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Bitcoin’s “green” rival, Chia, is causing a shortage of hard drives

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Recently, Chia has been attracting a lot of light in the crowded cryptocurrency space as a “green” alternative to bitcoins. Moreover, the billionaire, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, wrote on Twitter last month that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are increasing the consumption of fossil fuels. He overturned Tesla’s decision to accept Bitcoin as a payment for Tesla cars, which sent many investors looking for digital currencies that are considered relatively “green.”

Instead of using the computer’s processing power to solve complex puzzles, such as digging for bitcoins, Chia miners require more storage space than processing capacity. But this leads to a whole new problem: a shortage of storage devices in some Asian markets.

According to a recent report, high-capacity hard drives have virtually disappeared in Vietnam as Chia miners went insane. People who need hard drives with 6TB or more space are said to buy smaller ones and then combine them to get the job done.

Title is built around a cryptographic technique called “space and time proof” that relies more on unused hard disk space than on processing power. The more unused hard disk storage, the more Chia can be extracted. And since it doesn’t need the processing power of high-end graphics cards, that Bitcoin or Ethereum miners do, it is said that chia is much more energy efficient than bitcoins.

But Chia’s request encourages miners to stock up as much storage space as possible, leading to the depletion of high-capacity SSDs in several markets. This also raises their prices.

Recently a manufacturer of hard drives Galaxy warn consumers – without naming Chia – that digging for cryptocurrencies that require excessive storage volume and speed will do so void the warranty on their SSDs. Growing demand for hard drives is likely to strain their deliveries and ultimately raise their prices.

Jason Feist of hard drive maker Seagate told New Scientist Magazine that the company is experiencing strong orders and employees are trying to “adjust to market demand.”

Even if Chia is doing less damage to the environment than its rivals, it’s not like bitcoin miners are just switching to mining the new currency. Instead, the chia is likely to become another currency to be mined. As for the benefits of Chia’s low energy consumption, they are still controversial.

This renewed demand for cryptocurrencies in China was generated at a time when the country had introduced stricter regulations banning digital currencies. Shortly after China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency trading, as well as Musk’s tweets about the high energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining, digital currency market collapsed last month with bitcoin among the biggest losers. But despite the great fluctuations in price of bitcoin, as well as price of Ethereum, along with other digital currencies, demand for cryptocurrencies continues to grow with growing interest in “green” alternatives such as Chia.


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