Farming/Plotting = not profitable

Chia got my interest since sometime, and I really like the ideas of the project and got faith in it. At first I really wanted to plot, farm so get xch that way. I wasn’t really looking at what kind of storage I needed or how often I need new HDDs, almost I bought a suerplotter that can plot 100+ a day. But later on I realised how unrealistic this was, considering how quickly you would need a new expensive, big hdd to store them. And with the pools you get a more clear view on how much you earn with it, so when I bought a 11tb hdd it quickly became clear to me how innefficient & expensive this is. Like the disk I bought cost me 223eu in total, and if I plot it full it would make 0.6eu a day. However, unless the price of chia keeps going up (went mostly down lately), the profit lowers everytime as netspace grows. So an ROI of about a year and few months gets even longer like that. Then I’m not yet considering the cost for a good ssd drive to plot, now that wouldn’t be such a big cost if u use the right ones.
But still I can’t see how this is profitable, neither in long-term. So I’m wondering wny so many people plot, farm or like doing so, while it is as I’ve heard a few times… That you better buy Chia if you want to invest for the long run, rather than buying lots of HDD while they really don’t reward you much. I believe it’s simple logic to assume that you will have a greater return of initial investment if you bought a bunch of XCH at a now good price I’d say, than investing all this money into plotting hardwrae, and having to keep doing so, for pretty low profitability…

Now I looked at options for using some cloud host to store plots, and allthough it’s not impossible, it’s not worth it either as you hardly make a profit, even that will be hard.
So basically you need to get mass storage for free or at least very cheap, to make this worth it.
As the developpers said “to use non-used storage” for chia farming. But if you have to buy new big hdds everytime, this becomes crazy expensive, while the return of all your plots on them will lower as the netspace grows. Like if I would do this enthusiastic as I am, and make a 100 plots a day that would require a 10tb hdd every day again loll, which costs like 250$ here and that’s still cheap.
You could lower the price if you buy smaller, cheaper hdds but that isn’t recommended either.

So, am I right about this or is there something I looked over? I’ve also looked at the Chia forks and most seem to make very little either, or could compromise security.

Or are some of you just plotting cuz it’s fun and you want to increase your chances of winning Chia?

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That in spades, plus you are looking at this like drilling for oil. You would say, “Price of oil is low, don’t drill”. Others look at this as planting a crop, with good weather ( i.e., accumulate more at same or better price thru harvesting or keep existing plots farming ) crop will become more valuable. They would say, “Patience is a virtue. Don’t be hasty. Keep the faith. Why not - it beats other pastimes for enjoyment. Look at the long term investment potential. Later, many may wish they had started earlier.”

Well, we have.


I look at this like the grain farmer analogy. The farmer farms corn or wheat or rice etc. They fill up their grain silos and whatever is left is sent to market. Farmers try to get the best deal on their grain they put into their silos. Then they plant seed and farm again. Then they sell then they fill the silo again then they sell then they repeat.

Chia is similar. Plot, fill drives, farm (in pools), make pool money, sell, repeat.

Also because it’s fun and very educational process, like a hobby.

But you are right if you look at the situation now. This is also what Bram has been saying for a while that Chia will become unprofitable to buy new storage just to plot. Only if you have leftover space that you can use is it really interesting.

But a lot of us started in a very different situation when the price of 1 XCH was around 800$ and the netspace was much smaller so you would still make more xch from your plots than you do now. Nobody really expected 30 EiB netspace to happen this quickly.

I’ve plotted all my harddisks now and selling of the plotting hardware, so just keeping a farmer online. depending on the netspace growth I will farm the same amount of XCH in 1.5-2 years to the same amount if I now bought XCH for the same money I spent on hardware. But I hope to keep the farm running for 10 years or more, so that in the end farming will still be better than buying. Or it will go bust and I will have lost a whole bunch of money. But that is the same risk if you buy. At least hardware always keep some value in resale.


I’m on the same boat. Looking at it as a hobby don’t know for how long.

Bram Cohen was very clear about this:
Minute 22 :

“if you already have the hardware consider it as gravy money on top of that, cause you cant make money investing in mining this way”

I have plotted and am farming 48.68TiB. I am continuing to plot to approx. 120Tib growing at .8Tib per day.

