LongFi is where the Helium blockchain and the LoRaWAN radio protocol intersect. The uniqueness of LongFi versus a traditional LoRaWAN architecture is that we use the blockchain (sometimes called a
decentralized ledger) to enable routing to many Network Servers.
Illustrated in the graphic below, LongFi improves on the standard LoRaWAN deployment with a blockchain-based OUI mechanism that enables seamless roaming across the entire Helium Network for any device.
The Helium Network is the largest, public LPWAN in the United States. It exists to route data for LoRaWAN-enabled devices. You can view a live coverage map and network statistics here.
Hotspots run a traditional LoRaWAN packet forwarder, similar to the one from Semtech.
Rather than forward to a centralized Network Server, however, the packet is forwarded to the Helium Miner, which will query the blockchain records to determine the Organization Unique Identifier (OUI) of the device (see Routing on LongFi).
The OUI record provides the address of where the device’s Network Server exists. The Miner will broker the packet micro-transaction with the Network Server. Assuming the transaction is made, the LoRaWAN packet is delivered to the Network Server.