By Carlos Ochoa
Why should I buy Chia plots?
When the Chia mainnet launched in March of 2021, early farmers had a huge advantage. Even with a small number of plots, their chances of earning chia were fairly high because the Chia network was relatively small.
The Chia network size is the sum of all the storage space that Chia farmers all around the world have committed to plots, sized K32 and larger. It took a couple of weeks for the Chia network size to reach 200 PB, so if you had even 20 K32 plots, you owned just about 0.1% of the network and had a pretty good chance of winning a block every day.
As the network grows larger and larger—it crossed the 1,000 PB mark around April 27—it becomes increasingly more difficult for smaller farmers to win blocks because the likelihood of any farmer winning a block depends on what percentage of the total Chia network space you own.
And unless you have specialized plotting equipment, creating new plots at the same rate that the Chia network is growing is simply not possible.
In this race against time—and storage space—the only way for most people to maintain their share of network space is by purchasing plots from a Plotting as a Service (PaaS) provider.
So you're thinking about purchasing Chia plots
Dozens of Chia enthusiasts all around the world have created plotting rigs using the best equipment for plotting Chia. Some were early beta users of the network, while others have joined the community more recently, and many of them offer Plotting as a Service.
We created Chia.Supply to be the best place to research and buy Chia plots from these providers. Whether you're starting out or you're looking to scale your existing farm, purchasing Chia plots is a great way to increase your chances of earning XCH fast.
While plotting for yourself is a relatively straightforward process, buying Chia plots can be a bit more daunting and there are a few things you must consider first.
How many plots should I purchase?
Any hardcore Chia enthusiast will answer this question with "As many as you can afford!" But you must first assess your own risk tolerance. Chia is a new, unproven cryptocurrency, and all cryptocurrencies are alternative assets with just over a decade of history, so as a rule you should only risk as much capital as you are willing to lose completely. Expect that your investment could go to zero, etc.
With that said, to consistently win blocks on a daily basis, you need to own at least 0.0124% of the total Chia network space. As the Network space increases in size, so does the number of plots required to control 0.0124% of it. At the time of this writing, the network space is estimated to be 1.44 Exabytes, requiring 1,650 K32 plots to win blocks daily. That is 180 Terabytes of storage.
To get to that size as a hobbyist would take a huge investment and hundreds of plotter-hours. More importantly, it would not guarantee your control of 0.0124% of the network for more than a few hours since the network is growing at an incredibly accelerated pace.
So, how many plots should you buy? It's a matter of passion and personal belief in Chia. If you really believe in the promise of Chia and want to stay involved in the long term, buy as many plots as you are comfortable with. If you simply like the idea of forming part of the Chia blockchain, you might be happy keeping a 1 TB drive hooked up to your laptop, quietly farming in the background. After all, that's the promise and premise of Chia: to democratize the validation of transactions on the blockchain and make it possible for anyone to earn chia by farming.
Whatever you decide, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you look at your XCH wallet one day and realize you have one a block and are the proud owner of 2 XCH.
How to buy Chia plots
First, find a PaaS provider on our homepage and reach out to see if they are taking orders. With all the excitement surrounding Chia, many are operating at max capacity and will have to put you on a wait list.
If you already own a HDD you'd like to use for Chia farming, you should probably consider purchasing plots from a Cloud PaaS provider. Cloud PaaS providers allow you to download plots from the cloud, which might be a slow process depending on your Internet connection, but it will save you the cost of shipping your HDD to your PaaS provider and back.
If speed is what you're after, consider purchasing plotted hard drives. Sending several terabytes worth of plots over FedEx is typically faster than downloading the same amount of data over the Internet. Some PaaS providers allow you to ship your disks to them, while other will purchase the disks for you and include the hardware costs in your final price.
In both cases you will need to provide your Farmer public key and your Pool public key to your PaaS provider. We've written a guide on finding your Chia keys here. These keys are your wallet's unique identifiers, and they are completely safe to share with your PaaS provider. You will not be able to farm plots created with different or incorrect keys.
Questions to ask your PaaS provider
If you're buying from a Cloud PaaS provider, how long will they store your plots for downloading? This can vary from 12 hours to 30 days. Only buy as many plots as you can download in the allotted download period. Our friend Maran at Chia Plots has a great tool you can use to test your Internet download speed and figure out how many plots you can safely download per day.
If you're purchasing plots from a Hardware PaaS provider, you'll need to figure out which filesystem to use. A good provider will be able to recommend a filesystem based on your Operating System and farming setup, but in general you should know that drives formatted as NTFS are compatible with Windows machines, EXT4 is compatible with Linux and Raspberry Pi, and HFS+ with Mac computers.
Although the Chia blockchain is a global network, geographic proximity to your PaaS provider is important to consider. If you're shipping physical hard drives, being closer to your PaaS provider will reduce shipping costs, and you can avoid import taxes when you buy from someone in your same country. If you're downloading plots from a Cloud PaaS provider, purchasing from someone who can host the plots for download on a server close to you will allow for faster download speeds.
Ready to get started?
If you're ready to purchase plots head over to our homepage for a full list of PaaS providers around the world.