A guide to XCH token farming with a hard drive

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Chia Network recently entered the cryptocurrency scene and quickly piqued the interest of many miners and investors. There are several reasons for this: First, the Chia blockchain works with a new type of Proof-of-Space-and-Time (PoST) protocol, which means that for farming the cryptocurrency, proof of the storage space used and the amount of space used for the task is provided Time is required.

Second, according to the currency’s creators, Chia (XCH) is an environmentally friendly coin and is not mined but grown, with the protocol requiring little energy to generate new coins.

Gene Hoffman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chia Network, told Cointelegraph that the creator of the project, Bram Cohen, wanted to bring eco-friendliness to the cryptocurrency world.

In the case of Chia, unused hard disk space (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD) storage space can be replaced by hashing power. Krzysztof Pietrzak, who also worked on the PoST protocol, said the original model behind Chia was flawed. Hoffman added, “It started with a back-and-forth in which Bram found potential solutions and Krzysztof proved them wrong, until Bram proposed one that – as Krzysztof tried to mathematically prove otherwise – proved correct.”

What is the Chia Network?

The main selling point of chia farming is that attendees do not need to use the powerful GPUs and processors that are needed to mine Bitcoin (BTC). Chia can be powered by an HDD or an SSD, which is an attractive proposition for those who cannot afford the latest and greatest graphics cards. Hoffmann explained:

“It was designed from the ground up to be just as safe or secure as a proof of work and much more decentralized while using 1000 to 10,000 times less power per security unit.”

To grow chia, you can start with a PC or laptop of any kind. All you need is a processor with a clock rate of 1.5 GHz, 2 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD or HDD.

Next, users need to download the “Chia Blockchain” client from the project’s official website or directly from GitHub. You then create a wallet and save a private key, after which you can start the farming process by clicking the “Create plot” button. Farming a block gives a reward of 64 chia tokens. And the speed of farming depends on the amount of hard disk space used.

It’s worth noting that currently only individual users can farm hia. Every single farmer creates blocks – meaning there is no need to join a pool to receive coins. According to the developers, this ensures that the Chia network is decentralized. However, the project team is currently working on the creation of an official pool protocol, which will be published shortly. Regarding the upcoming release, Hoffman said:

“It is impossible for a farmer to cheat. Pools can only cheat if they don’t pay out the agreed amount, and a farmer can leave a pool in thirty minutes if he thinks he has been cheated. Also, unlike almost any other pooled cryptocurrency, the pools don’t make the blocks – every single farmer makes the blocks. This means that it remains much more decentralized, and the Chia blockchain is the largest blockchain of all time in terms of the number of public nodes. “

If you don’t have any hardware and just want to buy chia, it can be done through multiple crypto exchanges. You should keep in mind that in order to buy chia you must first buy a stablecoin such as Tether (USDT) or Bitcoin and then exchange it for chia.

How to build a chia farm

The main question now is how to create a chia farm and how to choose the best components for a plant to maximize profitability. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple and is similar to building a specialized home computer.

One processor

Any processor with four cores – like Intel’s Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 or their AMD equivalents – are suitable for mining Chia. A good choice would be the Intel Core i5-11400 or Core i5-10400, which are available for around $ 150 to $ 170. For even better productivity, it is advisable to choose a processor with an integrated graphics card, as a slot can be used to connect additional memory.

warehouse

The main hardware required to farm the Chia token is the storage drives, which can be either SSDs or HDDs that support a SATA III interface. To farm XCH it is acceptable to use only the SSDs; However, it is better to use a combination of SSDs and HDDs as SSDs speed up the graphics process while HDDs are better at storing graphics.

In total, you’ll need at least 300GB of storage, but having more is a plus. For example, 2 TB is enough for the simultaneous generation of six graphs, while 10 graphs require the purchase of a more spacious SSD or even several such devices. It is better to use high-speed SSDs that work through the M.2 slot. Farmers need to find models with high terabyte writing capacity (TBW), and it is also better to have multiple external hard drives as they are easier to swap out.

As for prices, there are many HDDs and SDDs on the market and they are inexpensive. For example, a 1TB Western Digital Purple HDD typically costs around $ 50. When choosing an SSD, keep in mind that at least 15% of the storage space should be left free in order to increase durability and allow the drive to function properly. This will eliminate most of the problems with speed drops during operation.

Hoffman also pointed out that those who buy equipment specifically for chia farming often rely on used equipment:

“For people buying specialty chia attachments, recycled discs or used memory are the first choice because the price is lower and they are suitable for chia farming that does not store user data. When people were in a rush to buy specialized hardware, they opted for high capacity hard drives because they use less power per TB per storage density. There are farmers who use SATA, SAS, and USB drives, and we’re seeing a good mix of everything. “

The mainboard

Preferably the motherboard should support SATA III and USB 3.0 ports. The same applies to PCI-e ports, which should be version 3.0 and higher. More ports allow more drives to be used as part of the system. The board must have a network controller with 1,000 Mbit / s, two network ports would be an advantage. The faster the internet connection, the better, of course. An unlimited wired internet connection of 100Mbps and more is the best choice. Here, too, there is a large selection at different prices. For example, a SuperMicro X9DR3_i-LN4F + is available for around $ 115.

power supply

Since SSDs and HDDs consume little power, an output of up to 500 watts is sufficient. Of course, a 750 watt box can also be used, but is currently necessary. However, it is important to choose a power supply that has multiple SATA, Mole, and PCI connectors to connect additional drives. Such power supplies shouldn’t cost you more than $ 40.

R.A.M.

The minimum amount of RAM required for chia farming is 2 GB, but it is recommended that 4-8 GB of RAM be used. However, this ultimately makes no difference how productive the operation will be.

A stand

A farm stand with several floppy disks can be set up independently of one another in a large PC case. It is sufficient to remove the GPU card from the setup (if the processor has an integrated video chip) and to install as many hard drives with SATA III ports as possible in the corresponding connections on the board.

The future of the chia network

Chia Network is a relatively new venture, but its popularity has already resulted in a shortage of HDDs and SDDs in some parts of the world. The two largest hard drive manufacturers, Western Digital and Seagate, are reporting increased demand for their products. This can inevitably lead to an increase in the cost of farming XCH.

Another problem is how fragile the drives turn out to be when mining chia. At the end of May, the German cloud storage provider Hetzner banned users from farming chia on its servers. The company claimed that the load on its devices had increased significantly and that its hard drives had failed due to chia farming.

One report even claimed that chia farming can kill a 512GB SSD in less than two months and a 1TB hard drive in less than three months. Under normal conditions, a hard drive can function for up to five years.

However, according to the developers at Chia Network, a solution to the problem is being developed. You said that most of the Chia community use second-hand SSDs that were purchased in data centers, and the company works with many of the leading storage providers to develop products specifically for Chia.

Even if users do decide to farm chia and deal with the problem of regularly replacing hard drives, it all boils down to the price of the chia coin itself to determine how profitable the endeavor could be. After launching its mainnet in early May, the XCH price rose to around $ 1,600, but collapsed to $ 230 by the end of June.

Even so, Chia Network was valued at half a billion dollars in late May and raised $ 61 million in its previous funding round.