Comparative Insights into DeWi Giants: Roam, Helium Mobile, Wayru, and Beyond



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Roam – Rapidly Expanding Network and User Base

Roam Project Aiming and Vision: 

Roam is committed to building a global decentralized WiFi roaming network. This network leverages decentralized identities (DID) and verifiable credentials (VC) to enable seamless roaming across different WiFi networks, significantly simplifying the common issues of repetitive logins, password sharing, and redundant registration during domestic and international travel. Recently, Roam achieved a milestone of over 330,000+ proprietary nodes and nearly 470,000 app users, currently supporting over 3.5 million global OpenRoaming™ nodes. 

Product Features: 

• Technical Architecture: Roam employs innovative Web3.0 technologies, including decentralized identity and verifiable credentials, providing a secure and convenient connection experience for WiFi roaming. 

• OpenRoaming™ Technology: Roam supports and promotes the OpenRoaming™ technology organized by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), a standard that allows devices to roam automatically between WiFi networks globally. 

• Data Privacy and Compliance: The network complies with strict privacy protocols and regulatory standards, creating a favorable environment for Web3.0 native applications and users. 

• Rainier MAX60 Wi-Fi Router: Comparable to AX6000 level routers but with consistent pricing, higher security, better performance, and additional mining functionality. 

Community and Ecosystem Development: 

• Extensive Partner Network: Includes telecommunications operators, WiFi device suppliers, tech solution providers, and merchants. 

• User Demographics: Targets global WiFi users, especially those without internet access and frequent travelers.

• Community Engagement: 157K followers on Twitter with 2295 tweets. Since the launch of Roam Points, Twitter followers have been growing by 15% monthly. The community is highly engaged with 2-5 online panels and AMA sessions monthly, attracting about 2K listeners on average. Tweets related to activity participation consistently receive over 500 retweets and comments, indicating high community engagement in the relatively niche DePIN sector.

Roam’s Explosive Growth in Data

Roam’s app officially launched in June 2023, and since then, key metrics like user numbers, added WiFi nodes, and daily check-ins have shown exponential growth. By June 2024, Roam had expanded to 186 countries and regions, boasting over 350,000 network nodes, exceeding 3,407,000 daily active users, and accumulating more than 477,000 app users. The Compound Monthly Growth Rate (CMGR) stands at 125.49% for nodes, 131.62% for daily active users, and 78.54% for app users

Roam’s network node data ranks second only to Helium IoT. With its current growth trajectory, Roam is expected to surpass the combined data of Helium IoT and Mobile by the third quarter of 2024.

*Chart: Growth of Roam App Data

Valuation: 

According to the Roam whitepaper on Tokenomics, Roam will issue 1 billion ROAM tokens at an estimated price of $0.20 each, valuing the company at approximately $200 million. 

Business Model: 

Unlike the most other DeWi projects that act as virtual network operators, Roam’s business model can be divided into three distinct phases. In the short term, Roam’s operations will revolve around Roam Nodes, which include hardware sales and additional services generated by the adding of network nodes. Hardware sales involve devices such as the Roam Rainier MAX60 exclusive Wi-Fi router miner. The additional services can also include advertisement for business clients/distribution platform service for CDN or VPN apps. In the medium term, the Roam protocol could provide 3W data based on geographical locations for various projects within the Web3 ecosystem such as SocialFi or GameFi. Looking further ahead, in the long term, Roam will offer AI+DePIN infrastructure services, providing an AI gateway for any hardware near the user. With DID, user data can share or interact with any LLM. 

Pricing Model: 

Roam services are free for end-users. Initial hardware costs are incurred for users who want to become Roam-certified nodes, but these can be recouped over time through mining. There are no user fees for using Roam WiFi roaming services. For the business side, Roam may charge for ads or bandwidth usage, depending on their needs. Roam is not a virtual operator. Becoming a Roam-certified node requires proprietary hardware, but adding nearby WiFi can be done directly via the Roam App. Currently, Roam miners are priced at $499 on the official website. 

