Monday, April 19th 2021

Chia - The Cryptocurrency Gunning for Your SSD and HDD Space That Could Bring Another Tech Sector Pricing Up

A new cryptocurrency going by the name of Chia could bring about a boom in demand for HDD and SSD, which have been kept relatively untouched by the latest mining and supply constraints. However, optimistic predictions of falling prices for NAND (optimistic for consumers, that is) could prove to be erroneous. Apparently, the new cryptocurrency, which saw its whitepaper being published in February 9th and has already led to shortages of high-performance SSDs from China's Jiahe Jinwei.

The cryptocurrency was designed to be mined in SSDs and HDDs, looking to cut on electricity cost from proof of Work (PoW) cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and (still) Ethereum. The intention is for the cryptocurrency to have as broad an appeal as possible, by excluding the need for prohibitive investments in either ASICs (for Bitcoin) or GPUs (for Ethereum and other Dagger/Hashimoto-based calculations). It also leverages that which is most widely available and oftentimes left empty of any workload - storage space. Due to this, it's been reported that Chinese miners are already buying HDDs (4 TB through to 18 TB) and SSDs (mainly NVMe solutions) in bulk. This could prevent technologists from ushering in the current trend of falling storage pricing - if demand becomes as crazy as it has become in the GPU space.
Chia was designed by BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen, and uses a specific type of consensus and ledger-assurance system that's described as Proofs of Space and Time. The blockchain is farmed via Proof of Space, which is done inside your HDD or SSD via computing through already-in-storage models, and then contacts Chia's servers for Proof of Time - which essentially ensures that a required amount of time has passed between the block's generation and its actual inclusion in the network, to prevent any ill-intentioned farmer from assuming control of the network.

There are several advantages to farming a cryptocurrency such as Chia over the more general proof of work models. HDDs and SSDs take up much lesser space than a rack of GPUs, whilst consuming much less power, generating much less heat and noise, and thus allowing for much higher scalings in farming scenarios (which is what Chia calls its mining, because it's more ecologically sustainable than the usual mining workloads).
Sources: Chia Project Home, via Tom's Hardware
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101 Comments on Chia - The Cryptocurrency Gunning for Your SSD and HDD Space That Could Bring Another Tech Sector Pricing Up

#76
las
zlobby
What's next? Crypto mined on PSU or RAM?
PSUs 850w+ especially 1000w and up are already jacked up because miners needs these to run alot of gpus

RAM are expected to rise up to 20% very soon
Posted on Reply
#77
spectatorx
las
PSUs 850w+ especially 1000w and up are already jacked up because miners needs these to run alot of gpus

RAM are expected to rise up to 20% very soon
RAM prices now will increase mainly because of lifecycle: ddr4 slowly comes to end as ddr5 should be launching to regular customers somewhere next year.
Posted on Reply
#78
R0H1T
spectatorx
RAM prices now will increase mainly because of lifecycle: ddr4 slowly comes to end as ddr5 should be launching to regular customers somewhere next year.
DDR4 isn't going away anytime soon, until at least the MSDT platform moves to DDR5 only ~ which is probably 2023 at the earliest IMO. I hope & expect at least one (major) round of price cuts before DDR4 fades into obsolescence.
Posted on Reply
#79
las
spectatorx
RAM prices now will increase mainly because of lifecycle: ddr4 slowly comes to end as ddr5 should be launching to regular customers somewhere next year.
DDR5 will be expensive in the beginning, with high clockspeeds but terrible timings.

Back when DDR4 came out, high-end DDR3 were still superior in alot of tasks especially gaming (which prefers low latency).

