Chia was launched as the “ecological cryptocurrency” as it was designed to take advantage of the unused space of storage units and thereby reduce the very high energy consumption required by mining with others such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Mining using compute storage is – in theory – a more efficient model compared to the intensive use of GPUs or specialized ASIC units. Reduces associated electricity consumption to cryptocurrencies and can open the door to similar ones that may appear in the future and that make cyber currencies and blockchains much more energy efficient.
And by the way, overcome the unfortunate situation in which the graphic technology industry (and others) finds itself due to the lack of stock and price increases in the face of this insatiable mining of computer resources.
Chia: neither ecological nor efficient
That was the theory. In practice, things are not so simple and Chia is not as efficient or ecological and has negative counterparts. Instead of Bitcoin’s ‘proof of work’ or Etherium’s ‘proof of stake’, Chia uses a ‘proof of space and time’ model using the empty space of storage units to ‘grow’ the blocks.
As was foreseeable, problems have started to appear with a rise in the lack of inventory and a rise in prices in storage units. Even worse, typical component strength suffers and some manufacturers like Galax advise buyers that using their products to grow Chia will void warranties.
A new report reveals why. The constant mining of Chia in a 512 GB SSD, which generally in a computer equipment can last between five and ten years, can reduce its lifespan to just 40 days, the result of writing 256 Tbytes of data during that time.
Drives with more storage space last longer, but wear and tear still significantly reduces their lifespan: a 1TB SSD lasts around 80 days. While the make and model of the units tested is not specified, the report illustrates how quickly they can wear out.
The relatively low price of solid state drives compared to the dedicated graphics cards needed for other cryptocurrencies, allow their replacement at a lower cost, but it is not a sustainable model over time Nor is it good for an environment that has to endure a monumental e-waste problem. No, Chia, like any cryptocurrency, is not ecological at all since it needs to renew components and a good number of machine resources.
Chia does not yet have official recognition in many markets and its future is unknown, as are the fluctuations in its value (from $ 1,800 when it debuted at a minimum of $ 600 to stabilize at $ 1,100), but the storage industry is able to be massively implemented it will have serious problems and with it the consumers.