Helium Mobile  – “Telecom Operators in the Web3 Sector”

Business Model:

Helium Mobile’s business model is twofold. Firstly, it attracts customers with its competitively priced 5G mobile plans, which cost only one-eighth the average rate in the U.S. Please note, Helium Mobile relies on the regular telco to issue its eSIMs. Secondly, in areas with poor signal, Helium Mobile allows users to set up their own base stations and tailor their bandwidth needs. Helium Mobile rewards these users with MOBILE tokens for becoming network hotspots. 

Pricing Model:

Initially, Helium Mobile offered three pricing plans, which included 1GB of data, 5GB of data with unlimited calls and texts, and unlimited data, calls, and texts, with the lowest monthly price starting at $5. Currently, Helium Mobile’s latest plan offers a uniform $20 monthly rate across the United States, covering unlimited data, calls, and texts. 

Roam vs Helium Mobile 

• Project Focus: Roam concentrates on building global Wi-Fi network nodes to enhance WiFi roaming experiences and boost network security, whereas Helium Mobile seeks to replace existing telecommunication providers, offering cheaper plans and broader signal coverage to users.

• Technology Application: Roam focuses on utilizing Web3.0 technology to enhance WiFi connectivity and ensure user data privacy, while Helium emphasizes using blockchain technology and token incentive to encourage users using their service by being a virtual operator.

• Community Engagement: Both projects similarly aim to expand their services by incentivizing the community or users to deploy nodes through token rewards. Both also have their proprietary hardware. 

Although Roam and Helium Mobile are both decentralized network projects, they differ in their core focuses and technological applications. Roam is committed to helping the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) build a global WiFi OpenRoaming™ network, facilitating WiFi network roaming across various regions globally. Essentially, Roam does not conflict with traditional telecom operators; rather, it aids them in serving customers better through Web3 methodologies. On the other hand, Helium Mobile attempts to offer users cheaper data plans and a broader range of services, positioning itself in market competition with traditional operators. Also, from aspect of community, Roam is doing a much better job than Helium mobile, for the twitter, Roam has 201K twitter followers, while Helium Mobile only has 38.8K, Roam also has an active Discord community which Helium mobile does not have its own, which brings potential communication cost between the users and Helium mobile team.

Wayru Network – Focus on WiFi Expansion in Emerging Markets

Wayru network is a decentralized wireless network project aimed at providing reliable, affordable internet access using blockchain technology, with a focus on underserved areas. It allows individuals to become network operators, sharing WiFi connections with everyday devices, thus creating a vast network of data transmission points. Wayru’s vision is to establish a wireless broadband network across towns and villages, offering digital access to previously unconnected populations through advanced yet affordable technology and a strong community participation ethos. The Wayru token ($WRU) underpins its ecosystem, rewarding participants who share their connections, thus stimulating active involvement and network growth. 

Business Model:

Wayru has designed a system that provides internet access to specific geographic radii at a much lower cost than traditional models. The network is tokenized into segments known as “AirBlocks.” This method provides internet connectivity to specific geographic areas and customers. Thanks to blockchain technology’s smart contracts, anyone can rent an AirBlock and share revenue from consumer subscriptions over a five-year period. Every month, 10-20% of the royalties earned by an AirBlock are sent to the block owner’s Algorand wallet. The company uses its own ASA (Algorand Standard Asset), the Wayru Network Token, for all payments. In principle, this token is exchanged directly with the company and could potentially be traded on various exchanges in the future. They describe this as a distributed property network. 

Pricing Model:

Mainly focuses on two major sources of income: network access fees paid by users and network advertising revenue. These revenue streams not only drive revenue growth but also provide real value to users. As part of its commitment to creating a sustainable and equitable internet access model, Wayru has developed multiple coordinated revenue streams that support its mission while meeting diverse user needs. Current or future sources of revenue include: 

• Premium Prepaid Wi-Fi Plans 

• In-network Advertising 

• Pay-as-you-go Data Usage 

• Premium Apps 

• Wi-Fi Marketing: Converts physical locations into intelligent spaces through data capture, analysis, customer engagement, and loyalty programs. Retains more customers with tiered monthly or annual fees through an all-encompassing WiFi marketing platform. 

