Over the past time, gamers and computer users have suffered from a shortage of high-end graphics cards because of the need to buy GPUs from electric money operators. Now, a new cryptocurrency called Chia will most likely cause similar problems for the storage drive market.
According to the South China Morning Post, hard drive prices in China have risen sharply as miners rushed to mine and sell cryptocurrencies.
“The price of hard drives keeps going up”
Unlike Bitcoin, which consumes a lot of electricity and energy to process complex algorithms, Chia is mined based on a consensus algorithm and is one of the currencies advertised as being environmentally friendly.
The founder of Chia is Bram Cohen, who is also a BitTorrent developer. Cohen says he will usurp the outdated industry with increasingly slow and costly documentation capabilities.
Although Chia has not been officially traded on the market and only came into operation on May 3, the “miners” have rushed to buy and stock up a series of HDDs and SSDs. According to SCMP, panic purchases can lead to hard drives shortages, high prices and scarcity.
On China’s Taobao and JD.com e-commerce platforms, large enterprise hard drives have been sold out.
“There have been many people asking to buy many hard drives to exploit Chia in the past few days,” said a customer care worker at the online store Taobao of two major brands Seagate and Western Digital said.
Most business-class hard drives with more than 8TB of storage have already been sold, not sure when new products will be available, the vendor says.
According to manmanbuy.com, a Chinese website that evaluates and compares the prices of products on popular e-commerce platforms, the price of a hard drive manufactured by Western Digital with a storage capacity of 12 TB. February before rising was 2,188 yuan (about 337 USD ). On April 8, the corresponding drive price increased to 3,499 yuan ($ 538) on JD.com.
Seagate’s hard drive with 8 TB of storage before April 14 cost 1,150 yuan, but has since risen to 2,160 yuan, according to manmanbuy.com.
Cryptocurrency miners Chia in China buys bulk hard drives in bulk at the store. In Huaqiangbei, the world’s largest electronics market in southern China, Shenzhen, some vendors said that they now only have a hard drive with less than 4 TB of storage and they don’t know when This situation has just changed.
This person also confirmed that the price of a 4 TB hard drive will be higher than the 700 yuan she used to sell before because the demand from customers is growing.
“At peak times, the prices of hard drives will be at least 60% higher than normal. Recently, the prices have come down a bit, but for now they are still around 50% higher, ”said a supplier named Chen.
The topic of hard drive scarcity has become a hot topic, attracting a lot of attention and discussion on the Chinese social networking site Sina Weibo, with tags attached to articles such as “rising hard drive prices” and ” Hard drive prices doubled in 10 days. “
“That’s it all, first the graphics card craze, then you guys switch to the hard drive. Now I can only buy one computer case,” said one netizen. on Weibo.
Chia’s further goal
In recent years, the increasing popularity and demand for computation have increased the value of virtual currencies like Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency mining has become popular with many people with knowledge of technology and computers.
Although the Chinese government does not recognize Bitcoin as a legal currency, the country does not completely ban Bitcoin mining.
According to an article recently published in Nature in April, China accounts for about 70% of all Bitcoin mining activities worldwide.
The increase in electricity consumption related to cryptocurrency mining has also caught the attention of Chinese regulators, as the country is making efforts to save energy and reduce environmental pollution. The leader of Inner Mongolia, the major Bitcoin-producing region in northern China due to cheap electricity prices, said they would close all Bitcoin mining pools by May.
The global Bitcoin mining network consumes about 113.88 TWh of electricity per year. If ranked as a country, Bitcoin would be the 33rd electricity consumed in the world, out of total consumption by the Netherlands and the Philippines, according to Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.