Chia is a brand-new cryptocurrency developed by Bram Cohen, who most people know as the creator of the p2p filesharing protocol BitTorrent.
The timing of the launch is auspicious. Because we’re in this huge crypto bull market (the last few days notwithstanding), the new coin already has a fully diluted market cap of nearly $28 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Even more notable, perhaps, is that Chia uses a security model that advertises itself as less energy-intensive than traditional mining, which, thanks to Elon Musk, is suddenly a thing that a lot of people are very focused on.
Setting aside Chia’s basic claims, it’s clear that enthusiasm over the coin is running sky high. And that enthusiasm is bleeding over into demand for hard drives, which are used to mine the coin. This piece from DataCenterDynamics notes that people are snapping up solid-state drives, leading to some shortages across Asia.
So that in turn is having an effect on hard-drive makers. Shares of both Western Digital and Seagate have been soaring on the perceived demand.
Of course, this is the same phenomenon we’ve seen elsewhere in chipworld, with frustrated gamers unable to get Nvidia graphics cards due to their demand among Ethereum miners. In general, it’s getting harder and harder to talk about the shortage of semiconductors without talking about the crypto boom.
Speaking of Nvidia chips you can see on StockX that the price of a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition Graphics Card — which is known to be an Ethereum mining powerhouse — is selling for all-time highs in the aftermarket at nearly 300% the original list price.