Anybody Farming Chia?

I just started Chia coin farming. I find the platform interesting, and like that it’s more storage-based than CPU-based. This allows me to do some mining or “farming” as they call it without having to invest in a bunch of GPUs. It’s popular over in China, but hasn’t really picked up in the US yet. The coins just went on market for the first time a few days ago. I’ve got a couple of servers laying around from VMs I don’t need to run anymore, that have decent 15k SAS drive raid arrays on them. Might as well plot away!

If you’re not familiar with Chia, it’s from the creator of Bittorrent. You use a system like a gaming computer, a server, something with NVMe, or other fast storage to create “plots”. Each plot is around 100GB in size, but takes about 250GB of space to create. Once the plots are created they are farmed to earn Chia coins. The farming takes much less power and can be done by nearly any kind of system. Once I get some plotting done, I’m planning on moving the plots over to WD USB 3.0 storage connected to a laptop for farming. Just picked up a 14TB WD drive for $300 and considering another!

Some people are projecting storage shortages as this gains popularity. It’s a new thing for me, so wanted to see if anyone else here was doing it.


On which exchange Chia is listed?

I think this is an evolving situation. I read OKEx listed it already, but others are sure to follow. Right now I am just farming it, not investing. I tried to look it up on Robinhood and Coinbase and neither supports it yet.

Some lessons learned so far:

Don’t interrupt plotting for any reason. It must finish.

If you must put your Final dir on the same drive as your Temp dir make sure you account for all that space when creating plots. Side note, your Temp dir should be fast, so put your Final dir somewhere on a drive that doesn’t need to be fast ideally so you can use all your fast disk space for plotting.

Don’t overcommit your CPU (or RAM) when plotting. Just my personal thing but I’m sticking with one thread per logical core. A wheezing system is useless.

I have not even successfully completed any plots yet, so surely more lessons to come lol! :+1::grin:

This is my jealousy

LOL those 4 plots are only halfway done and I’m supposed to be able to knock these out in less than a day… Ordered a couple TB of NVMe SSD. That should help speed things up. Have also managed to procure 42TB of farming storage so far, which should hold over 400 plots.

Ole McNickma had a farm eieiooooo. :slight_smile:

CNN got us some primetime today!

Next lesson learned. Leave the Chia app open even if not plotting for a few minutes. Syncing sucks!

I have 4 plots now! Yay! I think I can crank out around 7 a day as is, and when my NVMe gets here on Monday I should be able to double that! :wink:

Holy growing pains, Batman! The entire Chia mainnet was down this morning. Reddit was going ape**** for hours! They found/fixed a major issue with invalid blocks, so definitely grab the latest version ASAP!

Next lesson… the GUI sucks. If it restarts, you have to restart plotting. That would be fine if it wasn’t terrible and required constant restarting for various reasons.

You can execute everything Chia does via command line in individual, isolated processes. I’m now kicking off all my plots via CLI, and if sync utterly fails, or a plot has to be killed, it won’t completely destroy everything else. I’m actually even kicking off the farmer via CLI now, no more GUI for me.

I have lots of open PCIe slots on my Chia rig, so I decided to pick up these PCIe x8 cards that accept NVMe. It looks like they are actually outperforming the 15k SAS drives. Next test will be to see if overall speed to completion favors 1 plot per disk, or maxing capacity. :slight_smile:

Keep plottin like a supa-villain!

Next lessons… plot smaller plot faster. At first I was figuring out how many plots I could run at once to take advantage of as much disk and cpu possible. Turns out more plots means slower plots, and while it’s great to have a whole batch finish at once, if that takes 2 days it’s questionable. I notice that if I just run one plot per disk with slightly bumped threads and RAM, it will finish MUCH faster, I’m now cranking out fewer plots at once, but they are finishing much quicker

Next lesson: Old hardware sucks. I have a giant server that’s like 10 years old. Despite its age, it packs 128GB of RAM, 16 Xeon cores, and 15kSAS RAID. I really thought that was going to breathe fire, but my newish laptop plots faster on USB 3.0. Forget about your old server. Modern hardware is better.

Finally farmed my first 2 XCH! Happened at around 360 plots for me. It says approx 6mos to win with this many plots. Plan is to soon expand to ~1000 plots.

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Does this just run on standard OSes?

Every give any thought to farming on AWS? Obviously it becomes a numbers game.

The hardware you’re using now, what is it? Also: is that the only thing that device is doing? Farming Chia? :open_mouth:

Hey BillyBob! Yeah, NVMe is just flash storage, available on newer systems. Fast storage like that is only useful to actually create the plots. The farming is done on USB 3 drives that can be connected to anything. I have seen some documentation of AWS plotting/farming, but as you mention, there’s cost there. I like doing the plotting and farming with spare hardware I’ve got lying around wherever possible.

