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.