The Helium Network utilizes a Burn-and-Mint Equilibrium model, which is accomplished through multiple tokens.
HNT is burned out of circulation in order to use the Network. Data Credits are created through the burning of HNT and have a fixed USD value.
The Helium Network Token ("HNT") is the native cryptocurrency of the Helium Network and is the only token that can be burned to create Data Credits and send device data. Subnetwork tokens (IOT and MOBILE) are backed and redeemable for HNT.
There is no pre-mine of HNT, and a max supply of 223M HNT.
Data Credits are the only payment accepted to send data over the The People's Network.
Data Credits allow users to transfer bytes of data via Helium. The price of Data Credits is fixed in USD (1 Data Credit = $0.00001). Like pre-paid cellphone minutes or airline miles, Data Credits are non-transferrable, and can only be used by their original owner.
To acquire Data Credits, network users convert HNT or obtain them from an HNT owner. Any HNT converted to Data Credits is permanently removed (“burned”) from the circulating supply.
Burn-And-Mint Equilbrium (BME) is token economic structure utilizing two token types.
The following articles explain more how this works.