Cryptocurrency Boom, A Problem For Gamers, Is A Bonanza For GPU Makers

from ars technica

The cryptocurrency boom has created a persistent shortage of high-end graphics cards. That has been a headache for gamers, who have to pay inflated prices for GPUs—if they can find them at all. But it has been a financial windfall to leading graphics card makers Nvidia and AMD.

On Thursday, Nvidia reported soaring profits for the fourth quarter of 2017—a period when rapidly rising prices for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies was driving a boom in amateur cryptocurrency mining with graphics cards.

“Strong demand in the cryptocurrency market exceeded our expectations,” Nvidia chief financial officer Colette Kress said in a call with analysts on Thursday.

Nvidia enjoyed revenue of $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter, which ended on January 28. That’s a 10 percent increase over Nvidia’s revenue in the third quarter. Nvidia’s net income rose 33 percent to a record $1.1 billion.

Nvidia’s products are popular in a wide range of markets, from driverless cars to data centers. So it would be a mistake to attribute all of these gains to the cryptocurrency boom. But in the Thursday call, Kress mentioned cryptocurrency miners as a significant source of demand and said that mining-related revenue has been on the rise.

In the same conference call, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang acknowledged that gamers were suffering from GPU shortages. “We typically have between six to eight weeks of inventory in the channel,” Huang said. “Globally right now the channel is relatively lean.”

This, of course, is an epic understatement. As we reported last month, electronics retailers around the world had bare shelves where there should have been high-end graphics cards for sale. Shortages became so severe that used GPUs were being resold for hundreds of dollars above their suggested retail price.

“We’re working really hard to get GPUs out into the marketplace for the gamers,” Huang said.

More here.

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13 Responses to Cryptocurrency Boom, A Problem For Gamers, Is A Bonanza For GPU Makers

  1. Mark Marino February 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

    Graphics card makers such as AMD and Nvidia are seeing a surge in their product sales as a result of the new cryptocurrency boom. These graphic cards are used in a process called “mining” which are what miners use to obtain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethreum. Mining requires complicated mathematical algorithms that exchange tokens of value over the internet without relying on centralized intermediaries like a bank. This decentralized system is known as a block-chain. Block chains holds transaction history of all cryptocurrencies. The graphics card acts as a host to the block chain created a web of a decentralized system the mining community shares. Graphics cards are able to collect hundreds of Bitcoin transactions and turn them into complicated mathematical algorithms.
    With people around the world wanting to get their hands on som crypto-mining hardware, the prices of these cards are skyrocketing. Creating a secondary market neither Nvidia or AMD expected. Nvidia experienced a 10 percent increase in 2017 Q4 compared to 2017 Q3. Their net income increased 33 percent. A drastic jump that will certainly enable them to produce more hardware while at the same time putting a lot of money in research and development. While the crypto market has certainly contributed a large portion to Nvidia and AMD’s success, the need for hardware in driverless cars, and corporate data centers has been booming as well. With large companies such as Apple, Uber, and mainstream car makers developing driverless cars, this requires a dependence on technology companies to keep up the supply in the pipeline.
    The struggles that Nvidia and AMD are seeing is a classic example of supply and demand. With the desire for people to mine crypto currency, the need for high quality graphics card ride with the wave. Clearly, Nvidia and AMD want the crypto-craze to never end. If it did, these companies have a large computer gamer consumer base. These gamers are the ones who are struggling the most during the crypto-currency craze as the pipeline is being dried up by others who need the graphics cards for mining.
    Seeing cryptocurrencies being the future, it is hard for people not to create their mining set up if they have the money to do so. Some of the miners who started with the early days of Bitcoin have seen hundreds of thousands in profit. The question arises if it is too late to join the wave of cryptocurrency miners. With the rise, will Nvidia fill the pipeline of graphics cards? These are questions that will be answered with time. The crypto wave is here and it seems like it’s here to stay.

