What’s Chia, And Why Is It Eating All The Hard Drives?

At this point the average Hackaday reader is likely familiar with so-called “Proof of Work” (PoW) cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. In the most basic of terms, these cryptocurrencies allow users to earn money by devoting computational power to the network. Unfortunately, it’s well past the point where your standard desktop CPU is moving enough bits to earn anything worthwhile. Individuals looking to turn a profit have therefore resorted to constructing arrays of high-end graphics cards for the express purpose of “mining” their cryptocurrency of choice.

These miners, combined with ongoing chip shortages, have ravaged the GPU market. Anyone who’s looked at building or upgrading a computer recently will know that new video cards are in short supply, and even old models that would otherwise be considered budget options, are commanding outrageous prices. In an effort to appease their core customers, NVIDIA has even introduced cryptocurrency-specific cards that lack video output. The hope was that professional miners would buy these Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMPs) instead of the traditional video cards, freeing up the latter for purchase by gamers. But due to the limited availability and relatively high cost of CMPs, they’ve done little to improve the situation.

Now if you don’t use your computer for gaming, this probably seems like a distant problem. You could even be forgiven for thinking of this as little more than two largely frivolous pursuits at loggerheads with each other. After all, in a community that still holds decades-old Thinkpads as the high water mark in portable computing, a certain ambivalence about cutting edge video cards is perhaps to be expected.

But there’s a new form of cryptocurrency on the rise which threatens more than just the hardcore gamers. With “Proof of Space” (PoS) cryptocurrencies, it’s not about having the fastest CPU or the highest number of GPUs; the commodity being traded is storage space, and the player with the most hard drives wins.

The Rise of Chia

Conceptually, PoS cryptocurrencies have been around for some time. The idea was first proposed in the 2013 paper “Proofs of Space” by Stefan Dziembowski, Sebastian Faust, Vladimir Kolmogorov, and Krzysztof Pietrzak, which was later presented at the 35th International Cryptology Conference in 2015. The core argument of the paper is that PoW currencies are inherently wasteful as they consume processing power to function, and notes that critics were already predicting Bitcoin would be an environmental disaster. By comparison, the difference in energy consumption between an idle computer and one running their hypothetical PoS software would be negligible. Further, they reasoned that computers already had a large amount of unused disk space that could be offered up to the network.

A few cryptocurrencies did emerge based on the concepts laid out in “Proofs of Space”, but none of them really caught on until the Chia Network was founded in 2017. Thanks at least in part to investors eager to get into anything involving blockchain technology, the startup sailed to a valuation of $500 million in May of this year. Created by BitTorrent developer Bram Cohen, the documentation for Chia leans heavily into the idea that it’s the “green” alternative to Bitcoin, requiring neither a high-performance computer nor any equipment that couldn’t be readily reused if you were no longer interested in Chia. As explained in their FAQ, nothing stops you from deleting the Chia data from your drives and using them for regular file storage.

At least on paper, Chia certainly seems like the more eco-friendly option. Consider that a modern high-end video card like the GeForce RTX 3080 can easily pull more than 300 watts when running at full tilt, while even the most power hungry SSDs top out at 8 watts. Of course that doesn’t take into account the cost of the hardware, or the relative value of each resource as measured by their respective cryptocurrencies. But if your only concern is how many watts your system is drawing, you could spin up 20 or 30 SSDs before they even got close to what a modern GPU consumes.

Life on the Farm

The term “mining” makes sense for Proof of Work cryptocurrencies, since you’re putting effort in to unlock something of value. But in the parlance of Chia, those looking to dedicate their storage space to the network are known as “farmers”; since after the initial setup, it essentially becomes a passive activity. The user simply tends their farm, which in this case means keeping an array of disk drives powered and properly maintained, and waits for something to sprout.

In a perfect world, you could simply point your Proof of Space software at an empty hard drive, and get credit for it. But in practice, such a simplistic system would be susceptible to fraud. So if you want to dedicate your drives to Chia, the software needs to periodically verify they aren’t being used for something else. When a drive is first brought online, the Chia software will “plot” it by filling the unused space with cryptographic data. Then, when the blockchain broadcasts a challenge, the farmer’s drives will be scanned and whoever has a hash that’s the closest match will be rewarded with Chia.

