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5G blockchain network raises $111M in Andreessen-led token sale

Helium Network, a provider of decentralized wireless infrastructure, has concluded a $111 million token sale led by some of the biggest venture firms in the blockchain industry. 

The sale, which centered around Helium’s native token, HNT, was scooped up by several venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz. Alameda Research, Multicoin Capital and Ribbit Capital also contributed, according to BNN Bloomberg.

General partner at Andreessen Horowitz Ali Yahya told Bloomberg that new cryptocurrency protocols like Helium will “challenge centralized incumbents” and compete with bigger telecommunication service providers.

Yahya tweeted Tuesday that his firm will work with Helium to create a “grassroots telecom network” of the future. 

The founder of Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried, described Helium as a “tremendous opportunity to bring 5G to the masses around the world and greatly enrich the quality of their lives.”

Related: Smart cities are the future, but they might threaten privacy

Helium, which was founded in 2013 by Shawn Fanning, Amir Haleem and Sean Carey, is utilizing blockchain technology to create the world’s first peer-to-peer wireless network. The company’s mission is centered around building wireless infrastructure for the Internet of Things, which describes the new paradigm of connected devices. Since launching in North America, Helium has already expanded into Europe.

The company plans to use the newly raised funds to continue building its decentralized 5G network and support mobile network operators as they expand coverage.

Andreessen Horowitz has been behind some of the biggest fundraisers in crypto. In June, the venture capital firm announced a new innovation fund that would allocate $2.2 billion to promising blockchain and crypto plays. Andreessen’s participation in crypto startups adds to the growing narrative around decentralized technologies and their role in disrupting decades-old industries.

Related: Andreessen Horowitz launches biggest-ever crypto venture fund at $2.2B

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