Chia Miners Are Already Causing an SSD Shortage Crisis Even Though It’s Not Available for Trading

The hype ahead of the launch of the Chia Network is making waves, and it is already starting to affect non-cryptocurrency-related sectors all around the world, especially from southeast Asia.

The project, which uses the storage space as a transaction validator, has grown by leaps and bounds and is already causing a shortage of high-performance SSDs and HDDs.

Buy All The SSDs!

According to a report from the Hong Kong technology news website HKEPC, investors are buying up as many storage units as they can to “mine” as many Chia Tokens as possible, even before they are available for trading on the first crypto exchange.

The frenzied buying spree for these devices has caused an inventory shortage at major wholesalers in Asia, according to reports, and some vendors are already raising the prices of available units to try to maximize their profits and balance the market.

The most in-demand drives are high-capacity SSDs. According to regional media, prices of SSDs from 4 to 16 Terabytes of capacity have increased between HK$200 ($25) to HK$600 ($75). Another Chinese media averages price increases of around 400 yuan or $60.

Jiahe Jinwei, a Chinese SSD manufacturer, told MyDrivers that all of his high-performance 1TB and 2TB NVMe M.2 SSDs are sold out.

All the NVMe SSDs are sold out. Image: MyDrivers
All the Asgard and Gloway NVMe SSDs are sold out. Image: MyDrivers

Jiahe is trying to pull an Nvidia move and put restrictions against miners while at the same time increase the production and develop an SSD specifically designed for mining operations.

Chia Wants to be a Better Bitcoin Thanks to Space and Time

Chiacoin is the native token of the Chia Network. The network promises to solve the problem of excessive power consumption of the Proof of Work consensus algorithm —implemented in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and other large-cap cryptocurrencies— through a new consensus algorithm named Proof of Space and Time.

In very short terms, the network uses the verified free space of peers to assign values into plots ( think of it as a series of lottery tickets) and creates a random value that it then transmits to the network. Participants then scan their disks to see if they have that value (the winning ticket) assigned to their plots (free disk space allocated to Chia Network). Whoever gets the value gets the right to validate the next block. The proof of time prevents abuse of read and write power by assigning constant block generation times.

How Chia Network works. Image: Chia Network
How Proof of Space and Time works. Image: Chia Network

Thanks to this new implementation, Chia Network solves the problem of a vulnerability to grinding attacks presented by other networks that use similar approaches to validate blocks.

A grinding attack occurs when a malicious actor uses computational power that exceeds that of other miners in order to outperform them and find kernels that allow them to manipulate the network.

Thanks to the Proof of Space and Time (instead of the usual proof of capacity) it doesn’t matter how much capacity a validator has, they always compete fairly according to the network. However, the more free space a miner allocates, the more chances they will have to validate a block.

Chia Network was created by BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen. It raised $3.395 Million in 2018, followed by further funding of $23 Million and $5 Million in 2019.


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