As it essentially operates like a lottery, the best way to increase your chances of getting a matching hash and receiving Chia in return is to add more storage to your farm. The good news it that operating a farm doesn’t require any great computational power. In fact, the Chia documentation recommends using a single-board computer such as the Raspberry Pi 4 or ROCK Pi with an array of USB drives to tend your digital crops.

Chia reference farming setup, using 32 HDDs and a ROCK Pi 4

So how big of a farm does one need to make money on Chia? There’s a lot of variables, many of which are changing day to day, but the short answer is that with just one plot taking up 100 GB, you’re going to need a lot of drives to see any notable return. As of this writing, the Chia Calculator indicates that a 100 TB array could bring in $240 USD a month at current prices. But as there’s a certain element of luck involved, your real world results will absolutely vary.

The Plot Thickens

It’s clear how the growing popularity of Chia could pose a problem. Setting up a farm doesn’t take a cutting-edge video card that only a relatively small number of computer users were likely to purchase in the first place; it takes common hardware like USB hubs and external hard drives that we all take for granted. A surging Chia could even limit the availability of single-board computers, something that would impact the hacking and making community more than anyone. Shortages so far have been limited to high capacity enterprise-grade drives, but it’s not hard to imagine how that could expand into consumer hardware.

That’s because Chia has something of a dirty secret. While it’s true that farming is largely passive, the processing of creating the initial 100 GB “plot” is anything but. Creating the cryptographic hashes not only requires a decently powerful computer, but writing them out puts the target drive itself under enormous stress. To get around this farmers have taken to creating their plots on smaller SSDs, and then moving them over to higher capacity enterprise drives for long-term storage once they’re done. In such a configuration the SSDs are considered an expendable resource, with some reports claiming it takes as little as a few weeks to burn through a standard consumer drive.

The demand for drives is real. A representative from Seagate recently confirmed the manufacturer was exploring the idea of Chia-specific drives, but didn’t elaborate on what that would entail. Though given how little impact NVIDIA’s attempts to curb miners have had, it’s hard to imagine it would change much. Unless cryptocurrency tailored hardware is cheaper and more widely available than the traditional options, farmers and miners aren’t going to make the effort to switch over.

Market Volatility

It’s not all bad news. While the situation was truly looking dire for awhile there, it seems like cooler heads might be prevailing. There was a mad rush to buy up hard drives when the price of Chia skyrocketed to a little over $1,600 in May, but by June 1st the price was down to around $700. Today it sits at roughly $280.

Chia’s value has tumbled since its mid-May peak. Source: CoinMarketCap

Looking at the data, it certainly seems like Chia is running out of stream. Unless its value rebounds soon, the return on investment for prospective farmers just isn’t there. Why spend thousands of dollars to earn hundreds? There’s even a chance, given the lottery-like nature of the reward system, that you’d earn nothing at all.

With a little luck, perhaps the dreaded hard drive apocalypse will pass us by. We could certainly use a break, considering how many shortages we’ve already got to contend with. But as we’ve seen with other cryptocurrencies, a tweet from Elon Musk could be all it takes to turn Chia around overnight. So maybe picking up a couple spare drives now wouldn’t be the worst idea.

102 thoughts on “What’s Chia, And Why Is It Eating All The Hard Drives?

    1. I do not think laws would work or are the solution. But it definitely shows the absurdity of money systems tighed to some “scarse” ressource. Be it energy and computation power (Bitcoin …), disk space (Chia …), Gold (several (historicall?) currencies), …. And makes you question what the actual value of “money” is

      1. The trust you put into, that’s literally the concept of fiat money.

        Note that your list include gold which is not a fiat money as gold has intrinsic value.

        1. Gold doesn’t have much intrinsic value.
          If you want currency with intrinsic value, look at Bottles of potable water, tins of spam and 7.62 FMJ

      2. We need to come up with a crypto currency that is just based upon the numbers on your electric meter. How you spin the meter is up to you, but hopefully at least some people would get some use out of the energy. It would be a whole nuther world if in a community the miner was asking the folks around them if they wanted to use his electric. Big mining companies could run entire communities.

        1. There’s OhmConnect which gives you “coins” for *not* using energy during peak times. It can be gamed by using more energy during off peak times which is more or less what it tries to accomplish. (If only Texas could get onboard with that…)

          What I would like to see is a coin that’s “mined” by hosting a wireless mesh network.