• API Interfaces and Data Services: As a global internet service provider, Wayru possesses a wealth of data. By offering API interfaces and data services to businesses and researchers, we generate additional income while contributing to technological progress and market research. 

• Proximity Services for IoT Devices 

• eSIM Global Connectivity: Wayru offers eSIM services that allow users to easily access data plans in different countries without a physical SIM card. This service is particularly suitable for frequent travelers, providing them with seamless global connectivity and enhancing user experience. 

• Premium Support Services: Recognizing the importance of immediate assistance, Wayru offers a symbolic fee-based premium support service. This service provides users with priority access to customer support, ensuring their issues are resolved quickly and effectively, thereby enhancing user satisfaction and retention. 

• In-App Purchases: Within the Wayru app, users can make in-app purchases that unlock additional features, allow for customization and personalization of the app, and provide access to advanced data analytics. This not only enhances the user experience but also contributes to Wayru’s revenue stream. 

• Advanced Web3 Features: Within the Wayru app, users can enhance their experience through in-app purchases that unlock advanced features related to the Web3 ecosystem. This may include access to specialized decentralized applications (dApps) or the use of advanced blockchain technology features. These purchases help boost revenue streams and ensure users remain engaged with the latest developments in the decentralized network. 

In summary, while both Roam and Wayru are committed to building decentralized Wi-Fi networks, they diverge in their ultimate goals. Roam focuses more on reshaping Wi-Fi network access and enhancing data security, standardizing the industry to facilitate seamless roaming across different Wi-Fi networks in various regions. Conversely, Wayru concentrates on creating a decentralized mobile internet sharing network through a shared economy model and blockchain technology. Roam essentially bridges the “last mile” of Wayru’s Wi-Fi network and offers perpetual free Wi-Fi roaming services to ordinary consumers. Wayru is processing with an old Web2 business model, which still needs to be proved whether it could be successful in Web3. The community of Wayru needs to be improved as well, it only has 17.6K followers on twitter and average only around 200 online members on Discord. Community size is a key scope to evaluate a Web3 project’s future potential. Both Roam and Wayru have hardware, and it showed Wayru OG Genesis hotspot was sold out on its official website, and Roam has a strong hardware manufacture background, which already provide the second generation WiFi router miner Rainier MAX60 with a stable supply, which users can order Rainier MAX 60 anytime on Roam website and get it shipped.

Wi-Fi Dabba – DeWi Focused Solely on the Indian MarketFounded in India, Wi-Fi Dabba aims to provide fast, reliable, and cost-effective internet access through a decentralized network. 

Business Model: 

By installing local mesh networks in Indian cities, Wi-Fi Dabba offers high-speed unlimited broadband at just $0.01 per GB per day, suitable for streaming videos, watching cricket matches, or running complex code. It also provides a high-speed unlimited broadband service for just $10 per month. 

Pricing Model: 

Charges vary for different data packages, but there is also a $10 monthly fee for unlimited wireless broadband service. 

Roam vs. Wi-Fi Dabba 

• Project Focus: Roam is dedicated to building a global decentralized WiFi OpenRoaming™ network, emphasizing seamless roaming experiences and network security. Wi-Fi Dabba focuses on the Indian market, offering low-cost, efficient WiFi access. 

• Technology Application: Roam uses Web3.0 technology and OpenRoaming™ protocols to enhance WiFi network experiences and ensure user data privacy and security. Wi-Fi Dabba focuses on building decentralized network infrastructure to reduce costs and improve service accessibility. 

• Community Engagement and Market Positioning: Roam’s community building focuses on global WiFi users and partners, while Wi-Fi Dabba is more focused on the local Indian market, especially areas with weak internet infrastructure. 

• Community Activity: Dabba joined Twitter in May 2013, which is relatively early, but due to strategic issues, the operation of its Twitter platform is average, with only 1/200 the followers of Roam. Additionally, the project operates fewer community platforms, currently only managing Twitter, Discord, and YouTube accounts, lacking platforms for professional project documentation like Medium and Github. 

