Seagate Technology Holdings PLC

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May 172021
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Green crypto bumps up Seagate stock

Disk-drive maker Seagate Technology is on a roll, gaining over 18% since last Thursday as new crypto currency Chia bumps up demand for the high-capacity drives made by the firm.

Seagate soared just under 13% on Friday alone, after reports came in[ of increasing demand for the kind of high-capacity drives the company makes. It’s all thanks to the growing popularity of Chia, a new cryptocurrency founded by the creator of BitTorrent. Chiacoin has branded itself as a green alternative to computing-intensive currencies like Bitcoin, the mining of which has caused volatile spikes in prices, GPU shortages, an overuse of fossil fuel, and notoriously consumes more energy than the entire country of Argentina. Only two days earlier, tech billionaire Elon Musk called out Tesla’s association with Bitcoin, citing concerns its environmental impact, so you can see why a green alternative might look pretty good right now.

However, that means that instead of heavy computational power, Chiacoin instead relies on the mining of “proof-of-space’ in hard drives and SSDs, which means that hard drives able to handle that kind of capacity are the new hot thing. Enter Seagate. The surge in the drive stock was prompted by a research note by a Morgan Stanley analyst, who said:

If some proof-of-space verification methodology takes holds to anywhere near the degree as proof-of-work, which is very possible given the focus on energy consumption in proof-of-work, it would drive storage demand much higher, and likely boost margins for a sustained period.

The analyst, Joseph Moore, said that increased demand from these Chia farmers have already made an impact - a few weeks ago there were significant shortages of drives of 10 terabytes or higher, and Moore believes Chia farmers have already bought around 10 exabytes of hard drive capacity. To put that into context, 1 terabyte is equal to the capacity of about 8 smartphones, and one exabyte would be around the capacity of 8 million smartphones.

Monthly sales of enterprise-class drives are coming in at around 80 exabytes at the moment, but watch this space as that could grow – and Seagate stock could surge with it.