Hello! ponponwei! That’s just an old server I had laying around. It’s worked okay for plotting, but it guzzles electricity! I think I’d be better off using a gaming PC, or a newer server. Once I knock out my 1k plots on it I’m going to turn it off and farm on a laptop! :slight_smile:


You and @Mondeoman are now making me think about chia lol. And also buying AMD :joy:

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Hi Nick,
I wish I had found your thread earlier. You are nearly 3 months ahead of me. But I may have missed a lot of teething trouble. Congratulations on the 2 XCH. Well done.

I am 2 weeks into this by now, with my first plot completed on 27Jul21. I just went over 50 plots in total and aspire to reach the next two milestones - 100 plots, then 1,000 plots. I have about 90TB of capacity, but not yet built into systems - just second hand spinning disks from eBay.

I have two ancient PCs and one modern PC (low spec - only cost £200) generating about 3 + 3 + 7 plots per day. They need looking after though. I have a lot of downtime. We have had intermittent internet over some days - not sure if it’s me messing with our home LAN continuously building and rebuilding PCs and putting them on the network. In total I have downloaded the Chia blockchain 4 times on 4 different machines. An added attraction is also that I got back to the CLI, and have started to use Powershell instead. Around 2Aug21, I found the MadMax plotter and watched countless Youtube vids until I could understand how to put together the most basic of scripts. I felt like a kindergarten kid.

So for me this was a pilot - the first of four mining pilots intended to create some diversification from only investing in crypto. I assigned 2 weeks for the pilot but each time I calculate an interim return on investment, the figures just keep on improving. About a week ago, I found the Chia leaderboard and could not believe that there is someone hosting 10 petabytes (now it’s 20 PiB). So I scaled that down and decided, like you, to complete about 1,000 plots then let a slower system continue in farming mode.

It doesn’t help that at the same time, I have been clearing out my workshop at home, and repurposing it as a potential crypto mining space. It’s clean, dry, not insulated at all but it’s over 200 sq ft and already had a 36U 19 inch rack cabinet (ex bp global datacentre Hemel Hempstead). I am forcing myself to relearn what I forgot about 20 years ago - LAN, WAN, hosting, high level coding. Nice as a hobby and whilst I am not contracting, but I guess I should get back to contracting some time soon.

Anyway, please keep this post going. I am contemplating mining some Helium as the next pilot. The last few days have helped, in that if I need any additional moolah for investment, Cryptos seem to have woken up again, and we are heavily into XRP. Treated my wife to some retail therapy today, invading three local clothes shops and finishing it off with a 5pm coffee and light snack. Truth be known, I think that is something I am becoming really good at - taking my wife on retail therapy trips.

Now back to mining. Just need to watch Max Keiser, Michael Saylor and Bitboy Crypto sell BTC to the moon. They are back on track for predicting a year end price of $200K to $400K plus or minus a bit. God bless them, and I hope they are right. Mega retail therapy sessions would follow for us :money_mouth_face:

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I forgot to say - about proof of time and space as opposed to proof of work.

In 2000, I worked for KPMG and managed a London office consolidation of seven sites into one at Canary Wharf. I needed to order some significant kit. Three 42 inch TVs for video conferencing at £7,000 each! Now they are about £200 each. The UK South East also needed a new SAN. I ordered a total of two terabytes of disks in a SAN totalling £150,000. A new 2TB disk is now about £50.

In 2018 I was specifying CCTV disk capacity at a UK major airport. The final disk space required to satisfy all business requirements (mainly for security) was a whopping 5 petabytes that we put on order at a cost of nearly £1M.

Now I find one guy in the space.pool mining Chia with a 10 petabyte capacity.

If anyone was still unsure whether technology moves in a straight line or exponentially, the numbers here should convince them it is the latter.

I want one of those 128 Gb Ramdisks and am trying to cost up doing that with old Dell servers on the cheap. Do you have any estimates of how they would compare with a modern M.2 NVMe drive running on the PCIe bus at 32Gbps? I mean, how long would it take to complete one Chia plot?

Hi @ponponwei

Yaayyyyyhhhhh! I got my first Chia payout yesterday. I earned 0.01 Chia. Whoooppeeeee dooooooooo!

I was beginning to think that I had done something wrong. I am approaching 100 plots, and I got my first payout - equating to about $2.60. That has encouraged me to carry on. The third plotting computer gave up the ghost yesterday and I have had to reload Windows 10. I was worried that I had trashed a SSD drive but it wasn’t the case. It was just after the latest Win10 update (H121?). And it is a computer I bought broken and repaired / upgraded it, so it may still have ghosts in the woodwork or skeletons in the cupboard.

I have also been let down by a clown on eBay who has not delivered my CPU and RAM, so I have requested eBay to intervene and send my funds back. So that has delayed me a couple of weeks in building my super douper plotter. Never mind. I have about 90 terabytes of disks to fill up, and I need to catch up with my documentation (technical infrastructure plan) so perhaps it is a good thing that I have been delayed.

I wonder how long it will be now until I get my next 0.01Chia payout. I wait with bated breath.

Added by edit:
I’ve had to start Madmax script so many times now that I know the Powershell commands off by heart. And I am getting used to preferring Powershell to the CMD prompt (command line interface aka DOS). Who knows where I will end up. Writing EAs?