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    Dennis Y.

    Minefield: The Essentials You Should Know About Chia Coin Mining

    Chia mining

    As we described in part 1 of our article series on mining, hard drive mining is not a novelty, but a quite exotic type of mining. In 2021 Chia crypto coin, which belongs to the hard drive mining coins category, has become one of the most talked about. Let's figure out what's going on.

    What is Chia Coin?

    This token runs on the Chia Network blockchain, which was created by Bram Cohen. As you may know, he's a well-known US Software Engineer and creator of BitTorrent. He believes that BTC and some other cryptocurrencies running on the PoW algorithm consume a lot of energy.

    Chia operates on the PoST algorithm, (see details about Proofs of Space and Time in Chia's Green Paper). It utilizes disk storage for the validation of this network's transactions.

    What about Chia crypto ICO / IPO or launch on exchanges?

    The development of the project has been underway for several years, but the commercial journey of the coin has just begun. Chia coin release date on the market is May 3, 2021. Its ticker symbol is XCH. 

    What is Chia's crypto price?

    At the time of writing, the price of XCH was $833.16. The CoinMarketCap team has not yet verified the project's Market Cap. However, according to the project, its self-reported Current Supply is 514,760 XCH with a self-reported market cap of $426,535,958 (by the info from the page of Chia coin on CoinMarketCap).

    Chia Network Chart

    What do you need to know about Hard Drive / SSD crypto mining?

    This idea is not new. Coins that require SSD for mining have been around for a few years already. The most popular one is Filecoin for the IPFS network. Its idea is to allow some computer users to earn FIL coins for using the excess capacity of their hard drives for data storage by other users.

    According to the calculations of the miners, due to the increasing complexity at the moment, mining one Chia coin using 1 TB of disk space, will take more than 150 days.

    Bitcoin (or Ethereum) mining on SSD or hard drive: is it reasonable?

    Totally different protocols, blockchain scale, hashrate requirements, and mining costs, all of these give a definite answer: no, absolutely not reasonable.

    What's going on in the hardware market right now because of Chia?

    It's a rare case where a coin being mined on HDD/SSD has created such a buzz. 

    Most of the miners are located in Hong Kong. They are targeting the purchase of server SSDs, which have several times the endurance compared to regular SSDs (and a very high price). Miners target drives with a capacity of 4–18 TB, but most of all they are interested in 10 TB or more.

    Obviously, the miners triggered a lack of HDDs before the launch of Chia's main net.  As early as mid-April the main accumulations of HDDs and SSDs were already traded. Because of this, their price has quickly tripled.

    The total capacity of hardware involved in mining the Chia crypto increased tenfold in a month, from 120 petabytes to astonishing figures — 1.14 exabytes. It's consistent with the volume of 63,333 disks with 20 TB each.

    On the background of Elon Musk's statements about the negative impact of Bitcoin mining on the environment, Chia can be considered as a green environmental option. However, many companies treat it with caution.

    For example, the German hosting provider Hetzner has changed its terms of service, forbidding users to mine Chia coin on its servers. Because such mining exposes the equipment to high load, which leads to the failure of hard drives. Hetzner noted that the demand for servers with hard drives has recently increased significantly.

    Important note on HDD / SSD Mining Risks:

    According to Fast Technology analysts, Chia Coin mining on a 512 GB SSD can take 40 days to kill the device. The drive writes 256 TB of data in almost a month and a half. The average consumer with a 512 GB SSD uses the SSD for five years.

    If you decide to mine on SSDs, pay attention to these important points with the guarantees.

    SSD manufacturer Galax has warned its users that it will deny guarantee service for SSDs on which Chia was mined.

    The best SSDs for mining

    But there are also companies that did not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the opportunity to release new SSD mining rigs. For example, the Team Group company announced the release of 1 TB and 2 TB SSDs, designed for mining the new cryptocurrency Chia. Their TWB (total number of writable bytes) are marked as 6 and 12 petabytes. The devices have a record-breaking guarantee of 12 years.

    Bottom line

    SSD mining is an exotic type that can quickly damage your SSD. On the other hand, many people think it is more eco-friendly, and that is quite important. We will probably see the real profitability and prospects of Chia mining in the nearest future.

    For now, we can just be sure of one thing: the project has gained its popularity after a few years of quiet development. Whether to mine it or not — it's on you, but at least it will be interesting to keep an eye on this unusual project.


    The content of this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. We ask you to do your research.