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Cryptocurrency Chia Blamed for Hard Drive Shortage

Since Bram Cohen (the creator of file sharing system BitTorrent) introduce the cryptocurrency Chia popularity has soared. As a result, purchases of common components such as hard drives and storages systems have rose sharply in recent months, which has caused shortages in the supply chain where demand simply cannot be met.

Chia replaces Bitcoin’s energy-intensive “proof of work system” to a “proof of space and time” which instead requires large amounts of hardware space to generate and store numbers.

NVMe Solid-State Drives (SSD) are a particular large hard drive system that have been most affected, with the heightened demand the price of some components has increased as a result.

In absolute terms, Chia is relatively minor. About $50m (£35m) worth of the currency was traded in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap, compared with $50bn worth of Bitcoin. But the expectation of growth in its value has led to a surge in demand for the hardware required to “mine” it, since the earlier the work is done, the more likely users are to get a pay-out, according to Cohen, the currency’s creator.

Bitcoin itself was blamed for blackouts in Iran due to the specialist chips used to mine it, leading them to ban cryptocurrency in order to prevent power being diverted from the critical oil sectors. It is clear there are ramifications as a result of these cryptocurrencies that show no sign of slowing in popularity.