‘Green’ bitcoin alternative Chia is leading to hard disc shortages

Cryptocurrencies based on owning a large number of hard discs, rather than using computer processors, could offer a less energy-intensive alternative to bitcoin and might even make it cheaper to build data centres – although one is already causing soaring demand for hard discs that is disrupting supply chains.

Bitcoin and several other popular cryptocurrencies are created, or mined, using a concept called proof of work, which involves solving computationally difficult puzzles that consume a large amount of electricity. Bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption is estimated to be 148 terawatt-hours and rising, or around the same amount as Poland’s. Now, rival currencies are emerging that instead make use of large numbers of empty hard discs, a concept known as proof of space.

Because hard drives are less energy-intensive to run than processors, proof-of-space currencies are touted as being more environmentally friendly. However, demand for one such currency, Chia, has become so high that some Asian countries, such as Vietnam, are reporting shortages of hard discs. The same phenomenon occurred with graphics cards, which proved to be extremely efficient at mining certain proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. Currently, around 3 million terabytes of hard disc space are being devoted entirely to mining Chia, enough to store 3 billion movies.

Jason Feist at hard drive manufacturer Seagate says the company is experiencing strong orders and that staff were working to “adjust to market demand”.

He also suggested that these new cryptocurrencies could provide a way for companies building large data centres to offset the cost by turning them over to mining. “Chia, and similar technologies such as Filecoin and Sia, show potential ways businesses can turn their idle infrastructure into ongoing revenue,” says Feist.

Michel Rauchs at the University of Cambridge says that while bitcoin’s proof-of-work approach is well understood, proof-of-space alternatives are still in their infancy.Other consensus algorithms that are less energy-intensive but also introduce some level of centralisation and subjectivity might be an acceptable trade-off. There are always trade-offs involved, most of which tend to only become known over time,” he says.

Aron Peterson, who works in digital production for the film industry in the UK, says that people in his field started to notice the price of computing hardware creeping above manufacturer-listed prices around six years ago. He puts it down to the demand for graphics cards by cryptocurrency miners.

“It was causing frustration among creatives and gamers who didn’t want to purchase upgrades at inflated prices just because other people were wasting huge amounts of electricity to compete for digital tokens,” he says.

After deciding to try mining himself, Peterson found that it was using significant energy. He also predicted that it would take five months before mining any coins. “Obviously I wasn’t going to run this experiment for five months, especially if the estimated time continued to climb as new miners appeared,” he says.

Peterson isn’t convinced by Chia’s green credentials, saying bitcoin miners are unlikely to switch because it would require them to buy new hardware. “Instead of displacement, it’s an additional crypto to be mined,” he says.

“Aside from the energy usage, this results in mountains of electronic waste as hard drives will fail faster and more often,” says Peterson. “The poorest people in the world already live with mountains of e-waste pollution we dump on them and this is just going to add to that.”

Chia Network, the firm behind the cryptocurrency, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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5 Benefits of Trading Cryptocurrencies

When it comes to trading cryptocurrencies, you have to speculate whether the market you have chosen will go up or down in value. And the interesting thing is that you never own the digital asset. Actually, the trading is done with derivative products like CFDs. Let’s take a look at the benefits of trading crypto currencies. Read on to find out more.

Volatility

While the cryptocurrency is a new market, it’s quite volatile because of the short-lived speculative interest. The price of bitcoin dropped to $5851 from $19,378 in 2018, in just one year. However, the value of other digital currencies is quite stable, which is good news.

What makes this world so exciting is the volatility of the value of crypto currency. The price movements offer a lot of opportunities for traders. However, this comes with a lot of risk as well. Therefore, if you decide on exploring the market, just make sure you do your research and put together a risk management strategy.

Business Hours

Typically, the market is open for trade 24/7 because it is not regulated by any government. Moreover, the transactions are done between buyers and sellers across the world. There may be short downtimes when the infrastructural updates take place.

