If you were intending to throw out some old hard disks, you might want to reconsider. System storage could be “the next video card” in terms of thriving demand, due to a recent rise in popularity of new cryptocurrencies. This type of digital money is mined through, you guessed it, having an abundance of storage. So, hold on to your hard disks, for now. We’ll tell you all you need to know about this new development.
Most cryptocurrencies are mined through proof of work. This means having your hardware operate complex tasks that often benefit from higher-end hardware. As proof of work operations grew in popularity, this has caused video card prices to surge. To open up the market to new players and solve some earlier crypto issues, proof of storage was called upon.
Proof of space requires less advanced hardware, usually on lower power usage. This will mean cheaper hardware can help you mine, while also keeping your energy bill at a minimum. This is because, even at full capacity, hard disks and SSDs just don’t require that amount of power. Therefore, proof of space should also be more environmentally friendly than traditional proof of work.
As of now, storage-centric cryptocurrencies aren’t close to the Bitcoins and Ethereums of this world. However, they appear to be on the rise, quite steadily. Cryptocurrencies like Filecoin, Siacoin, Storj, and Chia are the ones to keep an eye on. Some of them already broke the dollar mark multiple times, others have skyrocketed since the start of 2021.
It’s hard to tell whether that is going to change. But seeing that video cards are almost impossible to get in 2021, proof of storage surely seems like it’s the next big thing. If you want to mine something, but lack graphics power, storage-centric cryptocurrencies are definitely more profitable.
For the best results, speedy SSDs will outpace chunky hard drives. This does however depend on what kind of crypto you’re mining, as the proof of storage methods can vary. Some protocols just grant you coins for the amount of time you “give them” your excess storage, others are constantly writing and erasing bytes to mine the coins.
Speed is just one factor to the whole equation. Some cryptocurrencies might penalize you for errors in storage writing, demanding more stable performance. For these use cases, high-end SSDs are definitely preferred. If your system (and your budget) can handle it, speedy drives in a RAID set-up. This will ensure minimal error correction, which would mean more crypto coins for you.
Over time, you might exceed the amount of written bytes a hard disk guarantees. This will render any warranties void, and might make your spare disks unstable. Unstable to the point where they could be damaged beyond repair, too. This is, yet again, defined by what type of cryptocurrencies you mine, as well as your type of storage.
Older hard disks might burn out, but it’s a noble death to die for drives you were already considering to just throw away. Just make sure you back-up any family pictures, should you find them when reconnecting to your PC. You might also want to look into what kind of crypto is less write-heavy for your slower disks.
The same goes for newer drives, although those are less likely to burn out in general. Especially enterprise-level SSDs are meant to be constantly used for years, which is highly beneficial in long-term proof of storage mining. If it’s not about reusing old disks, consider buying this kind of storage for your next rig.
Hopefully, that covers enough information for you to not just throw old hard disks out. It’s unclear where proof of storage cryptocurrencies will go from here on out, but it’s worth holding onto those drives at least a little bit longer.
Got any questions, or perhaps your own cryptocurrency tips for fellow hardware enthusiasts? Let us know, in the comments down below! Even though we are not the biggest on cryptocurrencies as a whole, we love talking shop on hardware — be that for graphical power or just plain storage.
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