In the field of encrypted digital currency, mining has always been a hot topic. As long as you own a mining machine, you can “turn stones into gold” and realize huge benefits. Especially during the cryptocurrency bull market, whether it is the current shortage of graphics cards on the market or the mining machine orders whose delivery time has been scheduled to fall, all reflect people’s pursuit of this wealth opportunity. Today, Chia, an old project that was born in 2017, has become a new target for everyone in the mining field under the blessing of the cryptocurrency bull market.
1. Chia’s “Aura of Nobility”
Speaking of Chia, the most well-known are its own three auras: “Silicon Valley Genius Founder”, “Star Investment Institution” and “Green Mining”.
In terms of team background, Chia’s founder is Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent. The BT protocol-this free and open source protocol that once occupied 1/3 of the global network, represents the concept of the earliest decentralized digital sharing economy, which undoubtedly brought a huge aura to Bram when he founded the Cina project.
In terms of investment institutions, Chia received two rounds of financing in 2017 and 2018. Investment institutions include the famous A16Z, Greylock Partners, DCM Ventures, Coinbase and other first-line investment institutions. It is the background of these star investment institutions that make the market full of expectations for Chia’s future performance.
Of course, in addition to the above-mentioned honors, what Chia attracts the most attention is its unique “green mining”.
When Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin white paper, his main vision was that everyone can participate in Bitcoin mining activities through the CPU; however, based on the computing power competition brought by the proof of work, it eventually led to Bitcoin mining activities Become a competition between professional mining equipment and cheap electricity. At present, unless an ordinary person has a professional ASCI mining machine, he cannot mine Bitcoin; similarly, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Power Consumption Index, the current annual power consumption of Bitcoin has reached 134.68 TWh, which has exceeded one. The annual electricity consumption of medium-sized countries. This has become outdated when the world is increasingly concerned about environmental protection and climate issues.
In comparison, Chia aims to become an alternative to Bitcoin—“green and eco-friendly digital currency”; and its computing power is based on “a commodity that is widely distributed, resistant to ASIC, and has nothing to do with electricity prices- –hard disk space”. How did Chia achieve its vision? It mainly relies on its Proof of Space and Time (Proof of Space and Time) consensus mechanism.
Space proof is a way to prove that users have reserved some unused storage space on the hard drive. Users of the Chia blockchain install Chia mining software to “seed” the unused space on their hard drives. These users are called “farmers”. When the blockchain broadcasts the next block challenge, farmers can scan their plots to see if they have the hash value closest to the challenge. The probability of a farmer winning a block is the percentage of the farmer’s total space in the entire network.
Time proof is to realize the sorting of blocks in chronological order to form a complete and effective main chain of blocks. Time proof is achieved through a verifiable delay function, which takes a certain amount of time to calculate, but the verification speed is very fast. The key idea of VDF is that they require sequential calculations, and because having many parallel machines does not produce any revenue, it can minimize power waste.
Perhaps the above terms are too obscure and complicated. We might as well understand the time and space proof mechanism through Chia’s mining process:
(1) Farming stage (P tray):
P disk is plotting. Chia will generate a large number of nonces (arbitrary or non-repeated random values that are used only once) through a hash algorithm, and write them to the hard disk in the Plot file format. The P-disk process is similar to that of farmers planting seeds (Nonce) on the land (hard disk space). Therefore, China vividly refers to this process as “Farming”, and users who participate in Farming are called “Farmers”.
(2) Harvesting stage:
When users plant seeds on the land, they can wait for a good harvest. The specific process is that when a new block is broadcast on the Chia network, farmers will scan the seeds (Plot) on their land (hard disk) and obtain a value through a small amount of calculation. If the value is equal to the target value given by Chia ( Target) is close, then the farmer will be rewarded with Chia coins. During this process, Chia will give a “space certificate” to prove that the user has indeed provided a certain amount of land (storage space) for planting. Similarly, in order to prevent farmers with a large amount of storage space from creating spare transaction records to attack the system, Chia uses VDF (Verifiable Delay Function) to implement the time sequence of blocks to create effectively completed historical transaction records for the system. Ensure network security.
2. “Feast for the Common People” under Chia
From the above we can see that the probability of farmers winning block rewards is the ratio of their storage space to the total network space. Therefore, the more land a farmer has, the greater the probability of getting rewards. Therefore, we see that Chia miners are rushing to buy hard drives in order to expand their land space, which has triggered a wave of hard disk stocks and price increases, which has also led to an exponential increase in Chia’s network space.
When Satoshi Nakamoto first designed the Bitcoin mining model, his vision was that everyone could mine with the CPU on the computer. However, with the emergence of ASICs and other specialized computing hardware devices, the use of CPU mining has become an unattainable dream – it is difficult for ordinary people to participate in Bitcoin mining activities because of the lack of dedicated ASIC mining machines; Similarly, Filecoin mining, which is often mentioned with Chia, has extremely high requirements for hardware equipment configuration, consumes a lot of broadband, and cannot be disconnected from the network, otherwise it will trigger a penalty mechanism. Therefore, BTC and FIL mining have gradually become a noble mining movement of a few professionals.
From the above, we can see that the key to Chia mining is the size of the storage hard disk space-anyone on the market can obtain this hardware device. Therefore, compared to Bitcoin and Filecoin, Chia has a lower threshold for mining hardware, and everyone can participate in it and get Chia’s benefits.
This is one of the reasons why Chia is currently hot. In addition to the fact that people are unwilling to miss Chia’s wealth opportunities during the bull market, the resulting FOMO sentiment; more ordinary people can also participate in it, which can be described as a “popular feast.”
3.Chia mining analysis
Like Bitcoin, the difficulty of the work on the Chia blockchain network is also dynamically adjusted to ensure that the block generation time remains unchanged, maintaining an average of 10 minutes for every 32 blocks to complete the target time, realizing the Chia network Stable release of XCH. On the other hand, with the intensification of P disk competition, Chia’s network space will rise, which will eventually lead to a decline in rewards for no unit of “farming space”. As shown in the figure below, in the past half month, the number of XCH rewards per TB per day by Chia has been getting lower and lower. As of April 30, every 1 TB of storage space can only get about 0.0076 XCH rewards per day. With the influx of more and more farmers, the number of XCH rewards per TB per day will continue to decline in the future.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the network can be disconnected during the P disk process, but it takes a very long time. The main reason is that it takes a long time for a large number of nonces to be written to the disk when the P disk is used. In general, the speed of the P disk depends on the CPU capacity and the disk read and write speed. The faster the P disk is written, the faster the farming can be completed, and the sooner the farmers can enter the harvest stage. This means that when some farmers are still stuck in the time dilemma of P disk, other farmers are already harvesting XCH, and the longer the P disk time, the larger the network space and the less future profits.
Therefore, Chia mining is a “race against time” game. The larger the “land area”, the higher the income of farmers who enter it earlier. Since the time required for the P disk cannot be shortened, more farmers adopt the strategy of “exchanging space for time”—use a large number of hard drives at one time to obtain a larger “farming area” to reduce the “farming” stage of the P disk. Lost time to come.
In general, Chia is still in the early stage of dividends, driven by FOMO sentiment, Chia’s popularity will continue for some time. For users who are pursuing short-term investment, participating in this project is a good choice.
Author/ Translator: Jamie Kim
Bio: Jamie Kim is a technology journalist. Raised in Hong Kong and always vocal at heart. She aims to share her expertise with the readers at blockreview.net. Kim is a Bitcoin maximalist who believes with unwavering conviction that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency – in fact, currency – worth caring about.