The availability of SSDs could be influenced by a new cryptocurrency. In the past, Ethereum already had an impact on the availability of GPUs. However, it is more likely that this will then be limited to the more expensive and larger models.
Chia as an environmentally friendly alternative
Chia is said to be an environmentally friendly cryptocurrency option. Unlike Ethereum and Bitcoin, which require large amounts of energy, Chia is much more energy efficient. To mine Chia, it does not require “proofs of work” with powerful processors or graphics cards, according to the website. It relies on “proof of space and time” for the blockchain. Thus, Chia is not based on computing power, but precisely on storage capacity.
Scarcity of SSDs and HDDs
Conversely, this could cause a shortage of SSDs. According to reports from HKEPC, initial crypto farms in China have already started purchasing vast amounts of HDDs and SSDs. This is how companies want to get a head start once Chia is traded. The SSDs suitable for consumers are not suitable for mining Chia. Therefore, the smaller and cheaper models fall out of the prey scheme. Chia mining involves huge amounts of read and write processes and the memory cells therefore wear out faster, which excludes the small models. High-quality models with a storage capacity of 4 TB up to 18 TB are therefore particularly suitable. These have a significantly longer service life.
First price increases in Hong Kong
Due to the increased demand for SSDs, prices in Hong Kong have already increased. Price increases currently range from the equivalent of 21 to 64 euros, depending on storage capacity. Very popular M.2 NVMe SSDs with a storage capacity of 1 TB or 2 TB are also already sold out due to the high demand. How far the influence of the cryptocurrency Chia on the NAND and hard disk market will reach will be seen as soon as Chia is traded and also how the price of Chia develops.