ChiaCoin, a new digital currency was recently introduced by the founder of BitTorrent. Unlike BitCoin and Ether, it requires storage instead of GPUs/CPUs for mining and a lot of it. As a result of this, many retailers have been selling hard drives for inflated prices, claiming increased demand. Large-capacity HDDs have seen their prices increase by 2-3x in just a couple of days, and hoarding by miners has only made the matter worse.
Regardless, the sudden price spike didn’t last long and prices of most drives have more or less returned to normal, with some exceptions. This has resulted in many speculating that the impact of ChiaCoin won’t be as much as originally anticipated, easing fears of an HDD/SSD shortage.
Etron, a supplier of DRAM cache chips to major HDD vendors such as Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba has stated that the new cryptocurrency hasn’t affected demand from clients just yet. The impact of hard drive mining (farming) will largely depend on the success of ChiaCoin. As of now, it’s primarily Chinese miners who have invested in the new currency, rather than the wider miner-base.
Trading of ChiaCoin hasn’t begun just yet, and as such it’s hard to speculate. Once trading starts, we’ll get an idea of how as to how many backers it actually has.