A new emerging cryptocurrency, Chia, could do to the hard drive and SSD market what more traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have done to GPUs: spike prices and make them next-to-impossible to buy. In Asia, the trend has reportedly already begun.
Chia isn’t just another knockoff cryptocurrency: it’s led by the founder of BitTorrent, Bram Cohen, who is chief executive of the Chia Project. Chia began allowing Chia “farmers” to begin mining Chia coins in March, and will allow transactions of the coins themselves to begin on May 3.
Traditional cryptocurrencies use what’s called “proof of work” to authenticate blockchain transactions, with progressively decreasing rewards as more coins are mined. In reality, this means that cryptocurrency miners have moved to CPUs to GPUs (and even specialized ASICs) to mine crypto as quickly and efficiently as possible. But because specialized ASICs are impossible for consumers to design and manufacture, demand for more available GPUs has skyrocketed, driving up prices hundreds of dollars above MSRP.