Updated on June 21, 2021
Chia Cryptocurrency Storage – SDD/HDD Issues
The storage industry is getting swayed away by the rapidly increasing use of Chia cryptocurrency? The new crypto method looks settling down with a net space of more than 2 exabytes.
It is going steady on its way to double and probably even triple-digits EiB levels if current trends continue.
NOTE: It has been revealed that due to Chia Cryptocurrency SDD/HDD Storage Issues, SSD controllers are expected to be in short supply not just for this year, but also through 2022 and 2023, which is a worryingly long way out – something which in itself will likely have an impact on the solid-state drive market.
For a layman, it is difficult to understand how Chia cryptocurrency is causing hard drive shortage issues.
The following questions are sure to strike your mind:
- Should we use chia cryptocurrency?
- How technology experts relate Hard Drive and SSD Shortages with Chia?
- Can we use Chia cryptocurrency officially for trading?
- Does Chia cryptocurrency justify the name “Eco-friendly Cryptocurrency”?
- Can we replace Chia with other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?
In our next posts we will be covering chia crypto mining and Chia farming in detail.
Chia Crypto – Background
The cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are mined using a processor, graphics card, or ASIC miner. In the case of Chia, we use storage space, which is where hard drives or SSDs come in.
With this basic knowledge, we will be able to understand the issue related to hard drive usage. In this post, we are going to take an insight into preserving the storage devices for future use by understanding the working of Chia cryptocurrency.
Chia is a newly invented cryptocurrency by Bram Cohen. The currency is aimed to remove some of the biggest mining problems but it has created new ones in the process.
The Chia Network runs on the principle of using storage space to mine coins, rather than relying on graphics cards and ASIC miners. But this is causing a shortage of storage devices.
Many people are comparing Chia to Ethereum and Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin and Ethereum, the Chia network has its on-chain programming language, known as Chialisp. It is designed to make decentralized application technologies such as colored coins, multi-signature wallets, and recoverable wallets. Thus, creating smart ways to do mass transactions.
The chia network used has a broad vision for validators (miners). They need not purchase expensive equipment as with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Mechanism Used in Chia Mining
Bitcoin’s PoW mechanism uses validators for mining. They solve complex mathematical problems to validate transactions on the blockchain. But it requires a lot of hardware resources which are criticized apparently in recent times. The heat produced and electricity usage are the main reasons.
Another method is the Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism used for the validation through the staking of cryptocurrencies on a network. In this method, the token used on a network determines whether they are chosen to mine or validate the next block.
This is a better method in comparison to the PoW algorithm. However, the new PoST algorithm used in the Chia network is going to be much more effective in terms of electricity usage and heat generation.
In the PoST mechanism, the unused computer storage space with strings of digits is loaded on the computers of validators. The likelihood of winning a block on the network is increased by acquiring more space and strings.
Chia Crypto Hardware Recommendations
The technical experts recommend for your baseline Chia plotting PC, a 6-core/12-thread CPU, with Intel core i5-11400 processor equipped with a cooler. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X will be a good affordable choice for this. A graphic card might be required with this.
Another one from the storage perspective is a Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB that’s rated for 1400 TBW. It can create around 800–900 plots which are good to go for chia farming. Among the most economical options, we have 12TB, 14TB, 16TB, and 18TB drives that can be arranged easily.
The other components are as per the requirements of a normal laptop or PC. With time, you will need to add more HDDs as much as you can afford as per the processor type. This PC should support up to six internal SATA HDDs, though finding space in the case for all the drives might be difficult.
At a rate of 18 plots per day, it would take about 30 days of solid plotting time to fill six 10TB HDDs. Meanwhile, the potential profit from 60TB of Chia plots (546 101.4 GiB plots can be achieved which is a big profit.
Advantages of Chia Cryptocurrency Over other Mining Techniques
It is a power saving technique developed to reduce energy consumption in mining. Chia is developed to reduce the cost of mining and works on time and money saving model.
Every new technology has its pros and cons. Leaving the storage issues aside, let’s look into the benefits of Chia Cryptocurrency:
- Rather than using a Proof of Work (PoW) model, Chia uses a Proof of Space and Time model (PoST)which reduces the cost of mining
- Instead of relying on processing performance to mine, it uses storage. This has several benefits, including reducing the amount of electricity that is wasted in the process of mining.
- The complexity involved in mining and doing the calculation is reduced in the Chia network
- The farming process used is different from the mining for which you don’t need to purchase special equipment. Farm chia coin, the new storage-based cryptocurrency making waves in the storage industry.
Will Chia Network Reduce the Environmental Cost of Cryptocurrencies?
