When the Chia crypto-coin (XCH) officially burst onto the scene back in April, there were gloomy forecasts of storage supplies drying up as the new coin relies on unused storage space for computation. And although certain storage components makers have reacted in interesting, albeit unwelcomed, ways so as to ward off such a situation, for the most part, HDDs and SSDs haven't really had the same shortage effect that people experience with graphics cards. And part of the reason for that could be the low profitability that Chia has to offer according to the findings of a Backblaze study.
In its study, Backblaze has found that it could make an income of $250,000 in a week using 150 petabytes (PB) of space. But with an assumption of a continuously growing Chia Netspace which does so exponentially, the income generated after week sixteen would be zero. And even assuming only a linear rate of growth for the Netspace, the income would still continue to drop although it wouldn't dip as steeply.
And once costs of farming are brought into the mix, the equation changes again. Backblaze has assumed $5/TB/month of cost which leads to $175,000 total for the 150PB of space mentioned earlier. For the exponential growth situation, the cost is seen to exceed the income by the seventh week, and by the 28th week in the case of the linear growth scenario. Essentially, these numbers don't look too promising for a would-be Chia miner.
In its study, Backblaze has also highlighted how plotting can be very expensive as it requires fast multi-core processors and fast SSDs, something which is rarely advertised by the makers of Chia who generally tend to suggest that more storage is really all you need.