This would certainly not be profitable if I was paying someone to plot for me or if I was playing for cloud storage but as I have produced my own plots to fill my own storage I still like my Chia farming bet.

Was my bet profitable? I will have spent $6000CAD when my 120Tib is complete.

Right now I make over $100CAD/month estimated over time and am expanding faster than the total network. If this $100/mth return was static I would pay for my investment and become profitable in five years. Far from brilliant, but not a loss, either. Of course, Chia could fail and I would have an expensive farm game but I wont lose sleep over this possibility. If I’m lucky, my Chia farm bet will pay off, and those coins that I earned over the first five years will be worth a a good buck or even a small fortune.

Chia farming is a loss if you think in months not years.

I would not recommend that a peep start a new Chia farm now (unless they wanted to go all in with some big bucks, and knew it was a long-shot) but do not regret starting my farm early. It has been an interesting hobby, will probably start to earn a small profit in the long run, and just might turn out to be a small gold mine.

A low Chia price is good for me as it inhibits total network growth. If Chia price rises, so does the value of my plots, helping counter faster total network growth. When I have filled the storage I have I will look at the numbers again, and may even bet a few more dollars on continuing my storage expansion.

Chia is actually performing reasonably well against other big crypto. Chia’s long term fate has yet to be decided, but with a little more help from Bram and a little less from Elon, Proof of Space and Time may end up being a real contender.

Be well! :grinning:


Most people bought their equipment when Chia was around $1,000 ++ :sweat_smile:

However, there are some differences between buying and farming the coin:

  1. When the price of the coin goes down, if you bought the coin at a higher price, you would have no way to recover your investment. On the other hand, if you’re farming the coin, it’s just a matter of time before you can break even. And if the price is high, it means you can break even faster. Nonetheless, you will get your investment back eventually.

  2. In farming/mining, you don’t have to take the coin’s reputation/credibility/adoption/etc into consideration that much. All you will have to consider is the value of the coin so you can calculate an estimated ROI. However, no sane person would want to include Chia, which is currently a shit coin, into their portfolio. You better invest elsewhere. In fact, in the next 5 years, Chia may not be around the same high ($1,600+). But that doesn’t matter, because even at $200, most people, in the next 5 years, will most likely taking a lot of profits from today’s farming already while people who bought Chia at $1,000++ are still at a loss.

Please note that, as I said earlier, most people bought their rig when the price was quite high. They did not expect the price to be this low. You are thinking that farming/plotting is not profitable because you calculated from the current price. No sane person would buy a plotting rig and a load of HDDs at the current price unless they do it as their hobby. At least, profits are not in their best interest.


I am not one of them. I have stated before. I am someone farming on my existing server with 2 existing USB drives. I only purchased 2 USB drives for it. On my existing gaming system used as a plotter, I only purchased 2 NVMEs. All in all, I only have like $400 total I think invested in Chia. And Chia was only worth like $200 the last time I made a purchase. I guess I am not one of the “most people”.

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2x NVMe’s and 2x externals for 400 bucks sounds very cheap…


Y’kno, I think the same thing about people who go fishing. :fishing_pole_and_fish: :fishing_pole_and_fish: :fishing_pole_and_fish:

Why spend all that money on equipment, and waste an entire day sitting by a lake and playing with maggots and watching your fishing poles do basically nothing.

They could save a lot of time and money just by going to the local supermarket to buy fish. :man_shrugging:

Clearly, we are those guys, sitting by the lake, sharing war stories, tips, tricks, ideas, helping others get started in this weird hobby of ours, shopping for the best equipment we can justify buying. Comparing setups, comparing rigs, learning a lot along the way. I think a large part of why we do this is because its fun, even if its a bit slow, and the ROI makes no sense.

I think many of us here hope that someday that investment will pay off big, even if its largely speculation… and that’s exactly what this is, a speculative investment, and a weird hobby.

But… in the meantime…


Nope your not.

Chia was at $275 the day you joined this forum 44 days ago. The price did not hit $200 for the first time till a month later. So you made your last (first?) purchase when Chia was at $200 or on July 20th or later?

