SSDs and hard drives could get as rare as GPUs, ahead of new cryptocurrency launch

Another component that could get prohibitively expensive

Hard drive read arm

While you’ve been unable to buy the best graphics cards at MSRP for what seems like an eternity partly thanks to the crypto mining boom, it looks like storage could be the next component to suffer from stock issues affecting everything from routers to RAM.

A new cryptocurrency named Chia, which is mined through storage rather than GPUs, will begin trading next month, and it could see the prices of hardware like the best SSDs for gaming and hard drives increase in the near future. We’re already seeing this in China, according to a report from Time Finance. The benefits from mining the currency are proportional to the capacity of the storage device itself, so it’s mainly larger capacity hard drives being affected.

HDDs with capacities above 6TB are reportedly already out of stock on two of China’s biggest hardware retailers, and where drives are in stock, prices are significantly inflated. One vendor previously listed its 6TB WD enterprise hard disks at 820CN¥ ($125), but this has nearly doubled to 1450CN¥ ($222).

As SSDs generally offer less capacity for more money, their prices in China haven’t been affected to the same degree, apparently increasing by around 100CN¥ to 200CN¥ ($15-30).

Only time will tell whether this new cryptocurrency will affect storage prices in the long term. Chia will start trading on May 3, after which point we may get a clearer idea of which way the pricing could go.