A newly-introduced cryptocurrency reportedly caused a hard drive and SSD shortage as it advocates to move away from traditional crypto mining using graphics cards.
Chia, the newest cryptocurrency that is yet to be opened for trading, had been attempting to help the environment by lessening the impact of crypto mining brought by its growing energy consumption.
However, its advocacy backfires after crypto miners started hoarding hard drives and SSD way ahead of the cryptocurrency's launch.
Chia Network's Advocacy: Creating Sustainable Cryptomining
Chia, the latest to enter the cryptocurrency scene, promises to build a better blockchain and smart transaction platform that is more secure, efficient, and decentralized compared to Bitcoin.
Developed by BitTorrent network inventor Bram Cohen, Chia is also designed to be an eco-friendly cryptocurrency that leverages the power of drives.
According to Chia Network's blog post in Mar. 2019, it utilizes a proof of space and time model, unlike Bitcoin's proof-of-work model.
This means that crypto miners, or "farmers," looking to get their hands on Chia will have to allocate unused disk space to the network that ultimately does not require energy.
Crypto mining following the proof-of-work model should be able to help the environment by eliminating the need to use power-hungry graphics cards.
"Mining requires expensive single-use hardware that consumes exorbitant amounts of electricity," Chia's FAQ page states.
"Unlike mining, once you're done farming your storage you can repurpose it to, for example, store your family photos."
In a nutshell, Chia "farmers" will have to prepare "plots" of unused disk space for the blockchain to use to "seed" a collection of cryptographic numbers through installing the cryptocurrency's software.
The Chia Network added that a farmer's probability of winning a block is the percentage of the total space the farmer had allocated compared to the entire network.
Chia's Advocacy Backfires
A report from Hong Kong-based tech site HKEPC, which was published on Apr. 16, revealed that instead of helping the environment, Chia had led miners to mass purchase hard drives and SSDs.
The Hong Kong market is now experiencing a spike in sales of hard drives that span from 4TB to 18TB in capacity.
The price of hard drives and SSDs in Hong Kong is projected to increase between HKD 200 to HKD 600 ($26 to $77).
The rising demand for storage devices Chia had unintentionally caused also adds to the Global Chip Shortage that is reportedly reaching a critical point.
Jiahe Jinwei, one of China's largest manufacturers of computer components, said that the company's high-performance 1TB and 2TB NVMe M.2 SSDs are all sold out.
They continued that the company intends to limit crypto miners from buying enormous amounts of consumer SSDs and increase production to meet the growing demand for hard drives.
In addition, Jiahe Jinwei is reportedly developing a specialized hard drive designed solely for crypto farming operations.
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Written by Lee Mercado