An update on the Helium Network’s migration to Solana

Following a meeting of the community’s Readiness Working Group, the majority voted to shift the migration date forward to April 18.

The Helium community’s Readiness Working Group met for a third time to assess the current state of the Network’s migration to Solana. This diverse group of 20+ prominent, long-time, and active technical stakeholders in the Helium Network was established by the Helium Foundation to assess downstream impacts, improve technical documentation, and ensure Makers, Developers, and the community at large are prepared for the mainnet launch on Solana.

At today’s meeting, the Readiness Working Group acknowledged the progress made thus far but discussed shifting the migration date forward from March 27 in order to provide more time for 1) community readiness, 2) necessary governance votes, and 3) additional testing and operational improvements. The Readiness Working Group approved, by a supermajority vote, to move the migration date and establish April 18 as the final migration date.

All network participants and the Helium Community began migration work in earnest in October 2022, immediately following overwhelming support for HIP-70. Today’s vote reinforces the ongoing collaboration within the Helium Network to ensure a successful mainnet launch.

While the Group expressed general confidence in the completed work, the following issues underpin the decision to extend preparation:

3rd Party Readiness:

Maker Apps — Allowing additional time for Hotspot management apps to be approved and listed by respective iOS and Android stores

Ledger Wallet — Additional time to confirm firmware updates and improvements to the migration UX

Centralized Exchange Support — The Foundation has received verbal confirmations that the upgrade will be supported, but additional time will allow exchanges to confirm publicly.

DeFi — The Foundation has been working with existing Solana DeFi protocols to ensure that there is a simple way for Helium network users to onboard into the Solana ecosystem. We look forward to these teams making announcements of support of HNT, IOT, and MOBILE on their platforms.

Changes through Governance:

Outstanding proposals should be addressed and voted on ahead of the migration to reduce ambiguity and support the IOT Network:

HIP 77 — This HIP defines parameters carried over from legacy chain-vars for continuity and clarity through migration. The discussion has been open for two weeks in Discord.

HIP 78 — Confirm onboarding fees for the MOBILE subDAO.

Additional time for testing and operational improvements

Boost resources around DevOps.

Improve the system of Network alerts and monitoring systems.

The launch on Solana Mainnet will be one of the most significant transitions of a Layer 1 blockchain to date and brings with it a world of benefits for the Helium Community. Given the scope of the transition and range of stakeholders, the Foundation and the Readiness Working Group believe that prudence is the best course of action and a reasonable extension supports a more confident ecosystem.

Audit Update

The highly reputable Sec3 has returned the initial audit report of Helium smart contracts. The audit showed no major concerns for security, with only 1 critical issue that was found by Helium Core Developers before submitting the audit. There were a total of 19 medium-level bugs. All changes from the audit have already been implemented and are complete. There are no delays to mainnet deployment from the audit, and the Helium Foundation is confident in the smart contracts.

Following a typical process, the audit team is not prepared to share the final audit report until the important issues are addressed and fixed. As we’re only running in devnet at this point, we’re happy to share some of the pull requests (#98, #107) that address the recommended improvements. We will publish the final audit when cleared by Sec3 and the engineering team at the Helium Foundation. The Foundation expects to have the final audit on Friday, March 17, and we’ll do a final review over the weekend with the goal of publishing early next week.

What Comes Next?

The Foundation will continue holding weekly office hours through the migration process.

The Community can expect announcements regarding additional wallet migration resources.

The Foundation will release new supporting resources, such as videos or guides for wallets, in addition to Docs and AMAs.

HIP 77 will have a dedicated Q&A in Discord next week. Please ask or review questions in the discussion channel. A vote will open sometime next week.

HIP 78 discussion opened yesterday in Discord. Please engage with questions or comments ahead of an upcoming vote.

The Foundation team and the RWG appreciate the community’s patience and participation in the process. We’re excited to usher in a bigger and better Helium Network.

A Migration Guide is available for Network stakeholders and has been continuously updated based on feedback and new developments.

Catching up?

What is HIP 70 and the Solana Migration?

The Solana Migration is an upgrade to the network infrastructure established by Helium Core Developers in HIP 70 in early 2022. This includes migrating the Network from its own sovereign layer-1 blockchain to the Solana blockchain and moving elements of on-chain activity to a more efficient oracle framework. The migration will generally make the Helium Network faster, cheaper, and significantly more stable. It brings smart contract functionality to the Helium Network, accesses a larger developer ecosystem, and includes composable features from the Solana ecosystem. Read more from the original announcement following the passing vote.

What do Hotspot hosts need to do?

The average User and Hotspot Owner needs to do very little. Ensure your hotspot is on and beaconing and you’ve migrated your Helium App (blue icon app) to the Helium Wallet (black icon app). Post-migration, you won’t be able to head to the Helium Explorer, but you will be able to use multiple explorers to view the status of the Solana Blockchain.

Helium Docs remains the source of truth for all information concerning the Migration. All updates will initially post to the Helium Discord #announcements channel.

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