What happened to chia net space?

We had stayed at 35E for a long while (about half a year ago ), then started to decline.
And in the past week , we fell from 30E to below 28E, a bit too fast :frowning:

Do you ever wonder what happened?

This was expected. When I spoke to Jon Michael last year, he told me he expected the net space to stabilize between 30 & 30 EiB. With that, others have dropped out, but we have so many nodes around the world, the network is just fine. Zoom out and see what Chia has accomplished over a year’s timeframe. We still have the IPO coming this year as well. Lots of good stuff coming this year by the team. Again, when you get worried, don’t zoom in, zoom out :slight_smile:


Take a look at chia power usage (also by Jonmichael), the very first chart (Annual Energy), and estimated (by him) net space in 2025.


It’s possible that people who are faced with massive energy price increases are closing down their farms and selling off their equipment.

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Or at least turning off smaller HDD’s.
Current kWh tariffs here in The Netherlands are 0.75Euro.
So with estimated payouts/10TiB from Space Pool and an occasional 0.25 farmers reward I made a small table of earnings vs electricity cost… Any HDD smaller than 10TB is a ‘bleeder’ at current XCH prices!

2/4/6 TB are for sure, 8TB is on the edge of breakeven.

Thankfully I’m currently on a 5 year fixed price contract but this ends July this year :thinking:

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That was a very in-depth report with tremendous information. Ty for the link :slight_smile:

I don’t wonder what happened.
From my point of view, smaller farms are dropping out. Whales seemingly still plot (some). Angelina (top1 on spacepool) went from 30 to 80 pib.
I’m also still continuing to Plot.

Im quite happy on how it goes.

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Nah, when you start scrutinizing that report, it looks more like a PR doc for investors that JM was forced to write. I really have plenty of issues with statements provided there.

Although, he projected 400EB in 2025, so apparently, the assumption is that the net space will be dropping like a rock till Dec 2024, and then magic will happen and will immediately jump to 400EB. Standard hockey stick curve investors pitch. Dilbert had a great cartoon about that model.

That is kind of a problem (for me). Those smaller farms provide potentially over 90% of nodes on the network. Just a month or so ago, Chia stated that there were around 350k nodes out there, where yesterday that number dropped to 200-250k (according to them). If that part collapses, the network is gone. It is also not just that those smaller farmers are dropping off, but new smaller farmers are not joining, as for some fighting buggy software, long / repeated syncs may be a challenge.

The second problem for me with that is that the XCH value depends on volume of transactions. If those smaller farmers will drop off, the only participants in those transactions will be whales. Yes, the value of those transactions will be much higher, but the number of participants will be much smaller.

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hmm. Interesting optinion. I see it from a different perspective.
My best guess is that these smaller Miners are mostly coming from the recent crypto hype, now realizing, that they dont get rich with that quickly. Even more so, as we are in the midst of Crypto-Autumn, slowly progressing to the next Crypto Winter.

Also for me, we are pretty much still in an early Beta Phase for chia. My best guess is that new farmers will start coming in again wenn all the situation and Fuzz has stabilized and we enter the next crypto Spring.

As for the Network, I have no doubt that we will keep the network up and running. Your point with many Nodes dropping off but Net space only decreasing slightly in % comparison supports my assumption that those small farmers are dropping off (like my cousin with 2 HDDs :smiley: )

Actually, that may be the biggest (and only worth looking at) factor right now.

If you look at the initial Chia docs, that was the initial model - a lot of nodes thanks mostly to people running few plots on spare spaces. However, it quickly changed into something more like an “ASIC” mode (big farms running the highest density drives only - the most cost/electricity effective setups), where the electricity cost is potentially the main filter for those smaller setups.

Usually, 9 out of 10 startups don’t make it beyond the startup phase (for VCs). So, the question is still whether Chia will make it, considering what is happening right now.

There may be other factors at play as well in netspace decline. I watch the GraphChia stats and, although we are not having a repeat of any dust storm, in many small ways, activity on the blockchain has been up since Feb this year. Both transaction count, and amt of XCH exchanged has been modestly up, as an example.