• Market Value and Tokenomics: As Dabba’s tokenomics are not officially formed and there is no official documentation, it cannot be compared with Roam. There is no publicly available information on its market value, only that its first funding round in 2017 was led by Y Combinator and amounted to $120K, and a second seed round in 2018 raised $1.2 million. 

Although Roam and Wi-Fi Dabba are both decentralized WiFi network projects, they differ in their core focus and technological applications. Roam focuses on the global market, providing seamless WiFi roaming and network security, whereas Wi-Fi Dabba is aimed at providing more cost-effective WiFi services in the Indian market. Wi-Fi Dabba also needs to put extra attention on its community size, its twitter account only has less than 1K followers (833),which indicates that Wi-Fi Dabba lacks market attention, it needs to build a loyal and active community to keep it alive in Web3.

Wicrypt – Self-sharing DeWi

Wicrypt aims to establish a decentralized mobile internet sharing and monetization network, acting as a virtual internet service provider that allows users to control their own mobile internet data. 

Business Model:

Wicrypt’s “share to earn” model allows you to earn income by sharing Wi-Fi hotspots with anyone nearby. Through Wicrypt devices, users can allocate by data usage or time usage. Users can also set their own pricing standards, and users only pay for the actual part they use. Additionally, every time you or your users access the internet via your hotspot, you also earn additional rewards in Wicrypt tokens ($WNT). 

Pricing Model: 

Wicrypt’s primary revenue comes from Host income. The reason it is not presented as a fee between hosts and users is that Wicrypt’s business model does not expand through the number of transactions itself, but through the amount of data sold. Therefore, it makes more sense to charge a commission on host income rather than a token fee on transactions. (Revenue commission from Wi-Fi providers) 

Roam vs Wicrypt 

• Project Focus: Roam is focused on improving WiFi roaming experiences and enhancing network security, while Wicrypt is dedicated to building a decentralized mobile internet sharing network. 

• Technology Application: Roam uses Web3.0 technology to improve WiFi connections, utilizing DID and VC technology. In contrast, Wicrypt utilizes proprietary hardware and firmware, along with mobile apps and cloud services, to offer decentralized mobile internet sharing. 

• Community Engagement: Roam’s community building focuses on partners and global WiFi users, while Wicrypt targets individuals wanting to become micro-internet service providers through its token incentives. 

• Community Activity: Wicrypt has a decent Twitter following, but the number of tweets is moderate, and the Discord community size and activity are relatively low. 

• Economic Model: Wicrypt employs a single token system where the WNT token can be used for staking, project governance, and reward distribution. The token distribution includes Pre-seed and seed at 4.6%, strategic seed at 5%, device holder at 10%, public sale at 1.4%, founders/team at 20%, Outlier Venture at 6%, advisors at 4%, host awards at 20%, user awards at 5%, and foundation at 25%. In contrast, Roam uses 60% of ROAM TOKEN for user staking, mining, and community rights, offering a higher proportion for user profits. 

In summary, both Roam and Wicrypt are committed to building decentralized networks, but they focus on distinctly different core areas. Roam concentrates on facilitating user freedom in WiFi roaming and enhancing the convenience and security of public WiFi access, while Wicrypt focuses on creating a mobile internet sharing network, incentivizing user participation and network maintenance through its token system. In terms of hardware, Roam and Wicrypt have similar approaches, supporting mining machines sold both as physical hardware and online NFTs. Wicrypt is doing a good job on its social media, however there is still a gap compared with Roam, Wicrypt does not have enough user education such as AMA or panel to stay connected with the community and the whole ecosystem. Roam has the routine AMA/panel to keep the users informed with the latest update and progress of Roam, participating in different industry panels also helps Roam to build a great brand in the DeWi sector.

Wi-Fi Map – WiFi Universal Key in the Web3 Sector

Wi-Fi Map aims to create and manage a decentralized wireless network that is trustless, permissionless, and programmable, leveraging blockchain technology and the power of “the crowd” or network operators to provide hotspots, moving away from the traditional single, centralized telecom operator model. 

