IDC estimated that the average consumer with HDD storage for external backup only utilizes 23% of the capacity. This leaves a tremendous opportunity for storage-based cryptocurrencies to leverage this resource to secure the blockchain while offering the user a reward as an incentive. With Chia farming becoming easier and more accessible, the vision is that any user with extra capacity can easily participate in the Chia network, earn rewards, and quickly reclaim the space needed for user data.
“IDC believes that consumer-owned DT PCs and PS devices equipped with HDDs do represent a nearterm addressable TAM for storing Chia plots. IDC's Global StorageSphere research indicates that, in CY21, approximately 195EB of available storage capacity exists in the installed base of consumer DT PCs, plus roughly 310EB of storage capacity is available in the installed base of HDD-based consumer PS devices.”
There are mid or large-sized companies that have a surplus of storage capacity, or temporary requirements for storage (e.g. media rendering). There will be an opportunity to leverage idle capacity for Chia farming.
We do not believe current hyperscale data centers (e.g. Microsoft, Amazon) have a large amount of underutilized storage, due to keeping up with the growing demand for user data and cloud services. At the OCP Global Summit earlier this year, Google asked a question in their session “What does Google call an exabyte of storage?” - the answer…“Emergency low capacity!”. Cloud service providers have a fast growing and very profitable market of providing ephemeral and durable storage services to customers. It would be unlikely that Chia farming is more profitable than cloud services for storage devices.