DDR4 is not going away anytime soon
Posted on Reply
#80
R0H1T
Wirko
Hashi Hashimoto is now head of civilisation control department. Crypto has been used on several planets at a similar stage of development, with great success every time.
Nah that dubious title probably goes to the ethereal Zuckerberg &/or Tiktok owners o_O :slap:
Posted on Reply
#81
R-T-B
bobbybluz
I just had a couple of those 252cfm Delta's running a couple of hours ago. They do get annoying after a while.
My old mining ones no less lol. You saved them from a leaky attic. Hope you enjoyed.
Posted on Reply
#82
silentbogo
las
PSUs 850w+ especially 1000w and up are already jacked up because miners needs these to run alot of gpus
In Ukraine they never really fell in price after the first boom.
Fortunately, the majority of people don't need a 1kW PSU nowadays, even if you have a maxed-out gaming rig.
Heck, I've been getting by with 550W or lower PSU for the past 10 years or so(even on OCed Westmere rig). Got a spare 1kW unit as a payment not too long ago, but I think it'll do better elsewhere.
As for miners, there are much better alternatives than consumer-grade PSUs. Most of my friends with mining rigs got on a bandwagon of refurbished modded Emerson and HP enterprise PSUs. The last one I bought for my customer cost around $200. 2.4kW, already modded with 20-something 6+2pin cables made out of real 18AWG wiring w/ soldered connectors (enough to run his 6xP104-100 cards, hook up a PicoPSU for motherboard and have few spare connectors just in case). Not only is it much safer from electrical standpoint, but also saves those beastly PSUs from landfill.
Posted on Reply
#83
JAB Creations
Kill it with fire.
Valantar
Yet another demonstration that crypto is nothing more than a race to invent ever new stuff for people to invest in gamble on. Utter f*****g waste in every single concievable way. Making the rich richer, screwing over the planet (production of SSDs also pollutes, after all, and e-waste is a major problem already), but of course this is "liberating" people from some undefinable "oppression". The ideological BS surrounding this is still staggering to me. It's just another way to maintain the status quo of predatory capitalism.
I was about to agree and like and then you had to blame capitalism. You need to seriously learn the difference between capitalism and cronyism.
Posted on Reply
#84
Dr_Lizardo
rainxh11
Blockchain, cryptocurrency, this technologies have proven to bring more harm than good over the past decade
bitcoin, what was to be a revolutionary currency to replace the printed out of nothing paper money
is now a commodity people gambling with, it is used as anything but being a currency, sucking up electricity and silicon resources like there's no tomorrow, crypto mining is being to the environment, far more than real mining, what an irony
nobody will spend a currency to buy anything if that currency value keep doubling, tripling, halving in a mere of months
the only people who benefiting are the already corrupt and wealthy wall street guys and bankers,
using to launder money, use it as an offshore private account,
cryptocurrencies proved to be a mere other tool to keep the status quo
You really don't understand how it works. Of the seven things you said, seven of them are wrong. Crypto-mining isn't causing the silicon shortage. That's absurd, as is the notion that crypto-mining is worse for the environment than geo mining. Utterly laughable.

I'm short on time so I can't reply to any more of your points right now, but they're wrong too.

Cheers.
Posted on Reply
#85
Valantar
JAB Creations
Kill it with fire.



I was about to agree and like and then you had to blame capitalism. You need to seriously learn the difference between capitalism and cronyism.
Cronyism is a built-in feature of unregulated capitalism.
Posted on Reply
#86
Why_Me
Valantar
Cronyism is a built-in feature of unregulated capitalism.
There's cronyism in all economic systems.
Posted on Reply
#87
Valantar
Why_Me
There's cronyism in all economic systems.
That's absolutely true. What makes capitalism stand out (somewhat) is that it actively encourages it, discourages regulatory mechanisms designed to fight it, and mainly sees it as positive (through creative redefinitions of "efficiency"). Of course there are other systems that do similar things, but none to the same degree.
Posted on Reply
#88
Why_Me
Valantar
That's absolutely true. What makes capitalism stand out (somewhat) is that it actively encourages it, discourages regulatory mechanisms designed to fight it, and mainly sees it as positive (through creative redefinitions of "efficiency"). Of course there are other systems that do similar things, but none to the same degree.
Capitalism breeds innovation.
Posted on Reply
#89
las
silentbogo
In Ukraine they never really fell in price after the first boom.
Fortunately, the majority of people don't need a 1kW PSU nowadays, even if you have a maxed-out gaming rig.
Heck, I've been getting by with 550W or lower PSU for the past 10 years or so(even on OCed Westmere rig). Got a spare 1kW unit as a payment not too long ago, but I think it'll do better elsewhere.
As for miners, there are much better alternatives than consumer-grade PSUs. Most of my friends with mining rigs got on a bandwagon of refurbished modded Emerson and HP enterprise PSUs. The last one I bought for my customer cost around $200. 2.4kW, already modded with 20-something 6+2pin cables made out of real 18AWG wiring w/ soldered connectors (enough to run his 6xP104-100 cards, hook up a PicoPSU for motherboard and have few spare connectors just in case). Not only is it much safer from electrical standpoint, but also saves those beastly PSUs from landfill.
Yes, I'm only using 1kW because I got it for free, 750-850 would have bene more than fine. Without OC at all, even 650 would probably be enough