  2. Charles Navarre February 15, 2018 at 3:37 pm #

    The cryptocurrency boom has created a persistent shortage of high-end graphics cards. That has been a headache for gamers, who have to pay inflated prices for GPUs—if they can find them at all. But it has been a financial windfall to leading graphics card makers Nvidia and AMD.
    On Thursday, Nvidia reported soaring profits for the fourth quarter of 2017—a period when rapidly rising prices for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies was driving a boom in amateur cryptocurrency mining with graphics cards.
    “Strong demand in the cryptocurrency market exceeded our expectations,” Nvidia chief financial officer Colette Kress said in a call with analysts on Thursday.
    Nvidia enjoyed revenue of $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter, which ended on January 28. That’s a 10 percent increase over Nvidia’s revenue in the third quarter. Nvidia’s net income rose 33 percent to a record $1.1 billion.
    Nvidia’s products are popular in a wide range of markets, from driverless cars to data centers. So it would be a mistake to attribute all of these gains to the cryptocurrency boom. But in the Thursday call, Kress mentioned cryptocurrency miners as a significant source of demand and said that mining-related revenue has been on the rise.
    In the same conference call, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang acknowledged that gamers were suffering from GPU shortages. “We typically have between six to eight weeks of inventory in the channel,” Huang said. “Globally right now the channel is relatively lean.”
    This, of course, is an epic understatement. As we reported last month, electronics retailers around the world had bare shelves where there should have been high-end graphics cards for sale. Shortages became so severe that used GPUs were being resold for hundreds of dollars above their suggested retail price.
    “We’re working really hard to get GPUs out into the marketplace for the gamers,” Huang said.

  3. Charles Navarre February 15, 2018 at 3:51 pm #

    Nvidia is clearly playing the super conservative, cautious line by not manufacturing more GPU. But why? Maybe they had not anticipated the demand from the cryptocurrency market or maybe they don’t believe in this market or maybe they believe that their original markets are not going to grow fast enough?

    It seems to me that Nvidia is behaving like a traditional company looking at their immediate interest first but not creating a lasting brand for themselves with their customers. It is a defensive management decision not to go ahead and invest into manufacturing capabilities for more GPUs to serve their usual customers, the gamers.

    I can’t help but wonder if they know something about the cryptocurrency market that others don’t. Do they know that it’s going to fade away for technological reasons? Or other reasons? Or do they know of a new technology that will make GPUs obsolete soon? Or better, are they themselves close to a new technology that will make the current GPUs obsolete?

    You have to be pretty business and technology savvy to make $1billion, their decision cannot be dictated by fear! Yes the cryptocurrency market is not guaranteed, but what is? They knew that when they started… The markets for their GPUs could have more potentials than they’ve identified so far or could have potential applications that haven’t even emerged yet?

    My sense is that if Nvidia doesn’t deliver more GPUs someone else will or someone else will find an alternative solution. Their image and reputation among gamers and other GPU users will be tarnished. Gamers may switch to someone else who believes that their needs will be met, even make extra effort to deliver. It seems wrong to give up on your original core customers, the gamers, just because the cryptocurrency users are overloading the demand.

    The world is relying more and more on graphics, hence GPUs, to me it’s the obvious course of history! To me it seems Nvidia doesn’t embrace it, it’s puzzling!

  4. Justin Brenner February 16, 2018 at 1:23 am #

    I myself am a gamer, I want to make video games my eventual career. The recent cyrptocurrency boom has been horrible to gamers who are wishing to either upgrade their pc’s, or people like me who wish to start building their own. Nvidia themselves have not been supportive of their GPU’s being used to mine cryptocurrency, and have not endorsed it. It’s easy to see why, as the majority of their target audience, video game fans, are openly opposed to this practice. Fully supporting cryptocurrency would completely alienate their main market, but there is still profit to be had here. If Nvidia were to produce a line of cryptocurrency optimized GPU’s, it would take sales off of their gaming GPU’s, allowing both to co-exist. Prices for gaming GPUs would lower, making them more available, and these new GPU’s would bring them increased sales. Now, there is also the issue of the livelihood of cryptocurrency, as there is already discussions of government regulations, and the price of bitcoin, the most popular currency, is lowering every day, so producing a specific separate gpu may be more costly in the long run. But still, something needs to be done about the rising gpu prices.