      3. If only there were a way to create a cryptocurrency that could only be mined on Itanium CPUs.

        Built-in scarcity, using a resource that nobody wants.

        1. There was Perk, a cryptocurrency that only mined well on super cheap smartphones. Those who think children should not be using smartphones at a very early age would like the side effect of such cryptocurrencies becoming popular. :)

    2. Welcome to capitalism.

      Speculators gonna speculate. Gamblers gonna gamble. And the ones raking in the cash heavily influence the laws.

      You’d have as much luck legislating against right-of-way being used for HFT private fiber networks, private equity firms buying up residential property, or scalpers camping out in front of big box stores to keep video game consoles from getting to end customers.

        1. ^. The entire concept of this is ridiculous. It is creating artificial shortages of necessary things for normal life.

          I blame wage stagnation for creating an entire culture of people desperate to do anything to make a buck because the ends just aren’t meeting doing normal work anymore. People are exhausted even though we are working longer hours then ever but the benefit is going to a very select few.

          So naturally, the snake starts to eat its own tail because there’s nothing left to do. That’s what cryptocurrencies are in my mind- a virus that has convinced people there is a benefit to eating their own body, socio-economicly speaking.

          1. It’s not desperate people. These ‘Coins’ are almost ALL smokescreens for a pyramid scheme by their respective founders. They call it a “rug pull” when they run off with all the money. They’re experienced financial con men, they’re very good at it, and they certainly aren’t lost souls down on their luck or suffering the boot of The Man (though that doesn’t mean those people don’t exist and end up as the targets of these scams).

            Blockchain is an interesting application of cryptography.

            It doesn’t magically turn electricity in money.

            It’s the people selling it to you that do that part, and then they take the cash you staked and walk away with it. And YOU GAVE THEM CASH. How would propose getting it back if something goes wrong? They didn’t star trek it into the computer and now uhoh oppsie they can’t get it back and you were just unlucky. THEY PUT IT IN THIER POCKET AND SPENT IT LIKE THE ACTUAL FIAT CURRENCY IT IS. And then wrote an impossible math problem on the board and told you they’d give back your (SPENT IT LOL, AS IF) money if you can solve it.

            Forget new laws. This stuff has had a rodeo and a half on existing securities regulations and I’d like to see some prosecutions please.

          2. That’s a very interesting point. Thanks. I’m gonna think about this and talk to my friends about it too. I see the truth in it. It’s the desperate that are mining for the most part.

          3. “These ‘Coins’ are almost ALL smokescreens for a pyramid scheme by their respective founders.”

            Exactly. That’s why there are, as of today, 10,794 of them. Start your own and hope that it becomes popular after you have easily mined a lot of them and then wait for a Tulip Mania (i.e., speculative greed) to drive up the price of each coin as people exchange actually useable fiat currencies for them.

            Hussman on bitcoin: “My largest concern is that people are actually forking over hard-earned savings in exchange for these tokens, which allows early “miners” to cash out. That’s essentially the defining feature of a Ponzi scheme. Like all speculative bubbles that rely on increases in price, rather than cash flows generated by the production of value-added goods and services, Bitcoin isn’t actually creating “wealth.” It’s only creating the opportunity for wealth transfer, primarily from those who will end up holding the bag.”

          4. You should probably stick to machining as machines are fairly simple to operate. The fact that you don’t understand why we need cryptocurrency in the first place proves just that. You are basically giving your opinion based on no knowledge about something that could catapult us into the next century, and it will. And your opinion means absolutely squat in this situation. It actually takes work to mine cryptocurrency, creates a much needed look at our energy needs and is helping to open doors to harnessing the power of the wind and the sun in which we should have done literally thousands of years ago. Creating jobs such as parts needed to be made by the simple machinist for these high tech gadgets needed to collect the energy. If anything it’s making your future secure which it sounds like you really need with no real book smarts to fall back on. Nothing more rewarding than hard work done with ones hands and I’m being sincere. Thanks for the input. I’ll be sure and keep your thoughts about the virus that is making us all of this money we are making. We are machinists too. Except the machines are working for us not us working the machines. :+)

      1. I would very much like to legislate a few of those out of existence, particularly the bit about private equity buying up residences. It’s shit like that that really drives home the real impacts of a widening income gap, and how much harder it’s getting to claw and keep yourself on the right side of that gap. I’d love to see some Bad Things™ happen to a few people in finance every year – just enough to put the fear of god into them.