Alot overestimate their PSU needs

A friend of mine once bought a 1500 watt PSU for a single CPU/GPU system , barely used 450 watts during load
Posted on Reply
#90
Valantar
Why_Me
Capitalism breeds innovation.
Got any non-anecdotal evidence to base that statement on? Crucially, anything with an actually valid comparison to demonstrate that it breeds significantly more innovation than any other system? Without that, such a statement is nothing but empty ideological rhetoric.
Posted on Reply
#91
micropage7
so, everything about hardware will be robbed by miner. so average person will run pc from 2018 without having a chance to upgrade
Posted on Reply
#92
Why_Me
Valantar
Got any non-anecdotal evidence to base that statement on? Crucially, anything with an actually valid comparison to demonstrate that it breeds significantly more innovation than any other system? Without that, such a statement is nothing but empty ideological rhetoric.
Your using the internet. Innovation right there.
Posted on Reply
#93
Valantar
Why_Me
Your using the internet. Innovation right there.
And? The internet was mainly developed by publicly funded researchers within academia and defense, neither of which are fundamentally capitalist organizations (even if both have moved significantly in that direction in later decades). Publicly funded research and development might involve capitalist systems and mechanism, but being publicly funded those mechanisms are not fundamental to the process. But again: for your statement to have any kind of value, it must be that capitalism breeds more innovation than alternative systems. Examples of innovation within capitalism aren't an argument towards that whatsoever, as there's no comparison involved. Besides, given that there haven't existed any significant non-capitalist systems in the modern era (it would be quite difficult to argue that the thoroughly corrupt economic system in the Soviet union wasn't also capitalist in many ways, though of course not entirely, and not in name).
Posted on Reply
#94
Silver'
Valantar
Here's a suggestion for truly environmentally friendly crypto: make the blockchain analogue, have the proof of stake be that someone comes over to your house to check that you are still physically in posession of the thing in question. Have them write it down in a publicly available ledger. After all the actual """"""work"""""" done in crypto mining purely serves to demonstrate that "hey, I own X amount of product Y, plz reward me accordingly". If they just skipped the entire part where this equipment needs to be turned on doing meaningless busywork we'd skip a major portion of the environmental damage caused. And we wouldn't have a bunch of holes in the ground either ;)
  1. *possession.
  2. Banks have massive datacenters consuming huge amounts of power, are you on finance site ranting?
  3. What do you plan to power that 'publicly available ledger' with? It will need to be electronic and verifiable globally. Maybe an energy efficient blockchain like Chia is a good choice for that job.
  4. [LEFT]'someone comes over to your house'. What, walks there? Or floats there on a magical cloud that has no impact on the environment?[/LEFT]
Posted on Reply
#95
Valantar
Silver'
  1. *possession.
  2. Banks have massive datacenters consuming huge amounts of power, are you on finance site ranting?
  3. What do you plan to power that 'publicly available ledger' with? It will need to be electronic and verifiable globally. Maybe an energy efficient blockchain like Chia is a good choice for that job.
  4. [LEFT]'someone comes over to your house'. What, walks there? Or floats there on a magical cloud that has no impact on the environment?[/LEFT]

Damn, it's doubly impressive that you a) are taking a joke post this seriously, and b) still manage to be this wrong.

Banks have datacenters that do actually useful things, by processing transactions allowing people to, oh, I don't know, buy food and pay rent and stuff like that. Crypto also consumes power for transactions btw. This is utterly negligible compared to the power cost of mining though, to which there is no equivalent outside of crypto.

A publicly available ledger could be hosted on pretty much any hardware. Or in the case of my joke, on paper, in an actual ledger. The power cost would, again, be negligible, or zero in the case of paper. Again: it's the mining that consumes the power.

