Internet access is a racket. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 30% of American households have access to just one high-speed (download speed of 25 megabits per second) internet service provider (ISP). Thirty percent have access to two high-speed ISPs. And 13% have no high-speed access. That means 73% of the nation has little or no choice regarding who provides them with internet service.
And don’t get me started on apartments. Many apartments are locked into a single ISP. And those ISPs often offer deals to new customers and punish regular ones. (Assistant Managing Editor Allison Brickell could tell you all about how her internet bill has nearly doubled now that she’s been locked into it for a year.) Some real estate developers won’t even let a cable provider in the door unless there’s a revenue sharing plan in place!
Choice matters when it comes to prices. As most of you know, monopolies drive prices up. Choice drives prices down. It’s a simple equation. When my brother lived in Indiana, he had a choice between multiple cable providers and Verizon. As a result, his cable prices were up to 40% cheaper than the various New England towns I lived in, which offered me no choice at all.
There has to be a better system. Internet access has become a basic necessity and a prerequisite to success in life. You need internet access just to hunt for a job. And it needs to be affordable.
The best way to increase access and decrease costs is through competition. Rewarding cable companies with monopolies or duopolies like they’re crime bosses isn’t the answer.
That’s why our latest airdrop recommendation, Althea, is so interesting. Althea is adopting a novel – and perhaps revolutionary – approach to improving internet access. It needs your help to pull it off. And if it does succeed, you’ll profit from its efforts.
Decentralizing Internet Access
Althea’s technology is similar to the wireless mesh networks that some people use in their homes today. Except instead of creating an indoor wireless network, Althea is creating one giant outdoor wireless network that people can tap into. And if enough people in a neighborhood join a network, you can get a stable, high-speed internet network up without cable or phone companies having to spend millions on wiring.
Here’s how it works.
User nodes. User nodes are like Wi-Fi routers. They’re ways for people to use the Althea network and pay for internet access using blockchain technology.
Relay nodes. People can earn money by operating these nodes. Relay nodes forward internet traffic. The same blockchain technology and software that’s used to buy bandwidth can be used to sell bandwidth. From a hardware standpoint, relay node operators will have to attach small devices on roofs and spots that have a good line of sight to the Althea network.
Gateway nodes. These nodes connect the Althea network to the internet. Typically, the gateway node will be a low-cost connection to either an internet backbone or an exchange. Gateway nodes can also double as relay nodes.
The token. Althea’s network relies on individuals creating and operating all of these nodes. So how do you get people to create and operate the nodes? You incentivize them with a payment. And you automate all of the payments with blockchain technology.
The ALTG token is used to make payments on the Althea network. Customers who use the network pay in ALTG. And the individuals who operate the various relay and gateway nodes are rewarded/get paid in ALTG.
In most airdrops, you get some coins and hope they go up in value. Then you sell them and claim the profits. That’s not the way this airdrop works.
This airdrop is more like a revenue share.
ALTG is a “proof of stake” (PoS) token. You can read more about PoS here. But here are the two most important things you need to know:
- PoS is a more efficient method of validating transactions than proof of work (which is what bitcoin uses).
- In order to validate transactions using PoS, validators have to already own their own pool of tokens. It’s the crypto version of collateral.
So when you get your tokens (more on that in a moment), you’ll have to “back” or stake a validator. Once you back a validator, you will start earning revenue – between 5% and 10% of the revenue (that’s your “dividend”). Backing a validator is a bit like investing in a good cryptocurrency. You don’t know which validators are going to generate revenue initially. But you’ll be able to figure it out over time. And fortunately for you, Althea is giving away ALTG for free! So there’s no initial risk.
How to Claim the Airdrop
Republic, a terrific crowdfunding site, is conducting Althea’s airdrop. To sign up for the airdrop, visit the Althea page on Republic.co. You’ll have to sign up for a Republic account and then follow the directions on the site to claim your airdrop.
Althea is giving away 1 million ALTG total. You can earn up to 20 ALTG just by watching videos that describe how the network operates (and taking the subsequent quizzes). You can earn up to 560 ALTG by submitting a proposal to create a network and build a website to collect potential customers. You can also earn ALTG by referring customers.
One last thing. If you really like the Althea concept, you can get involved as an organizer. Organizers get between $10 and $20 per month for each router on their network. Organizers also help deal with technical issues (or hire people to do so) and recruit more users to the network.
Never give anyone your email password or private keys. No legitimate airdrop will ask for that information.
Never reuse your email or exchange passwords. Always use unique, random passwords. Write them down and store them somewhere safe. We also recommend setting up a separate email account for airdrops.
Senior Managing Editor, First Stage Investor