      2. Speculators still have to follow the law. The ‘Coins’ are doing the same thing that Uber did: Do something illegal with technology, and claim that the technology *makes it* legal.

    3. Is it really capitalism if you have an unelected central authority controlling the money supply with zero oversight? You exchange your time and effort to be rewarded in currency that a higher class has the power to will into existence, essentially stealing your labor right from under you.

    4. Came here to ask if we could please stop finding new ways to waste energy and computing hardware on payment systems that offer no practical benefits over existing options for anything but crime finance.

      1. Not sure that is at all fair, there is a massive, massive demand for online datastores so the proof of storage model, done correctly could be actually very much beneficial on the resources front – and if you are committing your hardware for the good of the collective it is only right you get something for it – its both a reward, and a motivator to share rather than horde what you don’t need.

        On the whole crypto as it currently stands really is garbage, there are so many issues with it, but its not like that isn’t true normal money either…

    5. Just ban unrestricted private computer ownership. Most people don’t do anything worthwhile with a computer and, if they really need to do work at home, they can file an application with the appropriate authorities.

      If approved, it will be monitored constantly and silently to ensure no one is doing anything you don’t personally approve of.

    6. The problem with all of these cryptocurrency model is that there is no use for the work or resources being allocated. Maybe a better model would be to use the drive as a cloud storage service. You could encrypt user data and then pay people to store it for you. Think of it as a cloud sourced NAS. Same with CPU intensive currencies, you should have people doing useful compute intense work on problems someone actually needs to solve and then pay them for the work. It ‘s like the difference between lifting barbells to prove you are strong and devoting that same effort to actual work that needs to get done.

      1. Over the years there have been several organization that have published screen saver software that, once installed in your computer, allows you to “donate” unused CPU cycles to solve some kind of large computational problem. SETI@home and FightAIDS@home are examples of this. I think CERN may have launched a “crowd computer” screensaver, too. My point is that large computational problems can often be broken into smaller pieces that can be distributed.

        Given that, might it be possible to construct a proof-of-work crypto currency where, instead of a system where tangible resources are consumed in energy-intensive but frivolous byte manipulations, the proof-of-work lies in calculations that actually advance some larger scientific purpose?

        You could have an AIDScoin, a SETIcoin, a CERNcoin, or maybe more generic currencies like Biocoin, Spacecoin, or Physicscoin.

        The market cap on Bitcoin is now 680 billion dollars or so. Imagine if the CPU cycles used to generate those coins had instead been applied to the engineering of custom proteins, for fusion/containment calculations, or for the engineering/modelling of new antibiotic candidates.

        1. It might be possible, but I know an issue these crowd computing science projects already struggle with is avoiding cheating-for-points contaminating their science data. People already try to do that when all that’s up for grabs is numbers on a leaderboard, I fear the overhead if the reward was actual usable currency might overwhelm the value gained by the research projects.

        2. GridCoin (GRC) tried to do that, by using BOINC as the work. It’s been steadily going down since it peaked in 2018, at a market cap of ~ $80 Million USD.

        3. For proof of work you need an algorithm that is hard to solve, but the solution is cheap to verify. Hash cracking is a textbook example, there are few other scientific computer problems with this property.

      2. Ah yes, let me trust my data to some hard drive somewhere on the internet,
        owned by God knows who and the location I don’t know.
        Sorry, I’d rather keep my data on a local flash drive.
        I at least know where that is, who the owner is, and I have control on
        whether it’s plugged into the machine or not.

    7. Capitalism is bartering, you have something of value to you, this could be either your physical labor or an item belonging to you, you want an item belonging to someone else, for instance money, you then mutually agree to evenly trade for these two, you have now bartered your way to what you wanted.

      1. You might as well say every system of economic transaction is bartering. Capitalism is not only bartering. It’s also slavery, wage theft, etc. It’s these situations that turn people off to capitalism.

    8. Wow, i think i never get so many reactions from a single line comment…

      Am i real? Yes, i am not an AI running on the Amazon-cloud.

      Do i live in the US? No.