As for transport, they could drive cars for pretty significant distances without it coming close to the environmental impact of crypto mining. I don't think you quite grasp the scale of electricity consumption involved.
Posted on Reply
#96
CheapMeat
I'm not going to bother to care what a Norwegian has to say about "relative privilege" in terms of finding some kind of economic mobility through crypto. Yawn. Your post is the real pompous self-delusion. Every Northern European I interact with is so full up their rears when talking about money and society. It's cut and paste personalities. Go keep lying to yourself about how much generally poor people have found some form of economic freedom through crypto. You can shove your fingers in your ear and go LALALALA all day while spewing generic anti-capitalism rhetoric while doing absolutely NOTHING of value to make anyone's lives truly better except drowning them in shame. I'm NOT a crypto miner and I 100% get it and why people are trying anything possible. But whatever.
Posted on Reply
#97
Valantar
CheapMeat
I'm not going to bother to care what a Norwegian has to say about "relative privilege" in terms of finding some kind of economic mobility through crypto. Yawn. Your post is the real pompous self-delusion. Every Northern European I interact with is so full up their rears when talking about money and society. It's cut and paste personalities. Go keep lying to yourself about how much generally poor people have found some form of economic freedom through crypto. You can shove your fingers in your ear and go LALALALA all day while spewing generic anti-capitalism rhetoric while doing absolutely NOTHING of value to make anyone's lives truly better except drowning them in shame. I'm NOT a crypto miner and I 100% get it and why people are trying anything possible. But whatever.
Man, it's always interesting to see when the people disagreeing with you resort to these kinds of screeds of ad hominems and baseless generalizations. How exactly do you know what I might or might not do to make anyone's life better? And who am I shaming, precisely? I mean, you've got me genuinely curious here. But besides that, is your stance really that hard to make sensible, rational arguments for? Or do you just enjoy making yourself look wildly irrational and defensive? I mean, at least you do try to counter something I said (the whole "keep lying to yourself about ..." thing), but do you actually have any data, evidence, anything at all non-anecdotal suggesting that crypto is making a meaningful difference in bettering the lives of poor people? That would be the new claim in need of evidence here, after all. New things for rich people to gamble on tend to maintain or reinforce the status quo (which, for reference, is massive and increasing wealth inequality, and stagnant or dropping wages and purchasing power for all but the wealthy, at least in most Western countries), while you're supporting claims that it does the opposite. That requires some sort of supporting evidence. So far I've seen nothing of the sort.
Posted on Reply
#98
64K
I was just reading an article about the Commodore 64 being modded to mine crypto. It does a really poor job of it.
Posted on Reply
#99
Kaya
Valantar
Yet another demonstration that crypto is nothing more than a race to invent ever new stuff for people to invest in gamble on. Utter f*****g waste in every single concievable way. Making the rich richer, screwing over the planet (production of SSDs also pollutes, after all, and e-waste is a major problem already), but of course this is "liberating" people from some undefinable "oppression". The ideological BS surrounding this is still staggering to me. It's just another way to maintain the status quo of predatory capitalism.
What are you talking about? A race to invent newer stuff is never a negative, it's how the world turns. Take the worst possible example of the world wars, no matter how bad they were technology rapidly advanced. All of these hard drives are already being produced, mining worldwide uses less power than our current banking and debit machine infrastructure. You're just a liar who masks advancement with false claims. "Don't invest in electric cars, those batteries are bad for the environment!" even though batteries are better than fossil fuels. Exactly what you sound like.
Posted on Reply
#100
Valantar
Kaya
What are you talking about? A race to invent newer stuff is never a negative, it's how the world turns. Take the worst possible example of the world wars, no matter how bad they were technology rapidly advanced. All of these hard drives are already being produced, mining worldwide uses less power than our current banking and debit machine infrastructure. You're just a liar who masks advancement with false claims. "Don't invest in electric cars, those batteries are bad for the environment!" even though batteries are better than fossil fuels. Exactly what you sound like.
Wow, that's an oddly willfully and explicitly naïve stance.
- First off: yes, technology advanced during both WWI and WWII. That is mainly due to governments using wars as reasoning to spend money on product development. What says they couldn't have achieved the same - or likely even more, given the reduced need for said technologies to be useful for killing - with just spending the same without the war? That warfare has historically been widely accepted as carte blanche on government spending is hardly an argument for it being beneficial, and twisting it to be so is some seriously flawed logic.
- Second: If those hard drives are being produced, it's because they have a use. Companies and people are buying them already. It's not like makers and distributors are stockpiling HDDs for the future, after all. If mining suddenly arrives with a massive demand for HDDs, what happens to those other use cases? They start experiencing shortages. Most HDD makers don't have ~50% free capacity, so it's quite doubtful that they'll be able to avoid shortages.
- As for mining worldwide consuming less power than our current banking and debit machine(?) infrastructure: how about no? Judging by your wording I'm assuming you're basing your numbers on this 2018 blog post or something similar, which among other glaring issues assumes that every ATM in the world has two air conditioners and lighting. Which is downright absurd - most ATMs are embedded into a wall somewhere, and have neither. It also assumes a/c in all bank branches, which again, is just nowhere near accurate. It also doesn't account for electric heating in colder climates, etc. So it's methodology is fundamentally flawed. (There are other articles, like this one, that have slightly different numbers but are still fundamentally flawed.) According to the University of Cambridge, the current Bitcoin network consumes ~122TWH/year (~0.5-0.6% of global electricity consumption). Ethereum is currently estimated at ~39TWH/year. And then there's all the various altcoins out there. This whole comparison of course entirely neglects the fact that global banking serves literal billions of people every day. Crypto comes nowhere close. But more crucially, crypto wastes most of its energy. Should banking become more efficient? Absolutely, yes. Does that make it look bad compared to crypto? Of course not. The vast majority of power consumed by crypto is for mining, i.e. spending computational power to generate a unique signifier of some sort. Is that valuable? Proponents would say yes, seemingly through some sort of philosophical idea of the inherent value of creating something unique and unreproducible. I would say hell no, because the thing that is created is inherently useless. It has zero use beyond being something to gamble on. It provides no tangible use to any human being that couldn't just be served just as well by something that already exists. Does it represent a better chance of ROI for your gamble than, say, a lottery ticket or stocks? Sure. But it also wastes heaps of energy while doing so. Energy that a) wouldn't need to be generated at all if not for mining, or b) that could be spent doing something with actual tangible benefits, like producing useful goods or providing useful services. The inherent - and intended! - difficulty of generating unique tokens is what makes crypto inherently and unchangeably wasteful. No comparison to any other industry or service will change that.
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