For every novel opportunity or technology that appears on the market, there are people raising concerns that it’s not as good as it seems. And the cryptocurrency market is no exception. When the Chia network first debuted, founder Bram Cohen praised its sustainability and environmental benefits compared to competitors like Bitcoin. The backlash? Does Chia farming cause hard drive shortages?
The news at this moment is filled with stories of would-be Chia farmers snapping up hard drives ahead of the currency’s rumored IPO, betting big on the potential returns once trading begins. The network itself has grown exponentially — a trend that has apparently even caught its founder by surprise. And the more hype Chia gets, the more backlash it generates. So who has it right? Chia’s champions or its detractors?
Price Spikes and Supply Shortages
One of the most common threads among Chia critics is that, as Chia farmers rush to expand their hard drive space, they are driving up prices and leaving manufacturers and vendors struggling to keep devices in stock. Industry experts confirm the phenomenon, noting the demand — and with it, prices — for hard drives, specifically solid state drives (SSDs) have increased in recent weeks.
If Chia farming causes hard drive shortages, how can it claim to be an environmentally friendly, community-minded alternative to traditional cryptos? Is rapidly burning through hardware supplies (and prompting manufacturers to ramp up production) really a sustainable strategy?
Cohen sticks by the original green goals of Chia with two counter-arguments.
- Novelty and quick payoffs for early adopters are driving the crush of people rushing out to buy drives, but as the network grows and rewards drop, demand will level off. There are indications that this might already be happening.
- Chia’s goal is to build a community where people can farm currency using space that would otherwise be wasted — like empty space on drives already in use or hardware nearing end of life. In other words, the plan was never for people to stock up on drives to get rich quick. Cohen envisioned people repurposing existing resources.
And despite all the hype in the news, some analysts do agree that, in the greater scheme of things, Chia’s impact on hard drive prices will be relatively moderate.
Solid State Drive Destruction
The second big story to emerge from anti-Chia camps is this one: Farming Chia will destroy your Solid State Drive.
“According to Tom’s Guide, this back and forth of allocating and then freeing up space on storage devices could age solid state drives (SSD) incredibly fast. In fact, a consumer grade 512GB SSD could be killed in just 40 days while farming Chia, according to Tom’s Guide’s reporting.”
Manufacturers are warning that using their products to farm Chia can dramatically shorten their lives — decreasing the average hard drive lifespan from 5 or 10 years to a matter of weeks. Some drive makers are even going as far as saying that using their hardware for Chia farming will void warranties. Yikes.
How to Avoid the Farming Risk
But maybe you don’t care if Chia farming causes hard drive shortages. The environmental impact is still less than that of other cryptos, with experts estimating that it uses less than 1% of the energy Bitcoin production does.
So what’s the best way to farm Chia?
- Whether or not the issues raised about hard drive damage and shortages matter to you, they do clearly point to problems with stocking up on hardware for farming.
- Using cloud storage space eliminates concerns about wear and cost on your own drives — but many providers offer solutions that are either too expensive, too slow or both.
- Even if you find a cloud storage solution that meets your criteria, exercise caution. Some service providers are banning the practice of Chia farming on their platforms — or limiting space and imposing additional fees for farmers.
But don’t give up just yet. There is still a way to farm Chia without killing your drives — or fighting to even buy them. Enter Polycloud. It’s the perfect solution for aspiring farmers. Why? Polycloud is fast, reliable and affordable. (And as a bonus, the team behind Polycloud shares Chia’s goal of converting unused resources into something useful and valuable.)
Meet CrowdStorage and Polycloud
Journalists and industry insiders may never agree on whether or not Chia farming causes hard drive shortages. But with Polycloud, you don’t need to worry about it. We believe in Chia and we welcome Chia farmers — we’ve even set up a guide on how to get started.
But Polycloud isn’t just for the crypto crowd. For as little as $4/TB per month, you can use Polycloud storage for just about anything. It’s the perfect backup solution for personal or business use. Don’t take chances with your data. Sign up for Polycloud now — or contact our experts for more information.