The city of San Jose, California has a new plan in place that is set to benefit crypto miners and lower income families within the area. The plan is that these families will qualify for free internet services for approximately one year while city officials join hands with a blockchain company to mine Helium.

San Jose Is Making a Name for Itself in the Crypto Space

The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) will purchase approximately 20 separate hotspots from the Helium blockchain network. It will then set up these hotspots in various residences and businesses throughout the San Jose area. The purchase of the hotspots is to mine Helium cryptocurrency, though those that allow the machines to be set up in their vicinity will benefit from free internet services.

The hotspots are considered easy going when it comes to energy use, allegedly utilizing only as much energy as what’s required to power an LED light bulb. In addition, approximately two megabytes of information will be transmitted per month. Helium, at the time of writing, is worth about $20 per unit, and CETF is planning to convert much of the cryptocurrency it mines into pre-paid cards that will then go to low-income households. They can then use these cards to lower their internet and electricity costs.

Frank Mong – the COO of Helium – explained in a statement:

The goal of Helium is to provide a long-range network for IoT devices. The positive side effect of the blockchain-based incentive model powered by HNT is enabling the hosts to offset costs related to connecting hotspots.

Sam Liccardo – the mayor of San Jose, California – also put his two cents into the mix, claiming in an interview:

Becoming a smarter city means leveraging emerging technologies that improve how we serve our community, making it safer, more sustainable, and more equitable. This first-of-its-kind partnership between the Mayor’s Office, Helium, and CETF represents one of many innovative public-private partnership models that we’re advancing to bridge the digital divide for residents.

Crypto mining has become a hot topic as of late, with several digital currency heads claiming that it does irreversible damage to the planet. Many of these arguments have come from Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla fame, along with Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank.”

So Much Anti-Mining Talk!

Musk rescinded a decision to allow Tesla vehicles to be purchased with bitcoin because of the alleged hazards of the mining process, while O’Leary stated that he would no longer be buying bitcoin mined in China due to its lack of environmentally friendly extraction methods.

Despite being only two years old, Mong states that Helium is a growing cryptocurrency given that there are already more than 200,000 separate Helium hotspots across the globe. While the asset comes primarily from mining, there are several “secondary exchanges” that have begun trading the asset.

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