      And how to enforce such a law against coin-nonsense: A first step would be to make it ilegal to exchange $$$ against *coin and the opposite way around. I mean, seriously. We only have one earth with limited ressources and all this *coin-stuff is basically… nothing. I am really against too much control by governments, TLA, big companies and so on, but i think /sometimes/ governements really need to step in to stop nonsense. Uh and i am neighter a big fan of capitalism nor a fan of comunism. It’s just that humans always go too far. sigh.

    1. Nothing. But deleting the harddrive takes you out of the future possible earnings. You only get money when you can show you have the closest hash. At least thats how i read it.

      1. Presumably it’s the data that’s the stake and not the physical drive. So if you’re willing to send TBs of data over the network then you can reclaim the drive.

      2. New question: What prevents someone from building some sort of monster ASIC/GPU farm and custom client to just generate hashes on demand? Is it just a high linear work factor that that puts the time to compute out far enough someone with storage will always win if online?

        1. Say you have two farms that can test the same number of hashes in a few milliseconds. One farm computes hashes on the fly using asics as you described. The other looks them up in a pre-computed table stored on disk. Which farm costs less to build and operate?

          Right now, the disk farm is cheaper by orders of magnitude. That will continue to be true unless a new computing technology is invented.

          1. That wouldn’t work out that way. The thing is, if you could calculate the hash on demand and consistently win the race so it actually counted then it’s not just that you don’t need storage, it’s that you will farm every last possible coin, or some significant fraction thereof if you don’t quite make it all the time. You have traded some large but finite compute power for infinite storage capacity.

    2. i don’t think anyone cares. i think the data is useless, it’s just that it’s a hard cryptographic function to compute without using a lot of space.

  1. i hate the idea but just from a hack perspective, seems like RAM is cheap enough that if you’re doing a bunch of writes to a 100GB scratch area to seed each new farm, that oughta be RAM..

    1. Chia recommends 239GB of temp space for a plot. RAM is not that cheap, and with non-ECC RAM topping out around 32GB at around $100/per DIMM you’re going to have to go to a server platform to fit beyond 128GB. Throwaway 256GB NVMe SSDs are not that expensive, and if you go for 500GB and heavily overprovision you should get enough life out of them to come out ahead cost-wise.

      1. I’d be curious whether the calculus changes when you consider that RAM, in addition to being durable; is going to be notably faster than any storage device you can buy(even Optane DIMMs are slower than normal DRAM; anything NVMe is likely to be slower still); and very, very, much faster than any storage device you’d consider expendable.

        I’d also imagine that, unless chia becomes so popular that the supply were to dry up, the usual move would be to go with used DDR3-era server gear for plenty of DIMM slots, somewhat cheaper RAM; and enough CPU that you aren’t being too brutally bottlenecked there; plus better chances of a good solid NIC for handing out the plots to your barebones storage nodes.

        Still a tragic waste of hardware; but could be more efficient when you take into account that you’ll be able to hammer out plots faster than on NAND.

  2. Conspiracy theory plot twist: the “cryptographic data” being stored is really lookup tables for breaking things.

    I fail to see what this is actually trying to accomplish. It seems like a solution in search of a problem.

      1. It’s probably approaching that point in the S-curve where it’s time to reconsider your stance.
        You can only be monogamous to your fax machine for so long.

    1. I’ve heard a lot of conspiracy that since chia was “invented by china” (wrong?), that the plots are “storing data for the chinese deep state” (very wrong, all you’d have to do is create a plot while disconnected from the internet to disprove that).

      …It /does/ still make one curious as to how the plot data is actually being created, though…

  3. the crypto-specific GPU cards are just nvidia being even a bigger scroodge then they already are… X-amount of GPU chips are made, what happens when some of that amount is being diverted into cards that can not be used for gaming?
    It’s a pull to keep cheap GPUs off the 2nd hand market once they are no longer useful for mining, nothing more…

    1. I always find it funny when people say that they are going to mine bitcoin with GPUs. Especially old ones…
      Bitcoin haven’t been remotely profitable for GPU miners for a long time, even when it reached its peak value earlier this year.

      Unless one’s electricity is really really dirt cheap. (Going with one’s own solar farm isn’t dirt cheap enough btw… Selling the power to the grid is usually more profitable.)

      Though, ASIC miners have their own issues. Like being utter garbage when they have served up their usefulness. They don’t really have any secondary applications.

        1. There is plenty more crypto currencies than bitcoin.
          Bitcoin mining is competitive enough and have gotten hard enough as is that it isn’t all that economically viable to do with GPUs.

