How to farm Chia Coin (“XCH”) on your computer and earn some money.
What is Chia?
Chia Blockchain is a new cryptocurrency that uses Proof of Space and Time. Instead of using expensive hardware that consumes exorbitant amounts of electricity to mine cryptos, it leverages existing empty hard disk space on your computer(s) to farm cryptos with minimal resources, such as electricity.
There is a lot of enthusiasm around Chia Blockchain because it was created by Bram Cohen, who is one of the founders of BitTorrent and the creator of the torrenting concept. BitTorrent is considered as one of the most brilliant technology innovations in last two decades.
For more information, please refer to https://www.chia.net
How to Farm Chia Coin (“XCH”)
Prerequisite is easy and they are:
- Working computer with Windows, MacOS or Linux installed. It is recommended to use a newer computer with SSD.
NOTES: There is no need to use a dedicated computer to farm chia coin. Just use computer you use on a regular basis. Chia will farm chia coin in the background. Desktop computer is preferred over laptop because it is harder to move laptop around with attached external drives(s).
- Free disk space of 250 GB or greater on your computer with Solid State Drive (“SSD”). You can also use external SSD (e.g., Samsung T7 Portable SSD) if your free disk space is less than 250 GB. SSD is 10x (in read) to 20x times (in write) faster than HDD.
- External Hard Disk Drive (“HDD”) where bigger the size is better. Popular size is 18 TB as of time of this article.
- Chia Blockchain software.
NOTES: Both SSD and HDD price went up recently due to popularity of Chia Blockchain, which was launched on March 19, 2021. In fact, there is scarcity of both SSD and HDD in China.
Install Chia Blockchain software
To install Chia Blockchain software:
NOTES: I will be using Windows since majority of people use Windows at home.
- Navigate to https://www.chia.net on your browser.
- Click on “Install Chia Blockchain” button, which will navigate you to INSTALL · Chia-Network/chia-blockchain Wiki · GitHub
- Click on Install the Windows installer — “Chia Blockchain Windows” link to download “ChiaSetup” software.
- Click on “ChiaSetup” software to install.
- “ChiaSetup” will install Chia Blockchain software on your computer for you automatically. It installs software on /Users/Your Username/.chia directory.
- When Windows Defender Firewall prompts for access, click on “Allow access” button.
You have installed Chia Blockchain software on your computer!
Setup Chia Blockchain software
- Click on “CREATE A NEW PRIVATE KEY” button.
- Chia Blockchain software will create a new wallet for you with a series of mnemonics words as show below. Make sure you use your smartphone to take a picture to store this key somewhere safe.
NOTES: Please do not use the above wallet key. This is provided as reference purposes only.
3. Click “NEXT” button to start using Chia Blockchain software. If Windows Defender Firewall prompts for access, click on “Allow access” button.
4. You will be navigated to the main screen, also called “Full Node” as shown below.
5. First thing Chia Blockchain software does is to synchronize (i.e., catchup with the recent changes in Chia Blockchain — i.e., Blocks) with Chia Blockchain. This will take hours to complete. It is expected that both numbers — 1344 and 47773 will change while synching. When synching is completed, the status will change to “Synched” as shown below.
Plot Chia Blockchain
There are two distinct parts of being a Chia farmer. First you will need to create a series of plots then you can farm those plots to be rewarded with Chia Coin (“XCH”). For more information on plotting, please refer to https://www.chia.net/2021/02/22/plotting-basics.html.
In this section we are going to focus on the process of creating Chia plots. Always plot using SSD since this is very disk intensive operation and it will take exponentially longer time on HDD.
- To create plots, navigate to “Plots” screen as shown below.
2. Click on “ADD A PLOT” button to create a plot.
The following are recommended settings:
a. Plot Size: It should be 101.4GiB (k=32, temporary space: 239Gib) as recommended by Chia Network. You can select different plot sizes, but it will take exponentially longer to create a plot and more than 90% of plots in the network are k=32.
b. Choose Number of Plots: This depends on how much free disk space you have on your SSD since each plot needs about 250GiB to complete. Use this as your guide:
- 270Gib Free Diskspace on SSD: 1 Plot
- 540Gib Free Diskspace on SSD: 2 Plots
- 810Gib Free Diskspace on SSD: 3 Plots
- 1,080Gib Free Diskspace on SSD: 4 Plots
- 1,350Gib Free Diskspace on SSD: 5 Plots
NOTES: Always select “Plot in Parallel” with (between 0 minute to 60 minutes) delay to complete more plots at shorter time. In my experience, plotting one plot or up to four plots in parallel takes about same amount of time. So, plot as many as you can in parallel.
c. Select Temporary Directory: Select a directory on your SSD.
d. Select Final Directory: Select a directory on your external HDD. SSD is used to create plots, not to farm plots.
e. Finally, click on “CREATE PLOT” to create a plot. It is expected to take between 6 to 12 hours in average to complete a plot. If you are plotting more than three plots in parallel, then your computer resource, such as CPU and RAM will be taxed more.