Business Model: 

Wi-Fi Map operates as a multifunctional app designed to provide convenient network access globally. Key features include: 

• Wi-Fi Finder: Helps locate the nearest free Wi-Fi hotspots, with information on over 100 million hotspots worldwide. 

• eSIM Services: Provides mobile internet access without a physical SIM card, convenient for travelers. 

• VPN Services: Ensures secure connections and online privacy, allowing users to bypass regional restrictions. 

• Token-Based Incentive System: Rewards community contributors with $WIFI tokens and provides access to premium services. 

• Additional Features: Includes speed tests, a currency converter, a tip calculator, and a world clock to enhance travel experiences. Wi-Fi Map’s business model focuses on offering global network access solutions while enhancing user participation and loyalty through community-driven and token-based incentive mechanisms. Pricing Model: According to public information, they aim to generate revenue through three main channels: 

• Paid subscriptions for additional services (while the core product remains free) 

• In-app advertising 

• Integration of third-party services 

WiFimap vs Roam: 

• Project Focus: Roam is dedicated to building a global decentralized Wi-Fi OpenRoaming™ network. It consists of two phases: firstly, leveraging Roam’s own hardware to build Wi-Fi network nodes; secondly, allowing users to share local Wi-Fi nodes, which also helps add network nodes. The second step is similar to WiFimap’s approach, where WiFimap relies on users to add existing Wi-Fi networks to serve others without its own hardware. 

• Technology Application: Roam incorporates DID and VCs to ensure data security while users roam Wi-Fi networks. Initially, WiFimap was a Web2 project reliant on centralized user registration and management and introduced the $WIFI token to reduce Paypal fees. The key difference between WiFimap and Roam, is that WiFimap actually does not own the network, so they cannot provide further value to the ecosystem, while Roam has its exclusive hardware to build the network which could get the 3W data of both hardware and users. This valuable data can offer extra help to different Web3 projects for the future airdrop or other collaborations.

• Community Participation: Roam and WiFimap have overlapping communities. WiFimap, having started earlier, has amassed a large user base which facilitates an understanding of Roam’s promotional strategies. Both platforms support ad placements by merchants and allow users to share public Wi-Fi. The difference lies in Roam having its hardware, allowing users to earn higher income by providing Wi-Fi services. This potential for higher returns attracts users focused on Web3 mining and lays the groundwork for hardware collaborations under Roam, enabling multi-mining and a diverse ecosystem compatible with various protocols. Also, the majority of WiFimap community is Web2 users, which impedes its Web3 transformation. 

Conclusion: 

Helium Mobile, WiFimap, and Wicrypt all boast significant social media followings. Roam, although a later entrant, is leading WiFi map and Wicrypt in terms of social media followers and other community engagement. Roam also performs the exceptionally best in these projects on Discord, both in user numbers and daily activity, demonstrating a strong user base. At the same time, Roam is the project which also currently has the most WiFi network spots around the world among these DeWi projects(Almost 338K). 

Given that Helium Mobile, WiFimap, and Wicrypt have already launched their tokens, their economic models and price trends provide guidance for Roam’s upcoming TGE. With the current market recovery, there is a strong belief that Roam’s governance token, ROAM Token, has significant potential for appreciation. 

Hardware Aspects: Unlike Wi-Fi Map, both Wayru and Helium Mobile, along with Roam, have proprietary hardware devices. Wayru’s Genesis series miners are sold out on their website, and Helium Mobile has the largest hardware manufacturing scale. Roam’s mining machines are priced at $499. The latest Wifi Dabba hardware, Dabba Pro, its pricing and sales channels are not publicly disclosed. 

From an aspect of business model, different from Helium mobile being a virtual operator which essentially has conflict with traditional telco, Roam helps WBA to better deploy OpenRoaming™ network and provide the telco traffic off-load services. At the same time, Roam differs from WiFimap/Wayru for taking the reference from Web2 business model, the innovation: Roam Nodes+ Roam Protocol+ Roam Stack which ensure that Roam provides both values toward users and Web3 ecosystem.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

 



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