  5. Tyler Grzybowski February 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm #

    In the last several years the presence of cryptocurrencies has grown tremendously. This has been fueled by amateur miners of coins such as Bitcoin hoping to make money and now in most cases looking to strike it rich. Bitcoin is attained through a method that can be referred to as mining. Mining consists in its most basic concept a network of computer systems that work together to solve a computationally difficult puzzle. The puzzle is computed through a hash algorithm and becomes progressively more difficult as the computational power and computers on the network increase. Upon solving the puzzle the computers in the system that were involved in solving the puzzle are awarded Bitcoin for their effort. In the early days of Bitcoin CPU’s were used as the most efficient way to run the Bitcoin code but it wasn’t long before it was realized that GPU’s operate more efficiently as they have a higher hash rate and can perform the specific number crunching that is required far faster. As such as the interest in cryptocurrencies has soared aside the price of cryptocurrencies themselves and people have been buying up GPU’s as fast as they possibly can. This has become inherently evident in GPU maker Nvidia’s recent quarterly earnings report as revenue’s have once again hit all-time highs. Nvidia, the leader in the GPU industry has seen demand for its graphics cards soar to new levels that have never been seen. As a result the amount of inventory in their distribution channels has seen horrifyingly low levels to the point of nothing less than a GPU shortage being on the rise. Retailers like BestBuy have just empty shelfs were high end graphics cards should normally be seen and cards can be found being sold all over the internet at prices two to three time over MSRP. Normally one would think that a simple solution would be to increase supply in order to fix the issues plaguing the insane demand. However, with the volatility of cryptocurrencies GPU makers Nvidia and AMD have been hesitant to ramp up production. If the crypto market were to collapse, which is a very real possibility, then there would be a flood of used GPU’s that would enter the market and result in serious consequences for both companies bottom line. Nvidia amidst the chaos has proven its loyalty to its core customer, the gamer. In an effort to combat supply issues Nvidia recently issued a statement to its retailers asking them to join the company in setting a maximum of two cards per customer in hopes of discouraging miners that have been buying up every available card. While this approach to the problem might seem unusual as it could damage the potential higher revenues Nvidia could pull out of miners the GPU industry is very well tied to consumer loyalty. Nvidia’s actions ensure that when or if crypto demand wears off their most important customers, gamers, will be there to keep business booming for a long time to come.

  6. Ryan Mack February 16, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

    Many people have probably heard of bitcoin and possibly even other cryptocurrencies, especially since it’s been in news media several times recently over its volatility and whether it should be regulated. Other cryptocurrencies on the rise include Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Dash, and Ripple. The system by which cryptocurrencies work can be confusing to understand and it took me a while to learn what it really is and how it works, having known nothing about it nor having heard of it until it was mentioned on the news. A central idea of digital currencies is to avoid a middle or central authority such as a bank, credit card company or the government. Take Bitcoin for example, that works by each user having a bitcoin wallet installed on their phone or computer and a unique address generated so people can send you bitcoins. The address can only be used once, however, you can generate as many more as you need. A transaction is made by being broadcast to the entire bitcoin network with a private key, also called a seed, which is a mathematical signature utilized to prove that the transaction is authentic and came from the owner of the wallet, as well as to prevent the transaction from being altered by anyone once it’s issued. The members of the network maintain a continuous ledger of transactions called the block chain which essentially confirms the broadcast transactions through a process called mining. In confirming the pending transactions, mining involves processing strict mathematical cryptographic calculations that verify authenticity and provide security so no one can go back and alter previous blocks which would invalidate any subsequent blocks. This process helps to make the network more secure and to alleviate, if not eliminate, the problem of double spending. A miner was once able to mine bitcoin using the CPU on his computer, but as bitcoin grew, mining became more competitive and requires tons of special and powerful hardware, which is where the GPUs come in.

    Nvidia products are used primarily in gaming applications, digital rendering and visualization applications, and data centers but recently has worked in developing products for driverless cars, and Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. Nvidia reported $2.91 billion in revenue for their Q4, up 34 percent from one year ago and up 10 percent from the previous quarter of $2.64 billion. Their full-year revenue came in at $9.71 billion, an increase of 41 percent in the last year. Every market Nvidia is involved in has seen growth, so it’s not just cryptocurrency mining that has contributed to the growth, however, during the earnings call on January 28th, Nvidia CFO Colette Kress stated that cryptocurrency miners are a significant source of demand. On the same call, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang admitted that gamers were suffering from GPU shortages and that the global inventory has been “lean.” Nvidia competitor AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) has also seen big revenue. Despite the increase in demand, both these GPU manufacturers, Nvidia and AMD, have been reluctant to invest in increasing their manufacturing capacity, fearing becoming too dependent on cryptocurrency miners. If they spend money on increasing production, the volatility of the cryptocurrencies may cause it to crash leading to all of those former miners to sell off their still powerful but cheaper GPUs and flood the market-a loss for the companies who make them. Nvidia is taking steps to protect one of their largest and most loyal consumers, the gamers, from crypto-miners from buying up all the supply in issuing a statement to retailers asking them to limit the sale of GPUs of two per order. Even if cryptocurrencies crash, and demand decreases from them, Nvidia still has their base in gaming. As long as cryptocurrency mining continues growing, we may not see a real end to the shortage for a while.

