Emerging storage-based cryptocurrency Chia could jack up SSD/HDD prices in the future

Humza

Posts: 825   +161
Staff member
In a nutshell: The crypto-mining craze has traditionally been GPU-focused, however, an emerging cryptocurrency could take its toll on the storage market following reports of early adopters in China mass purchasing high-capacity drives for farming Chia. For now, only enterprise-grade drives are being scooped up, but the coin's success and worldwide traction - which remains to be seen - could also spell trouble for consumer drives down the road.

Would you like some storage shortage to go along with the ongoing GPU shortage? The possibility could be on the horizon as Chia, a storage-based cryptocurrency, has allegedly led to the mass purchasing of hard drives and SSDs by miners in China that could potentially trigger a global price hike and hardware shortage in the future.

Created by Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, the Chia blockchain uses a 'proof of space and time' model instead of 'proof of work' (Bitcoin) or 'proof of stake' (Etherium 2.0), essentially allowing miners to farm/earn Chia currency by allocating their unused disk space, along with a time factor tied in for increasing the blockchain's overall security.

Although this crypto hasn't become tradeable yet, early adopters of Chia are panic buying HDDs between 4TB to 18TB capacities, reports Hong Kong-based tech site HKEPC (via Tom's Hardware). Drive shortages and price hikes have been predicted as a result, with hardware costs expected to rise between HKD$200 to HKD$600 (~$26 to $77).

Interestingly, Chia farming is better suited for high-endurance, enterprise-grade drives due to its constant read/write operations, but this doesn't exactly rule out consumer HDDs and SSDs as they can still be used for mining. Jiahe Jinwei, China's fourth-largest memory manufacturer, told MyDrivers (Chinese) that it has sold out all of its Gloway and Asgard-branded 1TB and 2TB NVMe SSDs, and is now looking into increasing production and developing a purpose-built SSD for crypto mining.

We've previously seen GPU vendors go down this route, and it shouldn't be surprising for disk drive manufacturers to explore this option if Chia or other storage-based cryptos gain enough traction in the future.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 384   +657
Cryptos are starting to look like the gray goo: they will self replicate and take over every device with even a single transistor on the face of the earth until nothing remains but nano machines, self replicating to mine for cryptocurrency without any humans left on earth to actually do transactions.

This is how we die everybody.

Well not really, we'll probably slowly die out to increasingly more common natural disasters related to global warming while the rich elite escapes to Mars or the moon to live out the rest of their natural lives but hey, crypto is already contributing it's part to that as well.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,726   +5,136
I'm done with HDD. I'll probably never use one again.

As far as SSD, I bought a Samsung 8TB QUO due to the demands of my STEAM games and the ever increasing file sizes of my photo vault due to these 4K cameras.

My gaming laptops have 2TB SSD and the only way I see upgrading them is a 4TB drive (QVO is fine by me).

If SSD price do rise, I should be able to hold out, but I really think the industry is going to address the SSD problem anyway now that the main gaming consoles use them and 1TB /2TB SSD are pretty much the standards.

It's too soon to tell - but I do hope that whatever demand increases come put pressure on the industry to focus on faster, better and cheaper SSD.
 

envirovore

Posts: 149   +344
TechSpot Elite
Well,I wasn't planning on dropping a few hundred on 2TB SSD's just yet, but guess I'm going to have to.

Even if this not new fake currency is better served with large rust platters, you know all these morons (and the noobs trying to get rich quick) are going to snatch up all the supply they can.

I hope the whole lot of them are stuck with a bunch of overpriced hardware no one will buy once all this crap crashes.

 

kimo1

Posts: 222   +407
Next crypto will rely on FPS you get in Crysis when using 'Can it run Crysis?' setting.
But then again, why does it have to be electronical? Can't it be something physical?
 

Digitalzone

Posts: 172   +102
This is how bubble is created. Someone creates something, it's crap but media give it a huge boost. This has zero impact but media will make it a bubble again. Maybe sponsored by drive vendors? Who knows. Who would pay an attention to some github repo otherwise?
 

Satish Mallya

Posts: 195   +184
TechSpot Elite
People seem to be missing the point - the crypto scheme is simply infrastructure to rent out unused storage by the mb.

