How does CityBee make money if its paying people to host the hotspots?

Great question! Here’s how it works: the hotspot you host does two things, each of which are rewarded with a new kind of cryptocurrency. First, a hotspot works to verify other hotspots in its neighborhood. This is called Proof-of-Coverage. Second, hotspots transmit data from Internet-of-Things style devices, like dog collars, parking meters, or rentable scooters. In both cases, the hotspot is rewarded with tokens. CityBee Wireless converts those tokens to dollars using an exchange. This is the source of our revenue, which we use to pay hosts, expand coverage, invest in developing new users of the network and of course, pay ourselves.

What makes for a good location?

Hotspots like to be within a quarter-mile of three other hotspots. But duplicating coverage isn’t helpful to anyone, so hotspots also need to be at least 1000 feet away from any others to perform at their best. CityBee welcomes applications from everyone who is interested! Each host who signs up with us helps us expand coverage and unlocks another set of applicants. If we’re not in your neighborhood yet, we will be soon. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at any time if you’re curious about our progress in your neighborhood.

Is it safe?

Adding any device to your home network carries some risk. Each smart bulb and switch, smart TV, wireless printer, and mobile device creates some new small risk. We can’t guarantee that adding a hotspot to your network isn’t without similar risk, especially as every home network is different. But our hotspots do not connect to any of your devices. They are designed to send and receive tiny amounts of data – that make them poor options for any bad actors. Further, using the network costs money, making it an unappealing avenue for hackers. Finally, the network is being constantly penetration tested. Click here to read more about security and hotspots on the Helium network.

Why not just buy my own hotspot?

You could do that! And we absolutely encourage anyone interested to dive in. CityBee Wireless is all about working to see Helium’s vision take root. That vision: a ubiquitous wireless network owned by the people who build and maintain it. But we recognize that there are several obstacles to getting involved and so we set about to make it as easy and risk-free as possible.

If you want to go it alone, here are the places to dig in:

Hm, what if I’d rather just provide the location and let CityBee do the work?

You’re in luck! Here is why we think it makes sense to sign up with CityBee Wireless:

    1. With us, you can try out a hotspot without spending any money. We will never charge you any fees, ever. Why not see how it works before investing in the hardware and antennas?
    2. We’ll bring expertise around antennas and other hardware to optimize each location and help them work better together. As the network grows, it sometimes makes sense to change things up. We have a strong incentive to make the network better as a whole, instead of just optimizing one hotspot.
    3. We assume all risk around protecting, hedging, and capitalizing on the value of the utility token that backs the Helium blockchain, and we convert HNT to USD using verified accounts on exchanges.
    4. We make the taxes easy for hosts. Each hotspot generates thousands of transactions a year. Keeping track of that can get complicated. We’ll handle that. You’ll get a simple 1099 at the start of each new year to include in your filings for the previous tax year, just like Airbnb hosts, Lyft drivers, and millions of others.
    5. We average away unfairness (or unluckiness) by spreading the earnings from high performing hotspots around to the hosts of lesser performing hotspots. Sticking with us long term means when your hotspot under-performs, you’ll still get paid.

So no fees, ever?

Absolutely never any fees. We will never, ever charge you any fees. What we will do is loan you (for free, for as long as you want) one of our low power, long-range hotspots. And we will pay you $100/mo for hosting it in your home. It’s not all good news though: You will have to supply the electricity, which in Portland will cost around $5/yr.

How much money can I really make?

We pay our hosts a flat rate of $100 per month. You can earn more by referring friends and family! Just have them enter your name into the box on the application. If they become a Host, you’ll get a $75 bonus on your next payment and they’ll get a $75 signing bonus with their first payment!

How will I get paid?

After the hotspot is installed, we’ll send you a link to set up direct deposit. It’s fast, secure, and simple.

What about taxes?

We’ll pay you your full earnings each month you’re a host (no taxes taken out) and at the start of a new tax year, we’ll send you a 1099 with the information you need to file your taxes. If you’ve ever participated in the gig economy by driving for Lyft or GrubHub, renting out your space via Airbnb or your car via GetAround, you’ve seen 1099s. While each person’s situation is unique and we cannot give tax advice, CityBee believes in making your experience hosting with us as simple and straightforward as possible. Please email us anytime with questions.