The Chia Network is not only becoming famous in the Chinese market but worldwide use of the Chia network is causing SSD shortage. With the increased bulk purchase, the manufactures of the SSD are implementing new purchasing restrictions. The manufacturers are trying hard to overcome the shortage of hard drives.
In the meanwhile , the production of SSD and Hard disk drive has increased. But the coming months will determine whether this will be enough to curb the shortage.
With higher trading of Chia, demand for SSDs could deepen as more miners seek to profit from the network. It could pave the way for a newer environment-friendly era of cryptomining. The electricity will be saved and the traders will have to no longer deal with GPU stock shortages and hopeless fights against scalping bots.
How is Chia a threat to SSD or HDD stock?
Despite having such benefits, the technique is not yet adopted officially. The actual challenge in adopting Chia cryptocurrency is that it has created a kiosk in the storage industry. The prices of hard drives are shooting up and likely to bounce up as people will start adopting this method.
On the other side, still, it is not proved that Chia will be successful enough to make it into the list of top cryptocurrency performers by market capitalization.
To run Chia, about six or seven hours seems typical per standard k=32 plot (twice as long at k=33), with a very fast Intel Optane SSD 905P Series. Still, it does not allow you to do multiple plots at once with the right hardware.
The plotting is done directly to the hard drive storage. To fulfill this requirement, you need to have extra hard drives so that they can accommodate more plots.
For this, a high endurance enterprise-grade U.2 hard drive with plenty of storage space is a must. the normal hard drive which we use in the PCs and laptops right now won’t be sufficient. The minimum requirement is to plot 2 slots at a time. Chia’s app can help in plotting using a large Solid State Drive and then transfer finished plots to a large Hard disk drive.
Note: The app can efficiently do the plotting. But if the temp storage space exceeds, the plotting might crash. In this case, you will lose all the details. It is a big risk doing without a large hard disk.
As more people are coming to know about it, they have started purchasing hard disks and stocking them. This is why people are looking at Chia cryptocurrency as a threat.
How Cryptocurrency Chia can lead to rise in SSD prices
SSD prices heading upwards is a prediction that you might be familiar with in recent times, and we’re hearing it again, this time from a manufacturer which makes controllers for SSDs (and solid-state drives, plus other storage devices like USB sticks), they estimate that SSD prices will go up by 10% or so in the coming months.
The reasons are bound up with booming PC sales, along with supply difficulties and the pandemic-related component shortages which are affecting the tech industry as a whole. It’s also due to the new Chia cryptocurrency which has just launched, spiking demand for drives as it relies on storage rather than the power-hungry GPUs (or ASICs) crypto-mining traditionally requires (the idea being it’s a much more green-friendly digital currency).
HDD and SSD prices are going up. Your best bet is to focus on price per GB, factoring in whether you’ll need USB enclosures. When we first wrote about Chia, HDDs started at around $0.02 per GB for 10TB drives. Now, we’re up to $0.023 per GB at a minimum, and many drives are $0.03 per GB or more. While it might seem tempting to go with 14TB or larger drives, the significantly higher prices make that a poor choice.
Ways to Protect SSD and extend its Life span
Last year a tech report revealed the storage capacity and the number of times we can write onto a SSD. The results are surprising as most of the SSDs wrote over two petabytes of data without problems. It is proven that reducing the number of read/write cycles on your SSD will increase the life of the SSD.
All you need to do is to use a generic usage of the SSD and get the most out of it. To do so, we can take the following precautions.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
SSDs are more resistant than HDDs when it comes to hot and cold. But any electronic device can not bear the extreme swings so we must avoid exposing the devices to extreme lower or higher temperature conditions.
Avoid Power Outages
Power outages can wreak any SSD. If the power to a drive cuts out during a write cycle, you could lose the data that you’re writing or lose the drive altogether. You can expect a major destruction after a sudden power cut. Consider these precautions, in case of sudden power failure:
- Shut down system if the green screen appears.
- Use a surge protector between the power connection and your device
- A good UPS with power backup can be useful.
- Keep Some Space Open
- Protect Your SSD for Optimal Performance
SSD have high performance if they are used properly. They can serve for a longer period and can be used for chia crypto mechanisms if the cooling of the SSDs is done.
Another way is to keep changing the SSDs to obtain optimal performance. If you are taking cautious steps as per the use, you can extend the life of the SSD attached to your laptop or PC.
We at Saitech, will keep you informed about the new developments as things unfold once the Chia cryptocurrency is officially accepted.
Also Read –
- HP EliteBook 835 G7 Notebook PC – A Complete Guide 2021
- Intel Data Center Blocks (Intel DCB) – Solutions & Services