It does both the job of verifying that storage is actually happening, as well as facilitating granular payment to many individuals with varying storage contracts.

If anything, this will make available unused space that currently is inaccessible, thus *reducing* the overall demand for storage media.

Or am I missing something?

[Edit - unused space is free - new hard drives are not - a person buying new hard drives for this would necessarily be bidding against people's unused space - this is likely not economically viable]
 

Geralt

Posts: 178   +155
TechSpot Elite
Cryptos are starting to look like the gray goo: they will self replicate and take over every device with even a single transistor on the face of the earth until nothing remains but nano machines, self replicating to mine for cryptocurrency without any humans left on earth to actually do transactions.

This is how we die everybody.

Well not really, we'll probably slowly die out to increasingly more common natural disasters related to global warming while the rich elite escapes to Mars or the moon to live out the rest of their natural lives but hey, crypto is already contributing it's part to that as well.
And it's only for money. Stupid humankind.
 

JamesBlond

Posts: 64   +38
I'm done with HDD. I'll probably never use one again.

As far as SSD, I bought a Samsung 8TB QUO due to the demands of my STEAM games and the ever increasing file sizes of my photo vault due to these 4K cameras.

My gaming laptops have 2TB SSD and the only way I see upgrading them is a 4TB drive (QVO is fine by me).

If SSD price do rise, I should be able to hold out, but I really think the industry is going to address the SSD problem anyway now that the main gaming consoles use them and 1TB /2TB SSD are pretty much the standards.

It's too soon to tell - but I do hope that whatever demand increases come put pressure on the industry to focus on faster, better and cheaper SSD.
Well, you wont have to worry to much after 2022 when DDR5 - Chips are released, 1TB Chips will be just for Servers but the point is that if they are getting so big SSD/NVMe's will become 100TB really quick and affordable
 

terzaerian

Posts: 785   +1,112
And it's only for money. Stupid humankind.
Yes, stupid humans, trying to put a roof over their head and food on their plates and not die of starvation. The nerve!

This isn't really all that new... there's Filecoin (which people were legitimately building obscene storage rigs for) and Storj on Ethereum. Headline is being a bit clickbaity when we all know that if storage prices go up it'll be because of the chip shortage.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,729   +1,533
I'm sure that I am ahead of the curve. I just took out an option on all space above 0 to 90 degrees latitude on planet Earth. Dividing it into 'little chunklets" which are then sold into the market based on careful cubic space calculations, I am certain to become a multi-quad-rillionaire in a few weeks.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 767   +592
Anyone find it alarming how our country is falling apart fast? Is this due to the destruction on purpose from Democrats and China or just China?

Everyday I see this country break down piece by piece brick by brick WTF? Am I going crazy?
 

Geralt

Posts: 178   +155
TechSpot Elite
Yes, stupid humans, trying to put a roof over their head and food on their plates and not die of starvation. The nerve!

This isn't really all that new... there's Filecoin (which people were legitimately building obscene storage rigs for) and Storj on Ethereum. Headline is being a bit clickbaity when we all know that if storage prices go up it'll be because of the chip shortage.
Poor people are not having mining farms for sure. Poor people are not buying expensive graphics cards.
 

BadThad

Posts: 449   +416
Anyone find it alarming how our country is falling apart fast? Is this due to the destruction on purpose from Democrats and China or just China?

Everyday I see this country break down piece by piece brick by brick WTF? Am I going crazy?

BOTH! Our current ineptocracy is demonstrating stupidity on a daily basis!
 

lostinlodos

Posts: 184   +44
Chia isn’t the only one. Dozens of storage crypto exist. And I’d say File is probably much larger.

This is why storage crypto will fail.
The whole point of storage crypto is to have decentralised storage. DeStor.
When it becomes centralised the users turn away.
File at least /tries/ to break files up. Ultimately these will all have issues.

All that aside I doubt we’ll see much of a problem on consumer drives. Not at first.
These farmers are unlikely to be knocking out the 512, 1TB, and 2TB TLC drives that are the best sellers.
Miners are likely going to be going foe the SLC over-provisioned enterprise drives first.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 785   +1,112
Poor people are not having mining farms for sure. Poor people are not buying expensive graphics cards.
Did you miss this story, or what?


