It’s no secret that farming Chia might drastically reduce an SSD’s lifespan. The company behind the cryptocurrency published a blog post on Monday that effectively gave wannabe Chia farmers two options: Either stop farming on consumer SSDs or stop complaining about the endurance of those drives.
”The Chia team and community advocate using data center class SSDs or consumer drives meant for high-end desktops and workstations with a high TBW endurance rating for the plotting process,” Chia Network VP of Storage Business Development Jonmichael Hands said. “If a user selects a high-endurance data center SSD, they can plot for up to 10 years before wearing out the device during the plotting process.”
Hands said that consumer-grade SSDs are designed to handle much less intensive tasks, which explains why it’s possible to wear out a cheap 512GB drive in as little as 40 days by farming Chia on it. That reduced lifespan combined with Chia’s high price could lead to a storage shortage as miners rush to farm as much of the cryptocurrency as they can before the market corrects itself (or consumer SSDs become more expensive.)
Hands also quoted a relevant tweet from Chia Network founder Bram Cohen:
That doesn’t necessarily mean that all consumer SSDs lack the grit required to farm Chia. “The Chia team realizes that consumer SSDs are the ones that are generally available,” Hands explained, “and there are some models that have enough endurance where users can plot all the farming capacity they have and still have a surplus of endurance.” But it’s up to aspiring farmers to find the best SSDs for farming, which we address in our guide on how to farm Chia.
The messaging is clear, though: There’s little Chia Network can—or at least will—do to make farming Chia less intensive. That puts the onus on would-be farmers to find whichever drives hit their desired performance, durability, and return on investment. It might not be the most satisfying response, but at least the company was direct about who should take the blame when a given SSD starts to fail.