Improved Liquidity

Liquidity refers to how quickly a digital currency can be sold for cash. This feature is important as it allows quicker transaction times, better accuracy and better pricing. Generally, the market is kind of illiquid as the financial transactions happen across different exchanges. Therefore, small trades can bring large changes in the prices.

Leveraged Exposure

Since CFD trading is considered a leveraged product, you can open a position on what we call “margin”. In this case, the value of the deposit is a fraction of the trade value. So, you can enjoy a great exposure to the market without investing a lot of money.

The loss or profit will reflect the value of the position at the time of its closure. Therefore, if you trade on margin, you can earn huge profits by investing a small amount of money. However, it also amplifies losses that may exceed your deposit on a trade. Therefore, make sure you take into account the total value of the position prior to investing in CFDs.

Also, it’s important to ensure that you are following a solid risk management strategy, which should involve proper limits and stops.

Quick Account Opening

If you want to buy crypto currencies, make sure you do so through an exchange. All you need to do is sign up for an exchange account and keep the currency in your wallet. Keep in mind that this process may be restrictive and take a good deal of time and effort. However, once the account is created, the rest of the process will be quite smooth and free of complications.

Long story short, these are some of the most prominent benefits of crypto currency trading in the here and now. Hopefully, you will find this article quite helpful.

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Nano Coin Compared With Nexty Coin – Crypto

Blockchain isn’t a hip geek-talk anymore! Bitcoin revolutionized the way many of us saw currencies, ledgers, funds transfers and transactions. The beauty of all virtual currencies is that nearly each one of them tries to address a problem. And this is where our coin of interest – Nexty – comes in action. During the write-up, the similarity of the Nexty platform will be compared with Nano – XRB to gain a better understanding of this platform.

In very simple terms, Nexty platform is pitched as a transaction system that will eliminate the concept of transaction fee while ensuring ultra swift transfers to facilitate its users. Apart from this, the transfers are ultra quick because the transactions don’t require the miners to perform confirmation as in the case of other virtual currencies such as Bitcoin etc.

However, as per the white paper released by creators of Nexty, the primary usage of Nexty is meant for newly established e-commerce businesses to help generate public funding. Since there are no transaction, ultra fast transfer (2 seconds! And that’s pretty much real time) and confirmation fee, the fund-raising will become hassle less. The coin is surgically targeting the ecommerce stores because that will cultivate an eco-system where these stores will be accepting NTY coins from shoppers.

The concept behind NTY is making daily online trades a smooth experience. The team behind NTY comprises of Blockchain developers and established marketers. Some of the team members have ten to 12 years of experience in full stack development and marketing.

Some of you might argue that Nano – Previously known as Railblocks, XRB – is already performing the same functions as NTY. The XRB coin is a bit unique because it uses its proprietary block-lattice data structures. Due to this, each Nano account has its own blockchain which reduces latency for fast transfer. Apart from this, the XRB is power and resource efficient and doesn’t need high end GPU system for transaction execution. However, Nano doesn’t come with a smart-contract capability. Smart contracts are meant to be exchanging triggers for any crypto currency. These contracts help exchanging funds, real estate, stocks or any tangible or non tangible entity of a financial value. The smart contracts also oust the need for brokers while carrying our crypto to asset exchanging flawlessly. Apart from this one difference, NTV and XRB (Nano) are more or less identical. Another major capability of the Nexty platform is its integration within existing ecommerce applications such as Joomla. As per the developers of NTY, the integration takes 3-4 hours max.

In order to achieve a demand – supply balance of the NTY, the platform comes with a built-in smart staking program. This program offers bonuses and credits on buying, selling and holding Nexty. The system is meant for investors and daily users as the same time.

The capability of the Nexty and Nano platforms are huge. Just imagine a world where crypto replaces conventional wallets and transactions are quick! For instance, if a shop keeper accepts BitCoin, it might not hand you over the goods and service before the transaction is confirmed by a number of minors. And now re-imagine paying for goods and services through a currency that’s quickly transferred with zero transaction fees independent from any minor verifications!

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