At first, VGA card mining made it hard for gamers to find a single card; then, mine bosses looted gaming laptops; now, hard drives are also targeted.
Let me share two figures first and take a look at my personal real case:
At the end of November last year, taking advantage of the annual “Black Friday” promotion, I purchased a Western Digital Elements desktop mechanical hard drive with a capacity of 12TB from Amazon Europe. The price is as shown below. The pricing logic of mechanical hard drives that I summarized at that time is also easy to remember: the unit price is about $16 USD for 1 TB. The larger the capacity, the cheaper the unit price. You can’t go wrong if you buy it at this price.
Today, I checked the same hard drive on the e-commerce platform. The price is generally $464 USD, which is 243% of the price when I bought it! The 14 TB version with only 2TB of space is priced as high as $618 USD. The larger the capacity, the more expensive the unit price (the reason will be explained below).
Even at such a high price, it is difficult for me to buy the spot (because it has been scanned for around), and the few merchants with spots have not much inventory.
Yes, if you happen to be buying a hard drive, you don’t have to rush to place an order because you can’t afford it now. Such a substantial price increase has only occurred within the past week, and readers with fast hands may have placed an order.
The skyrocketing of hard drives originated from a new blockchain network- Chia. It’s easy to misread this word as China, but it is the Chia seed of “Chia Seed”. Chia is a currency platform created by Bram Cohen, the writer of BitTorrent. Corresponding to Bitcoin mining, Chia uses the word farming to express it. Its biggest feature is to use the existing free hard disk space distributed on global nodes for block acquisition. It is precise because of this characteristic that from the very beginning of the project, Chia has been called the “Bitcoin Killer”-the Proof of Space + Proof of Time (Proof of Space + Proof of Time) adopted by Chia was once regarded as a substitute for Bitcoin. Coin’s Proof of Work mechanism, because Chia does not need to consume a lot of power resources for mining.
At 10 pm on March 19th, Beijing time, Chia’s mainnet was officially launched, which means that ordinary users can participate in its mining. The detailed tutorial is not shared here, only a brief description of Chia’s mining method.
Chia mining only requires 2 hard drives, which do not require high other hardware.
According to official documents, the minimum requirements are a 332 GB solid-state drive (SSD) and a 101 GB mechanical hard drive (HDD). Solid-state hard disks are used for caching, and mechanical hard disks generally have more space for storing the final plot files. The plot is the term of chia, which means the space allocated on the hard disk dedicated to mining.
After installing the Chia software, create a wallet and perform the “P Disk” operation. Disk P is the abbreviation of Proof of Capacity (Proof of Capacity). Disk P is to create a Plot file. The process of the P disk is to fill the hard disk with hash data through Chia’s unique algorithm. There is no profit during the P disk process. After the P disk is over, Chia’s software will submit the hash data on the hard disk to the main network for verification, and finally, the profit will be distributed.
To change a more popular understanding: Chia’s mining process is to fill the hard disk with lottery numbers, and then submit them to the main network for the lottery. Therefore, the faster the P disk process, the larger the hard disk, the greater the chance of winning. This explains why the larger the capacity of the hard disk, the higher the unit price per TB of capacity.
Having said that, the level of income of Chia mining has not been confirmed, the official distribution mechanism is still rather chaotic, and the price of Chia’s token XCH exchanged into real currency is still unknown. Therefore, this article does not constitute any investment/speculation advice. Readers should not want to get on this car as soon as their heads are hot. Please distinguish the risks involved.
In fact, if you only participate in Chia mining according to the minimum requirements (only a 101 GB mechanical hard drive), it will take about 10 months to mine a block. Therefore, in reality, no one uses only smaller hard drives for mining. Most berserk is hard drives starting with 8 terabytes, and they are sold in hundreds of thousands of pieces of land as soon as they are bought. Ordinary users may not be able to imagine what kind of scenario it would be like to mine with so many large-capacity hard disks. The following figure can provide a reference.