- As of time of this article, plotting stalls in two places. It seems to stall at both 31% and 100% for a long time. This is expected and you should not be alarmed. 31% represents phase 2/4 process where the status will not change until phase 2 is completed, maybe a bug. 100% represents the fact plotting is completed and moving completed plot file from SSD to HDD. It could take up to 1 hour to move the completed plot file.
- If plot fails for any reason(s) then you will need to start the plot process from the beginning. Be sure to delete any temp files in Temporary Directory since they will not get deleted.
- Plot file is named as “plot-k32-yyyy-mm-dd-hh-mm-[a series of alphanumeric words].plot” and they are about 108.9 GiB in size.
- Four phases of plotting are:
- Computing table (table 1 to 7)
- Backpropagating table (table 1 to 7)
- Compressing table (table 1 to 7)
- Write checkpoint tables
Farm Chia Blockchain
To farm Chia Blockchain, you do not have to do anything since all completed plot(s), starts farming right away where you can compete to be rewarded with Chia Coin (“XCH”).
This is where it gets interesting where it becomes never ending arms races to plot more so you can increase Total Size of Plots of your farm to increase your chance of being rewarded with Chia Coin (“XCH”), against all other farms on the network, which is growing exponentially.
To estimate how much you can earn from farming the Chia Coin (“XCH”), please refer to a nice online worksheet at Chia Calculator — How much can I earn farming Chia?
To see how fast Chia Blockchain is growing, please refer to Chia Explorer => Chia cryptocurrency blockchain explorer (chiaexplorer.com).
How Do I Get Rewarded in Chia Coin (“XCH”)?
Your Chia farm will have 4,608 chances per day to win 2 Chia Coin (“XCH”). To be rewarded Chia Coin (“XCH”), your plot needs to pass the filter then compete with all other passed plots for best proof of space to be rewarded Chia Coin (“XCH”).
- Plots Passed Filter: There is an algorithm that ensures your plot has 1/512 chances of being passing a filter where a plot should pass the filter about eighteen times in 24-hour period.
NOTES: You should see regular occurrences of your plots passing the filter, like 1 / Number of plots in your farm, instead of 0 / Number of plots in your farm.
- Proofs Found: Once a plot passes the plot filter, it then competes for the best proof of space with every other plot that also passed that plot filter. Only thing each plot is competing is to have the best proof of space where the chances of getting a reward depend on total size of plots in your farm.
NOTES: A plot is a set of Proofs of Space where there are about 40 Proof of Spaces per plot.
Some Chia farmers get lucky where they are awarded with Chia Coin (“XCH”) with just one plot as shown below.
In most instances, your results will vary.
How Much Would I Earn from Chia Coin (“XCH)
Currently, there is no pricing on Chia Coin (“XCH”). It is expected that transactions of Chia Coin (“XCH”) will be enabled on May 3rd, 2021, where we may find some more clarity at that time.
Meanwhile, there are some futures market(s) that are trading Chia Coin (“XCH”) IOUs. I am not familiar with these futures market, so I have no comments on this.
Chia Farmer Pools
When mining cryptocurrency, most people join existing farmer pools (i.e., many Chia farmers working together to win Chia Coin (“XCH”)) to increase their chances of winning that cryptocurrency.
As of time of this article, pooling is not officially supported, but the biggest Chia farmer, who is winning 30% (formerly 25%) of all Chia Coins (“XCH”) currently is a Chia Farmer Pool in China.
It is more than likely you will not be able to re-use plots you have plotted and copy them to the Chia Farmer Pool. You will need to re-plot when you join Chia Farmer Pool.
Other Considerations in Farming for Chia Coin (“XCH”)
The following are some other considerations when farming for Chia Coin (“XCH”):
- Try to minimize stopping and re-starting Chia Blockchain software as much as possible since it could take up to 1 hour or more to complete synchronization. You will not be able to farm until synchronization is completed.
- When farming for Chia Coin (“XCH”) on Windows computer, change power setting to “Never” Sleep.
- When you want to expand your Chia Farm operation, you may want two or more computer setup where one or more computer(s) are dedicated to plotting (i.e., Chia Harvester) and another computer is dedicated to Chia Farming.
- You can have multiple computer(s) running Chia Blockchain software using same key. Instead of creating a new wallet, select “IMPORT FROM MNEMONICS” and enter twenty-four mnemonics words in correct order.
- Plotting is faster on Linux computer (tested on Ubuntu with same hardware configuration as Windows), compared to Windows computer.
- When you uninstall Chia Blockchain software on Windows computer, the wallet keys are not deleted. You will have to delete wallet keys using Chia Blockchain software via “DELETE ALL KEYS” option.
- Chia Blockchain software is not fully matured software where we are seeing latest version of software releasing every few days or even on same day.
Start farming Chia Coin (“XCH”) and prosper!