Cryptocurrency Miners Wipe Out Supplies of Graphics Cards in U.S. and Europe

July 10th, 2017

I’m trying to understand the logic of people trying to mine Ether with GTX 1070s costing between $500 and $600 or more right now!? These cards launched with a retail price of $349 for the commodity models. (Fancy factory overclocked or water cooled models would cost more.) The situation is even worse on AMD RX series cards.

Many cryptocurrency users and miners read Cryptogon, so I’m asking you guys:

Is this calculator working properly?

Hash rate (MH/s): Stock GTX 1070 does 27
Power consumption (in Watts): Assume single GPU system total power of something like 200 watts under load
Cost per KW/h ($): 10 cents

At the time I hit calculate, the result was $50.95 profit per month at current price/difficulty. Let’s assume someone was doing this on an old PC and not buying a new CPU, power supply, drive, etc. for a mining rig. Assume someone bought the average GTX 1070 for $550. It would take about eleven months to pay off JUST the graphics card, assuming current price and difficulty. The numbers become worse if other hardware is purchased.

But if miners are assuming the price of Ether will rise, why not just buy Ether and wait? Why go through the hassle of mining it? Assuming it will rise while mining it seems super risky because the difficulty is always increasing no matter what happens AND the price could fall.

If you’re a miner, are you buying GTX 1070s at these prices?

Real motivation for this post: I’m hoping to buy a used GTX 1070 for my son’s 10th birthday in November. Will there be a flood of cheap GTX 1070s on eBay by then? That’s my main question.

Via: Tom’s Hardware:

Cryptocurrency mining has led to a shortage of graphics cards among many retailers in the U.S. Now, it seems the problem is starting to affect companies across the pond: MindFactory, a German retailer, has removed many AMD and Nvidia graphics cards from its virtual shelves. The company confirmed in an email to Tom’s Hardware that it had to stop selling the products because it can’t get its hands on more graphics cards.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise. In the last few weeks, U.S. retailers have raised the prices of their Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards to around $500, which is how much the more powerful GTX 1080 usually costs. Graphics cards built around AMD’s GPUs have also seen price increases–assuming you can find any, because many sellers have been sold out since we started tracking this increasingly worrisome trend.

The problem lies with the growing popularity of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency whose price has risen to historic highs over the last few months. This has led many people to purchase graphics cards to mine Ether. It’s kind of like a gold rush: Everyone’s scrambling to get the tools they need to get rich quick (or at least attempt to do so), and that means you can’t find a shovel, pickax, or bucket that doesn’t cost far more than it usually would.

Just replace “shovel, pickax, or bucket” with “graphics card,” and you have the gist of what cryptocurrency mining has done to the market. Of course, this has also led companies to create new shovels… er, graphics cards made specifically for mining. These cards often have fewer display ports, smaller sizes, and cooling systems that are all designed to help miners build rigs capable of earning a mess of Ether before its price falls.

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