There is no denying that the ongoing chip and concurrent GPU shortage – the latter also compounded by greedy scalpers and GPU miners – has been a constant source of grinded-down teeth and muffled profanities for gamers. Now, a new crypto-driven shortage looms over the horizon, its sights aimed squarely at, of all things, storage drives.
According to a report by HKEPC, cryptominers in China have reportedly been buying up HDDs from 4TB to 18TB capacities, at ravenous speeds. The frantic purchase by these individuals seems to have been spurred on by the emergence of a digital coin known as Burstcoin (Burst). Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Burstcoin is harvested via the use of “proof of space” or proof of capacity; a method of mining that utilises your available storage space, rather than the power of a GPU.
As to how it actually works, proof of space essentially makes use of one’s storage drive to save hash functions, to be used at a later period in the mining period. The technology isn’t groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but the emergence of a new proof of space currency called Chia indicates that interest in the technology is steadily increasing within China.
Traditional cryptocurrency mining is slow, wasteful, and centralized. Chia's method is energy efficient and broadly distributed, because even digital money should be green #chia #crypto #nextchapter #cryptoinvestor #cryptominingfarm #cryptowallet #digitalmoney #cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/Kjy5xCjh5e
— Chia Network (@chia_project) May 28, 2019
To that end, many of these miners have also been panic buying SSDs alongside HDDs, despite the fact that the ultra-fast storage medium may not be as ideal for mining Chia, as the read and write cycles needed in the operation would most certainly shorten their lifespan. In comparison to the HDDs.
On top of that, Chia is not publicly traded like other cryptocurrencies, meaning that at current, there is nothing to determine its worth on the market. But, as these things usually go, it is only a matter of time before the world of cryptocurrency begins to pick up on it.