On a Facebook group of over 5,000 Chia traders, admin Hoang Trung has seen a large number of posts recently advertising hard drives for sale.
“The fluctuation of Chia prices has urged investors to sell their hardware at a loss, with sellers outnumbering buyers,” he said.
Within a week in May, Chia had doubled to $1,685, but started to drop soon after and is now at $215, or a loss of 87 percent.
“I am selling my hardware I bought three months ago for a loss,” said Quang Thuan, a Chia miner in the southern province of Dong Nai. Thuan joined the market in May when Chia prices were shooting up.
As Chia mining requires a large amount of hard disk storage space rather than the processing power of graphic cards like other coins, prices of a hard disk drive with 6 terabytes of storage at the time rose 60 percent to VND6.5 million ($286).
Thuan is now selling it for VND2.5 million, or a 62 percent loss.
“I haven’t found a buyer in the last three days. I might have to bring the price down to VND2 million so I can switch to mining another coin.”
Shops have also been selling hard drives.
Hoang Tuan, owner of a computer store in Ho Chi Minh City, said selling hard drives is more difficult than graphic cards because Chia mining causes a devastating impact on these drives.
A one-terabyte solid-state drive lasts around 80 days while with normal usage it could last 10 years, he added.
“Most of these hard drives are used for security cameras, while others are sold to gamers if prices are reasonable,” said Nguyen Sinh, a spokesperson for a computer service company in HCMC.
Some individuals buy in bulk and “renew” them as new to sell domestically or export to China, he added.
The rush for Chia began in China in April and quickly spread to many countries, including Vietnam.
Mining Chia uses less energy than other coins like Bitcoin and Ethreum and therefore is referred to as a “green” cryptocurrency.
Chia Network, the company behind the coin, was founded by the author of peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol Bram Cohen.