  7. Russell Malko February 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm #

    Cryptocurrency is something to be weary about since it really is that volatile and prices are constantly changing as each day goes by. Cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), or Zcash (ZEC) all have constant changing prices and they have all recently have been on the rise and that’s why everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Although, the only reason these cryptocurrencies have any value to people is that it’s untrackable and widely used on the black market for transactions. They hold a certain popularity which is how it gets its value, especially cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin which is the most widely known. This currency is currently unregulated by any government within the world. Although some places are beginning to ban the trading of it like China has taken the action of doing. As the popularity rises the more the price rises until it eventually hits a bubble which will stabilize the price more and we might see declines within the market. In the meantime, cryptocurrencies are a hot commodity and the GPU market has seen a large boom.

    Nvidia and AMD are taking the right kind of actions though to combat the recent boom. They aren’t going to manufacture a GPU right away to satisfy the needs for the crypto miners since it might just all come crashing down on them. A big mistake for them would be to spend a bunch of assets on making a GPU that would just be forgotten because the cryptocurrency market crumbled. These companies don’t want to become reliant on a market with such hazard. All of this is still too new of a market to explore and take advantage of, but it’s more beneficial for miners to take advantage of it. The article did say that miners would just be able to sell their old GPUs online after they are done, if the market did become not profitable. It also isn’t that quick for companies to develop a new GPU for such a new market which only really emerged within the last 2 years. They have to go through years of trial and error to make such a GPU and it’s not as quick as we think it would take. Also, if they already had the information to make these faster GPUs, they most likely would have already taken the steps to make them that must faster. It’s new territory, and it all happened too quickly for companies to properly react. I agree with Ryan Mack on his statement, “Even if cryptocurrencies crash, and demand decreases from them, Nvidia still has their base in gaming.” This is true because it’s their core demographic and they wouldn’t want to stray away from this which has led them to such popularity over the years. These companies can’t forget where they came from and how they got here. So, they wouldn’t want to make such hasty decisions.

    It isn’t just the gamers that are seeing a negative effect from the recent GPU price increases. Astronomers are also seeing a big hit from these price increases. GPUs may be used for gaming to process the graphics data but they are also used just for the sole function of processing large amounts of data that astronomers would use. An astronomer from UC Berkeley who works with radio telescopes has seen the same negative effect. These telescopes have hundreds of antennas that pick up massive amounts of data which needs to be processed. What would normally cost him a lot less is costing him an upwards of $32,000 more. So, it isn’t just the gamers that are hurting from this because a bunch of other professions are hurting too.

  8. Adam Facella February 16, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

    Although I do not have too much knowledge about Cryptocurrencies and how they work the topic is still very interesting to me to try and learn more about the topic because it is currently all over the financial world. Now instead of just trading stocks, investors have an entirely new platform to start trading and making money for themselves. This type of trading has been used over many different virtual platforms to be used as the currency on the internet without having to use a bank or credit card company.
    Something which I found to be very surprising in the article is the idea that companies like Nvidia and AMD are not solely mining for cryptocurrencies they need to do other things to become profitable in the long run. For example Nvidia is working on creating self-driving cars which is where the majority of their revenue is coming from and cryptocurrency mining is just for on the side.
    Another interesting fact which Kress explains is that “our main focus remains on the core gaming market, as cryptocurrency trends will likely remain volatile”, by saying this it is apparent that cryptocurrency is something which will be part of the video game industry for a very long time. These currencies are here to stay. The author brings up the idea of their making of graphic cards also bringing in a majority of their profits. Both of the companies make a lot of their profit from graphic cards. Both of the company’s revenue has been soaring in the last quarter of the year and this trend is predicted to continue in the same way.
    After reading this article I am planning on doing more research on exactly how the cryptocurrency market works and all of the details which the article is talking about.

