Looking for real Helium hotspots in Hong Kong, i started to wonder how much real data traffic the Helium network is seeing around the world. With a simple script accessing the Helium blockchain API i found out that out of the more than half a million hotspots reported on Explorer, the most active 7,000 hotspots are handling 90% of all data traffic. The top 20 of those are probably probably related to testing because they see 10 to 60 packets per minute and are concentrated mainly in Taiwan, with a few in Germany too.
Here is an interactive Google map of the 2,000 most active hotspots, in term of real data packets, in the week 9-16 Feb 2022. This set represents 70% of the total real data traffic on the Helium network in that week (note: Google does not allow more than 2,000 points in 1 layer). There are about 20 hotspots that do not show up because the API failed but that’s only 1%, so doesn’t change the picture much and i didn’t bother to fix it.
We can see that, as expected, real use of the Helium network is mostly in Europe (around 60%) and the USA (around 10%). For a full list of countries, see Github.
But as everybody involved with the Helium network knows, something fishy is going on in China; thousands of hotspots in Explorer, but none of them see any real data traffic, except maybe a few test devices