Chia Pool AZPool has posted a message to their website and discord announcing they are shutting down immediately and offering less than a week of support to their farmers. They don’t give a reason but my guess, based on the rapid nature of the shutdown, is cost. I have written about the economic challenges of running a Chia Pool in this climate of low XCH prices and 0% fees, and I’m fairly certain this is another supporting data point.
The Chia Network team anticipated this problem. To any farmers on AZpool that don’t immediately change pools, if you win a block without changing the pool address and the pool does not claim the reward, 7 days later you will be able to retrieve that 1.75 XCH block reward to your wallet using the same process the Chia Forks currently use to retrieve rewards from NFT plots. This mechanism was originally put in place so that rewards would not be lost due to a pool shut down.
I suspect the number of pools shutting down will begin to accelerate until only the largest ones survive. Then we will see fees start to rise of the price of XCH does not.