Or are you just ignoring it to fit your nocoiner narrative?

Besides the fact that, as passive income goes, crypto is actually the most accessible form there is. Stock dividends and other traditional financial chicanery require enormous up-front investments comparatively, while you can mine with as little as one 1050 ti.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 785   +1,112
Anyone find it alarming how our country is falling apart fast? Is this due to the destruction on purpose from Democrats and China or just China?

Everyday I see this country break down piece by piece brick by brick WTF? Am I going crazy?
Yes, the fact the the US is sitting on its hands and the federal government is actively trying to throttle an entirely new class of technology in the cradle, while everyone from China to Venezuela is blowing past us in cultivating it, is indeed insane.
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 553   +656
The issue with Filecoin is that the barrier to entry is huge. You need at least an 8 core CPU, 128GiB of RAM, and a minimum of 1TB NVMe SSD drive. You'll pretty much have to build a system specifically for Filecoin.

SiaCoin has a lower entry barrier, but there seems to be a dispute and issues between team members about the viability of this service. In any case, 4TB of free space on an HDD is what they consider a good entry point, and you need 2 CPU cores and 4GB of RAM. You still need a 60GB SSD though, and combined with the 4TB, that's still quite a high entry point. But at least the rest of your system doesn't need to be as powerful as Filecoin. And you have the choice to mine with ASICs to be profitable. But that makes the whole thing convoluted, as you have both hosts for the files and miners for the blockchain validation.

Storj is the best of all in that regard, but, it runs on ETH. You only need 1 CPU core, 550GB of disk space, and some requirements on your internet connection, which are quite stringent though.

Chia in this article, is quite similar to Storj, but, it has its own blockchain, rather than running on ETH. So it's more similar to PoS than PoW, and despite needing 4 CPU cores and 2GB of RAM, it needs less than 400GB of space, and can more easily run on pretty much anything. It's also extremely lenient on your internet connection, as opposed to all the other ones.

I don't see this putting a strain on consumer storage though. Hardware failure is going to be costly here, so barely anyone would want consumer storage hardware as their first choice. It's going to be the enterprise solutions first, then maybe stuff like surveillance storage, since those are made to run 24/7, and then the likes of Samsung 970 Pro, and only then will we arrive at 970 Evo-like hardware. I doubt hard drives will be a priority at all.
 

Geralt

Posts: 178   +155
TechSpot Elite
The issue with Filecoin is that the barrier to entry is huge. You need at least an 8 core CPU, 128GiB of RAM, and a minimum of 1TB NVMe SSD drive. You'll pretty much have to build a system specifically for Filecoin.

SiaCoin has a lower entry barrier, but there seems to be a dispute and issues between team members about the viability of this service. In any case, 4TB of free space on an HDD is what they consider a good entry point, and you need 2 CPU cores and 4GB of RAM. You still need a 60GB SSD though, and combined with the 4TB, that's still quite a high entry point. But at least the rest of your system doesn't need to be as powerful as Filecoin. And you have the choice to mine with ASICs to be profitable. But that makes the whole thing convoluted, as you have both hosts for the files and miners for the blockchain validation.

Storj is the best of all in that regard, but, it runs on ETH. You only need 1 CPU core, 550GB of disk space, and some requirements on your internet connection, which are quite stringent though.

Chia in this article, is quite similar to Storj, but, it has its own blockchain, rather than running on ETH. So it's more similar to PoS than PoW, and despite needing 4 CPU cores and 2GB of RAM, it needs less than 400GB of space, and can more easily run on pretty much anything. It's also extremely lenient on your internet connection, as opposed to all the other ones.

I don't see this putting a strain on consumer storage though. Hardware failure is going to be costly here, so barely anyone would want consumer storage hardware as their first choice. It's going to be the enterprise solutions first, then maybe stuff like surveillance storage, since those are made to run 24/7, and then the likes of Samsung 970 Pro, and only then will we arrive at 970 Evo-like hardware. I doubt hard drives will be a priority at all.
And if you try with a job.