The controversy surrounding Filecoin and Chia mining is yet to leave the mainstream media, but it seems that another mining craze has already taken China by storm. Swarm, a distributed storage project that claims to have direct ties to the Ethereum Foundation, has become the latest obsession for those looking for the quick returns seen with Filecoin and Chia in the past few months.
Local reports have shown that there has been a huge increase in the number of Swarm groups popping up on WeChat, with so-called Swarm “believers” actively preaching on other social platforms as well. Some Filecoin groups have also reportedly been converted into Swarm groups.
To say Swarm’s popularity is based only on belief would be an understatement. The project’s mainnet is yet to be released and the developers behind the project still haven’t released the official recommended mining configuration. This, however, hasn’t stopped thousands of miners from setting up shop. Many have also begun looking for back-channels that would allow them to obtain KYC accounts on CoinList and compete in the upcoming public offering of Swarm’s BZZ token scheduled for June 14th. The price of BZZ in the early private placement is $0.25, but some sources have revealed that the token reaches up to $50 over the counter. With the public offering price set at $1.92, the potential profits have been what brought so much attention to the project.
One of the other reasons behind Swarm’s latest burst in popularity is the fact that the concept for the protocol was first proposed by Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, and Jeffrey Wilcke—the original founders of Ethereum. In 2015, the team was trying to create a non-stop, zero-failure, and censorship-resistant peer-to-peer storage and service solution. The solution would be powered by a financially incentivized system—Ethereum—that would facilitate the exchange of resource value. At the time, Swarm was seen as one of the three pillars of Web 3.0, alongside Ethereum and Whisper.
And while Swarm has since separated from the Ethereum Foundation and established a dedicated Swarm Association in Switzerland, this proved to be excellent marketing for the project. The project has so far received investments from a number of well-known institutions, including Alphemy Capital, Bitscale Capital, DFG, KR1, Hashkey, NGC Venture, Got Talent Capital, P2P Capital, Waterdrip Capital, White Paper Capital, and the YBB Foundation.
When combined with the fact that mining Swarm is much less resource-intensive than mining Filecoin and Chia, this has proved to be a winning combination for another crypto craze to take over the country. Unlike Filecoin and Chia, Swarm isn’t a public chain, but a smart contract that exists within the Ethereum ecosystem. And while calling on Swarm’s contract has the potential to come with a high gas fee, the fact that it facilitates access to thousands of other dApps in the Ethereum ecosystem is enough to counter that.