Market Commentary: A greener alternative towards Bitcoin

Many people wonder, can there be a cryptocurrency that uses less power consumption in electricity and yet serves the same purpose as how Bitcoin serves as a medium of exchange? To put things into perspective, a report by Visual Capitalist stated that on March 18, 2021, the Bitcoin network consumes about 129 Terawatt-hours (TWh) annually which is even higher than Norway’s annual power consumption. 

Note: A terawatt hour (TWh) is a measure of electricity that represents 1 trillion watts sustained for one hour. Source: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Science Mag, New York ISO, Forbes, Facebook, Reedy Creek Improvement District, Worldometer

Recently, a new cryptocurrency called Chia launched its main net and began trading. Chia sets out to solve this issue of high intensive electricity waste in GPU mining rigs while upholding cryptocurrency’s promise of a secure and decentralized form of payment. Instead of using Proof of Work consensus like Bitcoin mining that uses intensive electricity with mining rigs/GPU, Chia uses Proof of Space and Time technology in which it uses storage space and time to ensure the block times have consistency between them thereby increasing the overall security of the blockchain.

Interestingly, as this new Chia project launches, many of those with deep pockets and huge interest in the new cryptocurrency Chia decided to purchase and pre-order hard disk drives in large quantities affecting the supply of HDD and price of HDD. According to the South China Morning Post, hard drive prices in China have begun to soar by 59% ever since Chia was announced in February this year. Almost all available high quality/high grade HDD with more than 12 Terabytes of capacity has been sold out in China. This is affecting the whole industry and many of the HDDs are also being sold out in Indonesia. As of today, I myself can’t find any 16-18 Terabytes HDD at a reasonable price and most prices have doubled in Indonesia. In the past, onw 18 TB high grade HDD could be bought last month at around Rp 10,000,000 but now it’s either sold out or sold at close to double the price of Rp18,500,000-Rp20,500,000. Many high grade CPUs and NVME SSDs have also seen a recent spike in prices due to people buying them to farm/mine Chia. 

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