I recently signed up for and received a Helium hotspot from Emrit. Emrit will send you a free Helium hotspot for you to install in your home or other location (with permission from the owner). This hotspot will serve IoT devices using LoRa up to a 10 mile range. With the dinky antenna on my hotspot, and lack of elevation, I would be lucky to serve 1 mile. Why would you want one of these hotspots? Well, just having it on and available mines cryptocurrency.
Ok- I can sense your confusion. What's this about cryptocurrency? Well the Helium network is pretty unique. To send a message to or from a device on the network, you need to pay a data credit. You get data credits from burning the cryptocurrency: HNT. So you can earn crypto that will then be useful because you can turn them into messages for your own use. OR you can use HNT as a currency and trade it with others for a different currency, services, or goods. The fact that you can only use this crypto to send messages on the Helium network provides a baseline value.
So Emrit will send you a free hotspot so you can earn those sweet HNT (plus a 100 HNT bonus for hotspot activation), but there's a catch. You won't get to keep 100% of the hotspot's earned HNT, but instead only 15%.
In the end, it still seems like a good deal since these hotspots typically cost $425 USD.