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Chia Coin Miners Are Reselling Used SSDs as New

Chia Farming
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Chia Coin is an alternative cryptocurrency coin designed to be a greener solution to the whole cryptocurrency craze, and it started off incredibly strong, leading to crushing HDD shortages. However, the currency has now tumbled to roughly ~15% of its initial peak over the last three months, so miners are reportedly fleeing to other platforms. According to a report from VNExpress, some miners are now dumping drives and reselling 'renewed' used SSDs as brand new. 

The Chia coin promised to deliver green mining through a novel Proof of Space (PoS) mining technique. While the previous coins used Proof of Work (PoW) and immense computing resources, Chia offered an alternative where the SSDs and HDDs would store plots that earn cash over time. 

Miners initially purchased massive amounts of storage for Chia plotting, triggering shortages of SSDs and HDDs. Since then, the cryptocurrency has tumbled from a brief peak of $1,685 a few months ago to a mere $220 today, three months later. Naturally, some miners will try to exit the business and move onto something else, but they'll need fresh capital. That means selling off the existing hardware they used for Chia mining. 

If you recall, Chia mining reduces your SSD lifespan tremendously, as it constantly writes an incredible amount of new data. As the SSD is used over time, it wears out, thus getting closer to its failure point and reducing its value (sometimes to the point of zero).

At the beginning of the Chia mining craze, the average selling price of a 6TB HDD was around $286, representing a 60% increase over MSRP. Today, that price is back to $110, and some sellers note that they "might have to bring the price down to $88," meaning they'll sell them below market value to use the money to start mining another coin.

These drives aren't worth much, as Chia plotting can destroy average SSDs in less than two months. The report even says that the used drives are bought in bulk, renewed later on, and sold as brand new domestically or in China, where the demand for these drives is still very high. So it's probably only a matter of time before these renewed SSDs appear on the Chinese market, and naturally, filter out to other markets like the rest of Asia, Europe, and the U.S.   

  • InvalidError
    I suspected something may have gone wrong with Chia when I saw that SSD prices have gone down about 10% below what I paid after peaking 10% above.

    I never expected Chia to work out. I'm glad to see this storage blackhole and associated strain on the support component supply may be about to evaporate.
    Reply
  • Flemkopf
    InvalidError said:
    I suspected something may have gone wrong with Chia when I saw that SSD prices have gone down about 10% below what I paid after peaking 10% above.

    I never expected Chia to work out. I'm glad to see this storage blackhole and associated strain on the support component supply may be about to evaporate.

    Here's hoping Chia demand stays low. I get people like the idea of non-fiat currencies that aren't controlled by a single government, but people really picked an inconvenient time to jump into cryptocurrencies right when businesses and people needed new computers. It's similar to why corn ethanol is a terrible idea overall, because you're tying two of the most volatile markets out there (food, energy) together. I was hoping graphic cards would come down in price, but with Ethereum prices spiking again it'll probably be another long while.
    Reply
  • frodoitsmyname
    Yet another nonsense article from Tomshardware on this topic with a clickbait subtitle, based on a report written so poorly it doesn't deserve the name report.

    Why do people who write about Chia insist on confusing Harddisks (spinning disks) with SSD's ?!

    Chia plotting wears out SSD's, yes this is true.
    SSD's are not bought in bulk, as they are one time use, then you don't need them anymore.
    Most people use RAMdisks to create plots, so no ssd's being "burnt"
    You use HDD's to store those plots, HDD's do not wear out from this, not at all. No spin up/down, only very light reading on the drives.
    The total storage space dedicated to Chia has remained nearly unchanged for months now, but still showing slight growth overall, no exodus in sight.
    There has been no significant spike or shortage as far as SSD's go, HDD's where briefly in high demand but prices have long since returned to normal.

    Some people - who did not get their lambo in time - are selling their harddrives, that's it.

    Anyone can hate crypto as much as they want, but please get your facts straight before you publish a piece of FUD.
    Reply
  • ThatMouse
    Are they resetting the SMART data? The article does not explain how they are selling them as new.
    Reply
  • Integr8d
    If they really wanna put the nail in the coffin, they'll accept any form of payment other than Chia.
    Reply
  • werther595
    You are reporting about SSD degradation but quoting HDD prices. HDDs don't degrade with Chia, as they are typically written to once to the drive's capacity and then only minor seek and read from there.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    frodoitsmyname said:
    Yet another nonsense article from Tomshardware on this topic with a clickbait subtitle, based on a report written so poorly it doesn't deserve the name report.

    Why do people who write about Chia insist on confusing Harddisks (spinning disks) with SSD's ?!

    Chia plotting wears out SSD's, yes this is true.
    SSD's are not bought in bulk, as they are one time use, then you don't need them anymore.
    Most people use RAMdisks to create plots, so no ssd's being "burnt"
    You use HDD's to store those plots, HDD's do not wear out from this, not at all. No spin up/down, only very light reading on the drives.
    The total storage space dedicated to Chia has remained nearly unchanged for months now, but still showing slight growth overall, no exodus in sight.There has been no significant spike or shortage as far as SSD's go, HDD's where briefly in high demand but prices have long since returned to normal.

    Some people - who did not get their lambo in time - are selling their harddrives, that's it.

    Anyone can hate crypto as much as they want, but please get your facts straight before you publish a piece of FUD.
    Yes, there seems to be some real lack of basic knowledge of how Chia works in this article. Dumping SSD's doesn't really indicate anything. Certainly not an exiting of the market. SSD's are only used for plotting. They are not used for farming Chia, that would be a horrible idea. Once you've filled up all your storage, you don't need the SSD's any more. As you said, it's more likely they moved to RAM disk plotting, negating any need for SSD's at all. Looking at total netspace, the exponential growth stopped back in June, but it is still slowly increasing so there is no mass bailout.
    Reply
  • Aspy68
    Admin said:
    Reports suggest that miners who are looking to turn to other altcoins are selling their worn-out SSDs from Chia plotting as brand new.

    Chia Coin Miners Reselling Used SSDs as New: Report : Read more
    Where is your information pointing to Chia farmers selling used SSDs as new? This is bogus.

    A simple search through the Chia forums will show that we have been closely following NVMe usage and death vs rated TBW and so far, many report working units far surpassing rated TBW and ZERO deaths. NVME cost is pennies per plot.

    In the Chia forums there are a few peeps selling their Chia farming gear, but most farmers are quite happy with the present Chia price as it has inhibited the real enemy, Chia network growth.

    Chia farmers are not quitting in droves as you suggest. Starting a Chia farm now is a long bet, but those of us who got in early are seeing a reasonable return on their Chia farms.

    I don't understand why you make these unfounded claims.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    ThatMouse said:
    Are they resetting the SMART data? The article does not explain how they are selling them as new.
    I too am interested in what is entailed in the "renewal" process. Seems they would only need a dusting and put back in the original packaging. Most consumers wouldn't know how to check the wear levels and if half "used up" it probably will never effect them anyway.
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    " reports suggest..."

    "...these drives will probably be ...."

    RIveting facts, thus far! :)
    Reply