You also have the best hardware source I have ever seen. You purchaced 2 NVMe’s and 2 USB drives for a total of $400!? Incredible.

Why did you buy two NVMe’s if you only planned to fill 4 USB drives with plots? In 80 days I’ve filled 50TiB using a plotter with one 2TB NVMe.

Just like the rest of us, you make mistakes, but when what you say is transparently incorrect it becomes hard to rely on anything you contribute.

Be well.


I did not plan to fill just the 4 USB drives total. I planned to fill a total of 20TB. I managed to get it up to 23TB because I took 2 1TB USB drives + a 1TB Apple SATA drive. I only ever purchased the 4 USB drives and the 2 512 SSDs. In my server I had the 12TB worth of SATA drives + I had 8TB worth of USB drives I used for my Steam library.

I just loved reading this thread, it’s like a group of gnarly old prospectors sitting around a campfire saying “we didn’t find all that much gold but we wouldn’t change things”.

To be fair, I’ll just echo this, either just fill the space you have, it doesn’t matter if it’s just 500GB. Make sure you are synced and just forget about it, apart from to check it is running from time to time. If you hit a block you’ve just got 2 XCH ($400ish today) for almost no effort and only a tiny bit of extra electricity, assuming you had a machine running 24/7 anyway, as many people do.

Or you go bigger, if you do then you might be relying on either enough time to elapse to get your ROI, or expecting Chia to make it big and become the new bitcoin, or both. Have fun doing it, learn, contribute - if you do it will be much more worthwhile.

Buy second-hand equipment, do not overpay, then you only have to make more than the electricity bill (assuming you don’t have solar or something else that makes power you need to use or lose, or a space to heat in a cold place - my server rack will keep me warm in winter) in order to be in the black, as you can sell the kit at any time. I intend to run it as a legitimate business, pay tax on my coin, and claim all my expenses as deductions against my other business interests.

Sorry that got all serious and not enough prospector spirit. :slight_smile:


haha yeah this does remind me of those shows on discovery where ppl are mining for gold or opal, barely making enough to pay for next week’s gas money, but still keep dreaming every day of that big score.
Next week will be different
10 years later: next week will be different :joy:


The Curse of Chia Island

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I think it is profitable but not “very profitable”. Gotta know what is profitable. 1 year breakeven. 6 months breakeven. Or positive gross monthly revenue - expenses. In my case, I can breakeven in 22 months at current prices. For me, it is profitable. Plus it requires less cost to maintain unlike GPU mining.

Ok so let’s get serious, minimum cost you can buy 1tb with 20-25$,now the cost of chia is 160-180$,and if you are in a pool you can get approximately 0.13$/TB/month without maintenance and electricity if you are a home user with a pc with only one TB you can recover your investment in 153 days-193 days for the storage device you choose, adding the pc and electricity , you will add at the minimum of 120 days.So you either go for the big investment of 1PB ore more or you do not start to farm chia.This is my advice,i am not a financial adviser ,best of luck to you all.

Where do you get that figure? Is that your prediction?

Was thinking the same…
0.13$/TB would be amazing, in reality it is 1.26$ / month.

Who buys HDDs at 20-25$ per TB? I can get new 14 TB drives for less money. If electricity is cheap for you, stick to smaller drives an you should be able to pay less than 15 $ / TB including cables an sata expansion cards.

What’s the math behind recovering a farming PC adds 40 days? Obviously depends on the size of the farm, but some cheap used computer < 100 $ will be enough for a small farm.

The time to recover the investment does not depend on the size of the farm. The amount of money you make per month obviously does. You still have to be aware that it currently will take 1,5 - 2,5 years to recover your investment.

Compared to stocks the amount of passive income you can generate per $ invested is quite good. Is the risk higher? Not sure… If Chia prices crashes I still can sell the disks loosing probably 30%. Guess how much I lost with Wirecard stocks…

If you need to make at least 1k per month to consider farming chia worth it, you will need a Petabyte-Farm. If you have 15k you wonder what to di with, go for it! I happily take 100$ / month with a smaller investment.

@carera2003 I support your choice to not be a financial advisor :wink:

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I just got notice that my kwh price will go up to 44 eurocent per kwh, starting from dec…

Hopefully that misery is going to get fixed soon