Cryptocurrency miners have been blamed for much of the shortages and price rises with popular graphics cards and processors over the past six months, and those issues are starting to extend to memory too. Now though, cryptocurrency miners might end up driving up the cost of SSDs and hard drives, thanks to a newly touted token called Chia, which uses storage space as its protocol medium, rather than processor cycles.
Instead of a proof of work system, Chia uses proof of space, demanding masses of read and write operations, which makes large hard drives and fast enterprise SSDs the hardware of choice for miners. While the currency technically hasn't launched yet, it has already had an effect, with the price of 4TB hard drives in China doubling in recent weeks, according to WCCFtech. This hasn't stopped miners, though, with some SSD manufacturers claiming that their high-efficiency drives are all out of stock.
Although this appears to be a specific hardware issue at this time, with only enterprise-level hard drives and SSDs running into supply issues, we've seen this before with GPUs. It starts with the most efficient options, but if less efficient ones can turn a profit, they'll go too.
If Chia proves a success, it could lead to hard drives and SSDs of all sorts quickly going out of stock over the next year.
If you're looking to upgrade your storage in the near future, it may be better to do it sooner rather than later.