  9. Antonio Chirichiello February 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm #

    The only group of people benefitting from the cryptocurrency boom are, the companies that produce, the graphics processing unit. The gpu is used for various tasks from online gaming to searching for cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that has to be encrypted to use as a form of medium exchange. The cryptocurrency was first a digital currency for the people who use, the black market on the internet. The currency allows any person to make purchases online, as anonymous without the possibility of tracing it back to the black marketer. Over the past few years, the cryptocurrency started to gain commercial attention and is now a mainstream form of online currency. In order to obtain any form of cryptocurrency, a person must search for it online by the process known as mining. Investopedia states that, the mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle.

    The mining process is a popular way to obtain any cryptocurrency left in the market. Even though, the volatility of that type of currency is extremely volatile, it does not stop people from mining digital encrypted currency. The high demand for bit coins, light coins, and other forms of cryptocurrency has generated, an exponential amount of sales for graphic card makers. Adding the consumers who are mining for currency, this created a shortage of product to all the consumers.

    The unexpected high demand for the graphics processing units due to the mining fad had created, the shortage of supplies. This situation is frustrating to the gamer because, the consumers who are interested in mining for cryptocurrency are entering the market creating a higher demand for graphics card than ever before. I discern that the companies Nvidia and AMD are using a supply shortage tactic to increase prices on the consumer who mine because, they are temporary consumers. The gaming customers will have no choice but to pay inflated price. As the companies has stated on record, that the shortage is only temporary and the market will adjust after the fad passes. So, when will the fad pass? How long do the gaming consumer have to suffer the market inflation?

    In conclusion, I feel that the shortage of product is a marketing strategy to on the niche market. These companies have profited millions plus off this cryptocurrency ordeal so, how come they will not produce more product? The answer to that is simple, it is to make the most profit possible. In the business world the decisions made are nothing personal just business. These companies allegedly claimed that, they did not know the demand was that high. I personally do not believe that was the case because, they are leaders in their industry and most likely have done the market research. The shortage only hurts the customers who have been loyal to the company which are the gamers. They have to endure the temporary shortage that has plagued their market. In my opinion, the loyal consumer should not be taken for granted because, they have pledged their loyalty with company.

  10. zhijie Yang February 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    I looked up a lot of data to understand this strange word “cryptocurrency”. The so-called cryptocurrency is not issued by fiat money institutions, and is not controlled by the central bank. It according to the world of computing a set of equations of open source code, through the computer’s graphics card, CPU, a large number of processing, and use the design to ensure that the currency each link security cryptography. Cryptographic design allows cryptographic currencies to be transferred or paid only by real owners. The biggest difference between cryptocurrency and other non-cryptographic virtual currencies is that the total number of cryptocurrencies is limited and has a strong number of scarcity. Because this set of equations has a finite amount of source code, if you want to get it, you have to get it through the computer graphics CPU.
    Because the total amount of cryptocurrency is limited, it is scarce, so the more it is mined, the higher the value of the currency will rise, as if the amount of gold buried in the earth is limited and never devalued. The computational process of our computer algorithms is like mining a gold mine. So the figurative metaphor is mining!

    Encryption this year, the continuous development of money market also makes mining behavior more, thereby giving impetus to the growth of the graphics card market, the listed company also felt the power of the mining boom. But miners and the phenomenon of game players for the graphics for the GPU makers including the whole market have brought about confusion, encryption currency volatility also makes these well-known companies do not like it, get more profits for its outlook is negative.

    Predicting the price movements of cryptocurrencies is a dark art that combines technology and basic analysis with an understanding of human psychology. Cryptocurrencies may once again be a hot topic, and most listed companies are interested in the technology that is relevant to their business.
    For tech giants Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, however, things are different. So far this year, encryption monetary miners have occupied the GPU market, they use these devices to solve the etheric fang (and other encryption based on “the algorithm” monetary agreement) encryption, and access to the lucrative prizes. Both companies’ sales in the first half of this year were stunning because miners ran out of online and in-store inventory. This led to a 56 per cent year-on-year rise in Nvidia’s revenue and 19 per cent in the second quarter. The phenomenon also marks the first significant impact of cryptocurrency on the business of publicly traded companies, and the results appear to be very positive. But the calm reaction from the two companies suggests that the underlying growth may be underwhelming.