          But plenty of other crypto currencies are far easier to mine with GPUs. So there is still plenty of GPU mining happening.

      1. It really depends on so many factors – but there are ways of making it profitable even in expensive electric areas – for instance your bitcoin mine makes a great spaceheater, so if its working only when you need heat its performing the magic trick of both having the cake and eating it too..

        Also at least at the relatively low rate selling back to grid nets new solar provisions in the UK I expect even an ancient gpu would actually prove more profitable… The value and return for electric is all so varied depending on where you happen to be.

        1. In regards to space heaters. A heat pump can be more economically viable in a lot of cases. Since resistive heating is fairly laughably inefficient as far as home heating goes. (But heat pumps have their own deficits. (Where it being “bellow freezing” not being an actual issue. I live in Sweden a place where -30 C winters is a thing, and people do use air sourced heat pumps here, and it works. All though less efficiently than if it were warmer outside. But still beats resistive heaters!))

          In regards to selling electricity to the grid.
          Yes, this varies a ton depending on where one lives and what price one gets. And other service related fees and such. But to a degree, putting in batteries and storing the power for later might be just as viable as crypto mining. If not more practical thanks to redundant power in the case of a blackout, in an area where such is common, then that alone can be worth a lot more.

          But yes, it all depends on what options one has.

          1. I’d hope a heatpump is always better, its a rather more significant infrastructure project though, and may not be possible for you in your rental house etc – but just plugging in a resistive ‘heater’ is.

            I’d also agree having power store at your home can definitely pay off – even if it just levels your use out and mostly into the cheaper rates, or lets you make more use of your solar generated energy yourself.

            All very tricky to figure out, and so varied even within nations as it relies on you an individual interfacing with the wider nation, usually via private companies that doing their own thing but only in the region you happen to live..

            I’ll point out I don’t actually do any crypto, as it stands its an awfully bad idea, but more in execution than concept.

      2. You are assuming that the typical operators of GPU rigs are paying for the electricity they use. The majority is probably leeching off their college dorm, landlord, unsuspecting employer, or still living in mom’s basement. Oh, and they may also be math challenged.

        1. No.
          I am not making that rash assumption.

          My statement: “I always find it funny when people say that they are going to mine bitcoin with GPUs. Especially old ones…” doesn’t mean I have high expectations of the typical crypto miner’s ability to make economically viable decisions.

          It just means, I find it funny when people use wildly inefficient hardware to try to make profit….

          Similar to how I find it funny when people make wild accusations about what one states instead of actually reading what is stated.

        2. small potatoes miners are not the problem. i mostly mine to cover hardware costs, and the extra power usage is barely a rounding error on the electric bill (especially in the winter when the miners offset the work the heaters would have had to do anyway). you can buy a card on credit and pay it off with its own mining output. its a good way to fund your top tier graphics card upgrade. i figure you can mine a minimum wage in crypto and still use less energy than just driving to work every day.

        3. If you have seen how much places with electricity included in rent typically cost as compared to similar places without electricity included in rent, you really do have to use quite a lot to not get ripped off. “Take advantage of it or it takes advantage of you.”

  4. Yeah you REALLY need to stop reporting on COVID related shortages as crypto related. You clearly don’t have a shred of evidence and it doesn’t make a lick of sense. Bitcoin doesn’t coincidence with these shortages. COVID does.

    1. Actually they both do.
      Due to the COVID fuckup there are worldwide shortages, and on top of that the latest crypto currency craze creates excessive demand on top of that. Lots of video cards have tripled in price in the last year.

      Another problem that sticks up it’s ugly head now is 40 years of “JIT”.
      Storing items costs money, and that has been drilled into every logistics student for the last 40 years.
      And this makes supply chains vulnerable for any sort of mechanism that can disrupt them.

      1. Another factor to why GPUs are hit a bit harder is that nVidia made an actually good improvement in regards to performance than the earlier generation. So a lot more people wanted these cards as well.

        But yes, the “Just in time” delivery strategy most companies have had suddenly turned out to be just a stack of nearly lined up dominos, not just for a lot of specific companies. But also between said companies.

        One company making X component might be stuck due to needing Y part themselves, but that is stuck due to the manufacturer of it needing something themselves that they in turn can’t currently get due to Z being stuck in shipping.