There are not a few ordinary users affected by this shock. For gamers like me, a large part of the hard disk space is used to store PC games. I can’t afford the graphics card but I just can’t play. Can’t I just buy it and save it? If this goes on, it is really possible
that you can’t save it ( if you can’t help it, you can only let the big sisters move out ). Who do we gamers provoke?
However, Chia affects users of large-capacity hard drives all over the world, including ordinary people who do not play games. If you like to use the hard disk to store a lot of movies, music, and pictures, then it is best to pray that the existing hard disk is not full or broken. At present, because the hard disks have been emptied, the mine boss has set his sights on the disassembled hard disks of the finished NAS. Visually, these things may happen next. If I predict it correctly, it is not surprising at all:
- The finished NAS with its own hard disk increases in price and then becomes out of stock, and then a large number of NAS without hard disk appear on Xianyu (may be sold at a low price).
- Some big guys modified the program and used memory instead of solid-state hard drives as caches. Then the price of memory increased and it was out of stock.
- Some big guys modified the program and used flash memory instead of mechanical hard drives as caches. Then flash memory prices rose and became out of stock.
- Another big guy modified the program to support mobile phone memory + flash memory mining, and then the mobile phone price went up and out of stock.
- CDN and cloud service providers use huge computing and storage resources to participate in mining, and then cloud servers increase in price and become out of stock.
The giant invented the method of mining with children and since then solved the fertility problem in one fell swoop. The giant became the 10th citizen to be awarded the Medal of the Republic. If the graphics card that has been mined is called slag, then the person who has mined should be called…
Back to the topic, as a game column, I will continue to talk about players. For players, new graphics cards cannot be bought, and slag graphics cards that have been mined are not impossible to buy. Generally speaking, the performance of playing games will not be much different from that of new graphics cards. The price of cheap is often a shorter lifespan. How long the player can play after buying it basically depends on luck. It can be said that it will pay back half a year and earn a year of blood.
But the hard disk is very different from the graphics card and CPU, and the hard disk is pure consumable. Every time 1 GB of data that can be received by the Chia network is generated, a 20 GB cache file is generated locally, and a large amount of erasing and writing has a fatal impact on the life of the hard disk. The hard drives that Chia has mined are theoretically all hard drives that have been written countless times until they are scrapped. They can’t be used at all, and they can’t even be sold as slag. Wait, it can’t be said to be too dead. Will there be a large number of large-capacity hard drives for “girls’ personal use”?
The confusing human behavior of mining drives more than the sales of graphics cards and hard drives. According to the global quarterly personal computing device tracking report released by IDC, worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter increased by 55.2% year-on-year (pictured below), and Lenovo ranked first among the top five vendors. The market share of the five major manufacturers has changed. Dell’s market share has fallen from 19.4% to 15.4%, while Apple seems to have eaten up part of Dell’s lost market share, rising from 5.8% to 8.0%.
IDC believes that the continued recovery of the PC market and the increase in average selling prices are mainly driven by the growth of games, the demand for higher-performance notebooks by enterprises, and the increasing demand for touch screens in the education sector.
This is more cryptic. The sales brought by “game growth” should come from gaming PCs equipped with high-end graphics cards. However, users who bought these PCs may not always use them to play games, and perhaps a considerable part of them are used for mining. Mine (like the picture below). I don’t know if anyone has counted this percentage.
If anyone in the currency circle sees this, in case I have something wrong, please help me point it out. Although I am not a person in the currency circle, I have also heard the phrase “one day in the currency circle, ten years in the world”. From the price increase of hard drives and the speed of sweeping goods, I have deeply experienced it. New concepts in the currency circle are emerging in an endless stream, and the technology is updated very quickly. If someone invents a new mining method again, I don’t feel surprised.
Here is a question: If you can choose, what kind of mining do you hope to use? It’s okay to think boldly, what if it comes true?