  11. Joseph Lisowski February 16, 2018 at 10:31 pm #

    Being a gamer it has been interesting seeing high end graphics cards boom in the last month. And while there is currently a shortage of NVidia and AMD cards at nearly every store, the drought I predict will only be temporary. The price and quantity of the graphics cards are directly tied to the value of cryptocurrency. So when the price of bitcoin or any other notable currency finally drops, so too will the demand for the cards. I look forward to this because it will urge many coin miners to then sell their brand new high end cards. Being that the cards will be both secondhand and in surplus, I am patiently waiting for the right time as a gamer to upgrade my personal computer. Moreso, if cryptocurrency is able to remain a contender in the market, it would lead to vast improvements in graphics card development. Something I very much look forward to. With any luck, the widespread use of powerful graphics cars will increase the capabilities of gaming computers going forward.
    What I am still trying to wrap my head around is why the graphics card companies chose not to produce more graphics cards during the time period in which cryptocurrency was soaring. From a business standpoint, the demand for cards was far higher than average, and I feel as though this was a missed opportunity for them. I suppose it was a safe move as there was no telling how long the trend of bitcoin will last. Though if I were in the shoes of the CEO, I would have upped the price of the GPUs in order to keep up with the rising demand, while at the same time keeping some inventory of the shelves.

  12. Justin February 21, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

    Since last year Thanksgiving, the graphics cards price had been raised, for example, the low-end Graphic card GTX1060 3GB from Nvidia was on sale for $170 during Thanksgiving, and the current price is around 300 dollars. A lot of people saw the cryptocurrency market keep rising and find the opportunity to make money with their PC. At the beginning of the GPU shortages, people are looking for the high-end graphics cards like GTX1080, once the high-end one is out of stock. People start using the low- end graphic card, which cause the entire GPU market went on shortage. In the meantime, the used graphics card market also went up because of the shortage. However, those used graphics card for mining is not worth the money, because the GPU is always used at 100 percent and the product lifetime will reduce significantly. Nvidia announces they will introduce the next generation of the graphics card in spring 2018 and they will also make graphics cards focus on mining. The demand for graphics cards increases both AMD and Nvidia fourth-quarter revenue. Nvidia demands the manufacturer to increase production to meet the request of the graphics cards. However, the cyber currency market had started to drop in 2018, according to the Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations, in January the unit price for Ethereum had drop from $1200 to $500. Once the cryptocurrency market crumbles, people will stop buying graphics cards.
    In respond to Charles comment, Nvidia is actively trying to separate gamer and miner, which we will see when the next to generation graphic card come out. The reason for the current generation graphics card so popular is the level of performance went up twice compared to the last generation, this amount of level of performance increase is the largest compared to all previous generation change. A lot of the gamer see the need and value for the upgrade to the current generation graphics card. However, the price for the current generation graphics card had been drive by the miner and caused a lot of gamer from playing the newest video game. I do believe the market will go back to normal, once the new generation graphics card come out in spring.

    https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/ethereum/#charts

  13. Gabrielle Pietanza February 22, 2018 at 11:40 am #

    Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethreum, are becoming increasingly popular each and every day and profits are continuing to rise with it. Graphics cards are used in what is called mining or complicated algorithms used to obtain cryptocurrency. Graphics card makers including AMD and Nvidia are tracking more business now more than ever and Nvidia for example earned a 10 percent increase in revenue in their last quarter. With such high demand there has resultantly been a persistent shortage in GPUs and thus gamers now must pay inflated prices for any GPU that can be found, even those of which that have been used.

    With these unexpected shortages creators claim to be working hard to get GPUs into the marketplace consistently. We must bear in mind however how much revenue is being made based on the current shortage. The article states that typically inventory in the channel is between six to eight weeks but this has disappeared. This market must reevaluate the increasing demand of their products and supply enough to meet the unknown demand. If these mentioned companies are unable to keep up with the supply which is demanded new companies will enter the market to alleviate the problem. I mentioned that demand is unknown due to the fact that more individuals are joining the culture of cryptocurrency each day. My maintaining reasonable prices, even more individuals will want to join this “movement”. Cryptocurrency, graphics cards, and GPUs are all relatively new concepts and we as a society must wait and see how these ideas and products continue to evolve.

    Gamers are not the only ones seeing the negative effects of the rising prices of GPUs. GPUs are used for the purpose of processing large amounts of data and other users include astronomers who use these GPUs to process the infinite amounts of data brought in from the antennas of radio telescopes. This is just one further purpose of GPUs. This furthers the point that these overwhelming prices and shortages of product must be solved. I cannot say I have an extensive knowledge on these systems but you do not have to be a savvy gamer or an individual that processes massive amounts of data to see that there is an issue in this market that must be solved. With the technological world expanding each day we must solve these problems before they become insolvable or have detrimental results.

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