Thank you to Jon for this idea again and for participating in the interview. See what his story is here. This Article is part of a Series about your farming stories called Facts about Farmers. Check out the first in the series here.
If you have an interesting setup and want to have some internet fame please ping @speedmann#6896 on discord or let me know in one of the official channels that you are interested. (Editor’s note: You can also contact the site or by email [email protected] and Speedmann will get it)
Who are you? Some background about yourself please
I’m Jon, I’m a software engineer and an early Chia farmer. I also run the website chialinks.com
How did you get started with Chia? Why farm Chia?
Like Bram and co., I’m a firm believer that the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism is fundamentally flawed due to how it distributes rewards and promoting hodling (staking) while devaluing assets of actual users of the chain that are not staking.
I’m also concerned about the environmental impact of Nakamoto consensus implementations like traditional Proof of Work. As a result, I’m a big supporter of the Nano cryptocurrency that uses a variation of delegated Proof of Stake (dPoS) without the direct monetary incentives.
Upon researching other green cryptos related to Nano but also having a smart contract layer, I came across Chia as a green alternative that is still implementing the tried and true Nakamoto consensus but in a novel way with Proof of Space and Time (PoST).
I got started as the first documented (afaik) customer of Plotting-as-a-Service when I bought 50TB of plotted drives from another Keybase user pre-mainnet. From there I got bit by the Chia bug and started expanding my farm on my own.
What hardware are you using?
CPU/APU: Ryzen 2400ge (35W TPD)
Storage: 5x NetApp DS4246 JBODs with a mix of 8-18TB drives.
Total farm size: 1.5PiB
Plotter (my gaming PC):
CPU: Ryzen 5950x
RAM: 128gb for madmax tmp2
SSD: Intel P3600 400gb (cheap enterprise SSD for tmp1)
Prior to madmax I was plotting on 16x 300gb enterprise SAS HDDs with 16 plots in parallels.
An old Dell Poweredge R910 server with 32 Xeon cores (X7550) and 128gb of RAM.
This was only plotting for about a week before I turned it off due to high power consumption and the plotting arms race was long over by the time I got it set up.
Do you have a special networking/distributed farming setup?
Nope, all drives are connected to a single full node farmer via daisy chained SAS cables. The entire farm is powered from just a single 15A outlet.
Given the chance to start over in march again, what would you do different?
Obviously I should have gone all-in premainnet and sold at ATH but realistically, if I were to do it again I would have opted for higher density drives to increase energy efficiency overall.
Are you pooling or solo farming?
Pooling with Space Pool. I’m more than happy to pay a nominal fee for better dashboards, monitoring alerts, and an iOS app to keep an eye on my farm. The more consistent payouts intervals also make tax reporting easier in my opinion.
How much did you invest in your setup?
I was lucky to have seen the potential of Chia early so the hardware costs (JBODs, drives, HBA cards) were mostly before the run-up on the back of Chia hype.
How time consuming is running your farm? Do you have monitoring?
It was definitely time consuming getting it set up initially but also a lot of fun learning about server hardware and networking. Now that it’s set up it just runs unattended. I have local log and S.M.A.R.T. monitoring but for the most part I rely on pool dashboards and alerts to let me know if anything is going wrong.
How profitable is your farming setup?
I believe in the project long term and have not sold a single XCH. But at my electricity prices, it would technically make sense to continue farming even if XCH hits below $15.
The whole Farm consumes around 900-1000W and at a price of 0.115$/KWh it’s operating at roughly 3$ per day.
What are your plans for the future? Will you keep farming?
My rack is at capacity so I don’t intend to expand my farm any further, but I will definitely continue farming, even at a (unrealized) loss.
Call me an idealist but I believe in the project and what the company is trying to do with their partnerships. Whether or not XCH price goes to the moon is almost secondary to the climate impact I hope the technology will have on the world.
I won’t say no to a lambo though.