So perhaps some low hanging nodes are feeling the effect of this. It’s bound to happen. Prior to 2022 these nodes have been sort of ok, with many minor issues. That’s sufficient when nothing is happening on the blockchain. But I foresee activity, sans some serious code optimizations from the Chia team, bringing many smaller nodes, tiny farmers, with less than generous HDW specs, to their knees.

As people upgrade, the result will be stronger, more resilient network that will be more stable and capable than the current, with its wild swings in #nodes and overall size.

Nothing huge right now, but things “they are a changing”.


I agree. Activity goes up and I see that (even duststorms) as positive adoption of the chain.

I doubt that having 1-2 Plots on your average Laptop’s harddrive was ever a real model. the World and Businesses are seeking efficiency so “(big farms running the highest density drives only - the most cost/electricity effective setups)” is a natural outcome to me. I never expected it to be different. I think most People predicted this. It may just come a lot faster than most anticipated.

I also watch those charts. Actually, I am a bit confused about those, as mem pool is just slightly elevated, but if you check the number of transactions, it looks like a big jump. (I cannot say that I see any difference on my node, though, as it is mostly idle.)

However, as you have stated that thing started early in February, on the other hand, if you check the net space chart, it is rather a constant drop for the past 3 months (as far as those charts go). That rather contradicts the statement that this current elevated transaction state is weeding out low-powered nodes (at least for me). I was also expecting to see some net space gain (or at least leveling) around December (when drives were on sale), but that didn’t materialize either.

No one is saying that.

On the other hand, the resiliency of chia blockchain is based on the size of the network (the number of nodes), not the size of the net space (the number of HDs).

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Yes, the different stats seem to contradict themselves. Statistics! Also, I don’t know enough about the inner working of the network sw protocols, to judge what causes what and how that translates to what we see.

I could postulate, looking at this graph, and moving the slider to view 3 months data, there does seem to be “shelves” (drawing imaginary horiz lines over these areas > one aa bit after the start of the year, another a bit into Feb, where net size on ave has decreased.

And therefore, perhaps as a New resolution, some said, “I’m outa here”, then in Feb, more gave up the ghost due to load. But who really knows? It’s fun trying to fit scenarios to reality, but the only guarantee is it will change over time.



One more chart that I would like to see is the node count, and how that compares to net space. Actually, one more - net space of pools compared to self-pooling. This could shed some light on whales. (Flex has a pie chart for their distribution, but it is not clear to me, whether that is based on space or number of nodes (farmers) - both charts are useful. Also, would be nice if in addition, or rather instead of that pie chart they did a time based linear / compound chart.)

So far, we have lost about 8EB of net space. That seems to be a lot, if we think that the main driver are those smaller / inefficient farms. Although, I could see those that were running smaller HDs powering them off due to electricity cost (my 8TBs are on the line right now).

Actually, that 8EB drop is about 25% of the net space. If we assume that those low-spec nodes are mainly smaller farmers, then we can also assume that most of those were pool members. In that case, we should see a related drop in pool’s net space. I only watch Flex (am member of), and that 25% would be somewhere around 80-100PB. There was no such drop, not even a smaller one.

Maybe part of that drop is related to China restricting mining / farming, and those farmers were with those OG pools (also don’t monitor those).

For more confusion > this which gives a totally different idea
this here that may be the number of nodes, or is this just wallets?

this is net space of top pools from Chia Explorer> here
… but oh wait…
this is the top farmers from Chia Explorer… and it’s the same!

Apparently even Chia Explorer is confused (or confusing).

Hear you…I have a couple 12TBs that I 1st retired last year, then put back in service to get just a few more plots online. Now, drives are harder to justify… even 16-18tb drives prices need to drop, and hopefully they will as 20tb+ drives ramp up. I do so love to plot, but a >2 yr payback+ kws gives pause. Still, it’s like trying to stay away from sugar.

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I’m sure there are a number of reasons why net space is decreasing one of which is the price of XCH which is steadily falling. Personally I wonder if Russia cut off by some major backbone providers is adding to this in any significant way (ex: Cogent, Lumen, etc.), and if Russia goes through with the switch to Intranet next week I wonder if we will see more impact on netspace. Just waiting to see if it will be noticable.

I am at 421tb and plan to grow to 1 pb looking for recently bought and are ready to sell hdd. Ha ha

Only disagreement is we are in winter and not autumn for all crypto…