I Farmed Some Chia(XCH)

Chia is a relatively new crypto currency which can be ‘mined’ with hard disks. It’s advertised as a green crypto because hard disks consumes way less energy comparing to mining rigs with high end graphic cards.

I installed Chia on my Ubuntu Linux desktop computer because it has some vacant SATA ports that I can use for mining. The official instructions for installation is here.

In a nut shell, the mining power of Chia is determined how many plots do I have on disks and they are huge – about 100GB each. The process to generate plots is very IO intensive so it’s better be done on the fastest SSDs( and expect that SSD wears out quickly).

I used an old 512GB m.2 SSD as plotting disk and 2 x 8TB HDDs to store generated plots, eg.
/var/chia/tmp –> 512GB SSD
/var/chia/barn1 –> 8TB HDD
/var/chia/barn2 –> 8TB HDD

At the moment 512GB isn’t big enough to do 2 plotting processes in parallel, so I used a simple bash loop to keep generating plots in a single threaded manner, until the disk is full and then start it with next storage destination.

# this can be run in a screen to keep it running in background
while chia plots create -k 32 -n 1 -t /var/chia/tmp -d /var/chia/barn1 ; do sleep 1; done

The chia command to check farming status is

chia farm summary

With 2 x 8TB ( 14T usable) of storage, I have put 138 plots in them. It sounds like a lot at first but with a lot of people doing this plotting including some professional miners, the estimate time to be awarded has kept increasing, from 2 months to nearly a year now. But I’ve got some serious luck here as I was awarded 2 XCH coin the other day!

chia farm summary
Farming status: Farming
Total chia farmed: 2.0
User transaction fees: 0.0
Block rewards: 2.0
Last height farmed: 185xxx
Plot count: 138
Total size of plots: 13.660 TiB
Estimated network space: 15766.681 PiB
Expected time to win: 7 months and 2 weeks

A typical HDD will consume around 10W of power, and it can be set to spin down when idle. To my understanding that is necessary because the plots very very rarely get challenged which means most of time the drives do not have activity. Comparing this to the power consumption of those PoW(Proof of Work) crypto currencies such as BTC, ETH(for now), Chia(XCH) is indeed much much greener.

A warning here though, the plotting disk will wear heavily and might even get expired during the process.