Exactly one year ago I published the very first post on The Chia Plot, called “What is Chia“. This was before I really knew what I was talking about, and in what has become a tradition on this site – let’s tear it to pieces and hurt the feelings of the person who created it. I will include each paragraph as an image inline so you do not have the author any clicks, supporting his bad writing.
The piece starts with a fairly poorly written introduction that explains that Chia uses a blockchain, and that it uses Proof of Space and Time instead of Proof of Work. The author fails to link to definitions of either term of art, leaving the reader confused.
The next paragraph attempts to define Proof of Space and Time. The author fails to even mention timelords, or transaction fees, or multiple blocks or how the block rewards are defined over time, merely mentioning that the emission is 2 XCH per block. This means that the explanation is barely accurate today and will fail to be accurate at all in a few years.
The next section talks about the benefit of PoST over PoW, and establishes the contest point about purely energy usage, but then talks about how it isn’t that simple. The problem is that Chia, or PoST, is clearly less energy intensive per unit of security than PoW from either ASICs on Bitcoin or GPUs on Ethereum. While the question of waste becomes more complicated for each method, and the author continues on along that path, the question of energy usage is easily measured and PoST clearly wins there despite the author’s attempts to be contrary.
The question of waste is a complex one, and while Chia does trap usable storage and create some waste that way the company itself has been making great strides in creating a sustainable secondary hard drive market with the Circular Drive Initiative. It is clear that the author here was making a common, simplistic argument and not even comparing the absolute monolithic waste that is Bitcoin ASIC development.
After a mostly negative article, thin on explanations about what Chia even is the author then makes vague commentary about the possible future, or possible issues without delving into any of them with any depth. This is merely a conclusion stapled to the article without tying back to the points made.
All in all, for a novice attempt at an explanation of Chia by an ignorant author I’ve heard worse. There was nothing explicitly wrong, just a lot of missing information and highly simplistic hot takes on waste. It is amazing anyone reads his work.