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Chia Cryptomining Causes 500% Increase In Adata High-Capacity SSD Sales

Chia Mining
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Hard drive manufacturers aren't the only ones profiting from the hype around Chia, an upcoming cryptocurrency that's mined on storage devices instead of GPUs. A new report from DigiTimes reveals that Adata has seen a 500% increase in SSD orders since the start of this month, and an industry analyst firm says that the new rush on storage devices is spreading outside of Asia. This all comes while SSD prices are already on the rise due to an ongoing SSD controller shortage.

Unlike other cryptocoins like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Chia farming is based around storage space, leading to an uncontrolled demand for large hard drives and SSDs. The cryptocurrency isn't tradeable until May 3, but it has already caused a surge in demand for high-capacity hard drives and SSDs in Asia.

Adata told DigiTimes that, as a result of Chia mining, the company's high-capacity SSD orders rose between 400% to 500% over the previous month. The vendor is working diligently to restock its inventory to satisfy the increased demand for storage devices. One of Adata's strategies involves retaining more than three months of chip inventory to prepare for the ramp-up in SSD orders.

This is exceedingly worrisome, though, as storage industry beancounter Trendfocus reports that it's seeing signs the rush for storage devices for Chia mining is spilling outside of China, meaning the shortages could already be spreading. This new rush on SSD storage is especially concerning given that some SSD controller vendors, like Phison, are already increasing the prices of SSD controllers because of a pandemic-spurred shortage of components. This new and unexpected SSD demand will only exacerbate the issue.

Chia farming is a two-step process. First, you have to create the plot and then you cultivate that plot. The plotting process is where all the magic happens — 'cultivating' a Chia farm mostly consists of letting the plot sit on your storage device, taking up space. That's where Chia's Proof of Space mining comes into play.

It takes around 1.6TB to 1.8TB of writes to successfully build a 101.4GiB plot. While you can plot on a hard drive, SSDs are preferred due to their higher sustained write speeds. As a result, it takes less time to plot, but will likely kill your SSD before its rated life span. Once the plot is complete, it could then be moved to an HDD. But let's go back to the plotting process.

As an example, Adata's XPG SX8100 4TB SSD is rated for 2,560 TBW. On paper, the SSD should be good for creating up to 1,422 plots. The drive retails for $499.99, so we're roughly looking at $0.35 per plot, which isn't a bad deal, depending on Chia's eventual valuation. It can take several hours just to generate one Chia plot, but it's also possible to do multiple plots simultaneously — perhaps ten or more. That could potentially burn through the rated lifespan of the 4TB drive in a matter of months!

The current storage shortages are largely confined to Asia, but the shortage could spread as the Chia cryptocurrency continues to gain steam, not to mention after its official listing for trading on May 3, 2021. At present, the Chia network lists over 950PiB of plots, which would require around 240,000 4TB drives, and the space allocated to the cryptocurrency has been steadily climbing over the past few weeks.

  • InvalidError
    This is going to be a fun one, especially on the warranty side of the equation. I wonder how courts will square minimum legal warranties in countries with strong consumer protection against the kind of abuse consumer SSDs are about to get subjected to.
    Reply
  • lumineZ
    I am sooooo god dam tired of reading and hearing about cryptominig that I wanna puke.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Good.
    Take those junk ADATAs off the market.
    Reply
  • exploding_psu
    USAFRet said:
    Good.
    Take those junk ADATAs off the market.

    No disrespect, just curious, but what's wrong with ADATA SSDs? From the sound of your comment I'm probably missing something serious
    Reply
  • Krotow
    exploding_psu said:
    No disrespect, just curious, but what's wrong with ADATA SSDs? From the sound of your comment I'm probably missing something serious

    Most ADATA SSDs are inferior ones with tendency to die young. They aren't worth resources wasted on their making. Speaking of which Chia "miners" would free the world from Kingston A400 stockpiles as well.
    Reply
  • GenericUser
    exploding_psu said:
    No disrespect, just curious, but what's wrong with ADATA SSDs? From the sound of your comment I'm probably missing something serious

    In addition to what's already been said, I believe ADATA was also one of the companies found to have been swapping out critical parts on their SSDs for cheaper, inferior versions after they've already been released and benchmarked, but keeping the price and SKU the same without telling customers.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    exploding_psu said:
    No disrespect, just curious, but what's wrong with ADATA SSDs? From the sound of your comment I'm probably missing something serious
    Anecdotal evidence from in here, but they seem to be overrepresented in fails.

    And the above mentioned parts switch.

    Given all the other options, I certainly wouldn't buy one.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    I will never buy one of their SSDs
    Reply
  • gargoylenest
    now, lets see how we could create a cryptocurrency that mine from mice and keyboards; we really need to get those prices sky high! :P
    Reply
  • Pollopesca
    gargoylenest said:
    now, lets see how we could create a cryptocurrency that mine from mice and keyboards; we really need to get those prices sky high! :p
    Allow me to introduce you to the next big thing in crypto: Auralcoin! You mine it with sound cards! /s
    Reply