compare this with a blatantly fake hotspot in Mui Wo Silly Indigo Rook, that has not received any of my sensor data, but manages to witness plenty of hotspots at 10km+ distance with 500m mountains in between (Tuen Mun, Sunny Bay, Shui Hau, Tai O..). Note how it earns a lot more than Network Average.
I have tried to get this fake “Silly Indigo Rook” added to the Helium denylist twice (#1565 and #2705), and 2 other people have also tried, with more evidence (#2054 and #3012) and still, today on 28 April 2022, this hotspot is not on the denylist, and the Helium guy working on the denylist (@abhay) even closed that last issue #3012 without any explanation. This is a ridiculous situation: Helium is just not taking responsibility to keep the network clean of spoofers, so real hotspot owners no not have a fair chance to earn HNT.
ONLY 20 REAL HOTSPOTS FOUND IN HONG KONG SO FAR
I have been taking my mapping device around Hong Kong (mainly Lantau island and HK island) and so far my signals have been received by only 20 hotspots. I keep track of them in the Helium Console, as seen in below screenshot. I will continue to take the device to new parts of the territory, hopefully finding more real hotspots.
The list of real hotspots so far:
- Cheery Vanilla Cow
- Basic Sable Bird
- Beautiful Peanut Newt
- Electric Blonde Griffin
- Shambolic Tiger Leopard
- Daring Syrup Pigeon
- Huge Daisy Reindeer
- Cool Pine Stallion
- Rapid Peanut Dolphin
- Long Coconut Worm
- Fun Lava Jellyfish
- Basic Gingham Jellyfish
- Short Ruby Owl
- Cool Viridian Beetle
- Short Amethyst Puma
- Acrobatic Snowy Boar
- Rural Fuchsia Mockingbird
- Unique Plastic Frog
- Icy Alabaster Tadpole
- Vast Admiral Chicken
MAPPING DEVICE LOG
Just to show that my mapping device was working properly, see below screenshot of the Helium console, showing the Join Request and 3 successful Uplinks in Mui Wo around 6am, and then a gap with no coverage (missing Frame Counters), 1 success at 10:48 in Ma Wan, then coverage again in Mui Wo from 11:21.