Andrew Mello | Jan 18, 2022| 4 min read
How to Create NFT Plots on Akash with Chia Network
Hello Akashian’s, I'm Andrew Mello, the new Head of Mining Partnerships at Akash where I support mining communities' migration to the dWeb. With a shared vision for decentralizing storage on Web3, Akash is pleased to announce a partnership with the Chia (XCH) team. Co-founded by Bram Cohen, the author of the Bittorrent protocol, Chia blockchain is based on a new Nakamoto consensus called "proof of space and time" which launched in March of 2021.
The Chia Network depends on users around the world to contribute disk space to the network. So far, the network has reached over 40 exabytes in size with hundreds of thousands of farmers, creating one of the most decentralized cryptocurrencies. When a Chia user's disk space is used to validate the blockchain, the user is rewarded the block reward, so users are incentivized to increase the amount of storage on the network - increasing the likelihood of mining the next block. Akash recently added support for Chia software, unlocking new opportunities for new and advanced users to take advantage of the dWeb.
“We believe that supporting plot creation on our network is an important part of Web 3.0. Plotting on Akash not only makes the process more seamless but empowers farming communities' through self-sovereignty and will allow anyone with underutilized and spare storage to earn rewards on the Chia Network.”
Plotting on Akash
Chia proof of space are stored in a plot file, which the most common version is around 100GB. Chia farming is about getting as many of these plot files as you can on storage media, like hard disk drives. Creating these plot files requires a one-time use of computing resources and some DRAM and ephemeral storage. Most Chia farmers don't want to over-invest in these compute resources since they are only needed upfront when setting up a Chia farm (which we call "plotting") for a few weeks to months. After the plot files are on the hard drive, a farmer can use those for many years.
Chia currently has 3 different plotting softwares, which require anywhere from 256gb of disk space up to 512gb of RAM. Plots can take anywhere from 15 min to hours depending on the hardware used. Needless to say, most users don’t have hardware to support plotting, and turn to “pay-for-plot” services. Akash can provide these advanced hardware requirements on demand.
Akash is the world's first dWeb platform to support plot creation on its network. Chia users can now create NFT plots on demand in just a few clicks. Once the plot is created it is uploaded directly to persistent storage for farming. To support this complex workload, Akash created an attribute `chia-plotting = true` which makes it easy to identify providers who can create plots in under 1 hour. We welcome both new and advanced users to go through our step by step guide to plotting on Akash. Additionally, plotting services businesses can increase their plotting capacity by using Akash.
“Chia is very excited about the new Akash platform for plotting as a service. Not only is it web3 based and decentralized, but it will benefit our current farmer community by giving them the ability to monetize their idle plotting hardware that they invested in, and usher in a new generation of smaller farmers with an easy and inexpensive way to get into Chia farming.”
Chia has been searching for an easy way to support plotting as a service that can be inexpensive and get around network egress limitations from top cloud providers. As we scale from hundreds of thousands of farmers to millions of farmers, making Chia farming more inclusive for people that don't have access to compute will enable a whole new class of farmers.
Farming on Akash
Once a user has either generated plots or had someone else generate them, they will then begin the process of transferring them to persistent storage for farming. Farming is the stage where the plot remains on persistent storage and accessible to the internet. Farming does not require the same hardware as plotting. Users will generate plots to fill up all their persistent storage, usually multiple terabytes in size or even petabytes. Akash will support persistent storage and consequently farming Chia in Q1 of 2022. We look forward to working with the Chia team to solve any issues along the way.
Repurpose Plotting Hardware
Many Chia users have invested thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in hardware for plot generation. Once they have filled their persistent storage with plots, they no longer need this high-end hardware. Akash gives these users the ability to breathe new life into their old plotting hardware by allowing them to become providers on the network and run plotting workloads. If you are interested in becoming a provider to support Chia plotting workloads please start with our provider guide.
Akash is currently planning a Webinar series with the Chia team to focus on making it as easy as possible to create plots, run nodes, and use persistent storage. We are excited to work with our new partner to educate the world about the future of Web3.