        I think that Covid causing a practically international lockdown for a bit that did effect supply lines and the speed of shipping. In turn just made everyone suddenly sit and wait.

        Not to mention all the companies expecting the pandemic to cause a drop in sales and thereby cutting back on production or scheduling maintenance earlier among other things during the expected slowdown. Only for the opposite to happen….

        Then there is all the companies that now realize, “Dude, buffers are apparently a good thing to have…” and now try to build a buffer.

        And on top of all of this, there is the scalpers. Plenty of people and organizations that buys stuff that they know are in short demand, only to hike up the price and try to make a profit.

        So Covid is only the spark that lit the well kindled forest ablaze.

        1. Yet another factor is the ever rising economy in China.
          The’ve been buying lots of raw materials for manufactuing in a rate that building new factories can barely keep up with. Recently I heard there is a significant shortage of glass for making solar panels for example.

      2. “Actually they both do.”

        Well if only we lived in a world where you can just make something true by saying it over and over again. You’ll convince some idiots, but not many around here.

        1. Credit cards, debit cards, checks for sure, savings accounts, 401k’s, envelopes holding money, slot machines, lol. You couldn’t have said anything smarter. Glad to see there are some people in here although very few, that understands. Most of these people in here haven’t a clue what they are speaking about. I cannot wait for the day when all of these crypto haters are using their crypto cards and crypto transactions are the norm. Surely then they will think back and say damn, I really don’t wtf I’m talking about. ;-)

  5. My new currency is elec coin. Take a picture of your electricity bill. the higher the bill, the more coins you could earn!

    Another new coin could be “EnviroCoin”…take a picture of yourself pouring mercury down the drain to earn some coins!

    How about “TreeCoin”, take a picture of yourself chopping down a tree, the more trees you chop, the more coins!

    How about CopulateCoin, take a video of you having unprotected sex, the more sex, the more coins!

    All the coins seem to have this in common, waste the most resources, to earn something that could be worth something, or nothing , and leaves you holding the bag.

      1. sweet! you can earn one coin by sending me your login, passwords to each account. Each account earns 1 coin!

        To earn more coins, just idle your car at max rpm and send a video! higher rpms and higher times means more coins!

        eating a tide pod will earn you a coin as well!

  6. I’ve created hackadaycoin, download the client and gain coins by shoving a raspberry pi into something, include some useless node.js code and earn coins and bragging rights. Parity with USD within 6 months.

      1. 555chip would have a very wide appeal:
        555 is the part number of some ancient microchip, or so I’ve been told – or maybe I half remember it in a dream or was it a nightmare – I’m not sure. Well anyhow so people who know whatever that is may show some interest 555coin.

        555 is a Sphenic number (product of 3 distinct primes: 37x5x3) So you would have appeal to people interested in Prime numbers, I’m sure that has to be at least 2 (since 1 is not a prime number).

        555 is exactly 61 (which is also a prime number) lower than the number of the beast (616) So you would at very least have all the Satan worshippers wanting a piece of that, well maybe just the ones who are interested in prime numbers as well Satan.

        But I am curious what will you do when there is eventually a world shortage of 555 chips once people start to use them as currency. And when they eventually stop working what will be the replacement policy. Or do they even need to be replaced is the 555 on the top enough proof that it is valid token. And say someone sends you a cargo canister full of 555 chips, would that be taxable. And how do you pay the government in 555chip.

  7. As someone working in IT i can tell you all that this is wrecking complete havoc. Lead times on hard drives can be upward of two months. Actually had a customer who lost a fair bit of data the other day in part because we had been unable to get hold of hard drives to scale their backup systems in line with production requirements. Earlier this week we had to buy eight smaller drives that were in stock to use temporarily while we waited for delivery of the ones we really needed.

  8. If you plot on a mechanical hard drive, it will not wear out any drives plotting or farming. It is a slower process but greener. Plotting on mechanical hard drives and buying all the drives for this project used not new as I have, would promote the green image. But it certainly is a total waste of money and electricity unless this leads to a real shift to greener crypto.

  9. I kinda skimmed the article hoping that this “chia” stuff is actually online torrent-like storage that anyone can use for data archival. Earning money would be from people paying for storage.


    The whole idea is to fill it with random cryptographic hash and then run a lottery on those numbers.
    Only when I thought that bitcoin idea could not be any dumber and useless we get this trash …
    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, please.

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