Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have taken quite a hit over the past few days. Bitcoin is down under $40,000 from its all time high of $63,000. A variety of factors contributed to this but one of them is recent negative statements about BTC’s poor environmental impact. Bitcoin miner’s use a lot of electricity to process transactions securely in a proof of work consensus model and some people aren’t super happy about it. Elon Musk is one such person and he recently said Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment because of its environmental impact.
Well one new cryptocurrency called Chia (XCH) is trying to put a more environmentally friendly foot forward while maintaining security. Their green paper details a new consensus algorithm called Proofs of Space and Time, “PoST”. PoST “replaces the Proof of Work which wastes massive amounts of energy and is less secure against mining centralization.”
An admittedly oversimplified explanation is that instead of using energy intensive processing power to add blocks Chia uses hard drive space. In an age where many people are concerned about energy usage, Chia could be a powerful alternative to Bitcoin and other proof of work cryptocurrencies. For that reason alone, it could easily go up to $50,000 per Chia if it were to replace Bitcoin.
Instead of “mining” Chia has “farmers,” farming requires lots of hard drive space. If you’ve tried purchasing a new hard drive recently you might have noticed the prices have increased dramatically and many are out of stock. The reason for this is because the more hard drive space one has, the more “plots” one can put on them, and the more likely one is to successfully farm chia. Chia farmers have been buying hard drives in bulk and the result has been rising prices and shortages. The number of Chia farmers continues to grow, and hard drive prices have gone up as well, so you might want to buy a hard drive now.