What you need to know
- Ether value is in decline.
- Graphics card prices are starting to enter decline.
- The two appear to be trending downward within similar timeframes.
It's no secret that scalpers and cryptocurrency miners have been doing a number on supplies of the best graphics cards for over a year now. They've always been market participants, but ever since supplies turned to dust as a result of the pandemic and global semiconductor shortages, their impact on the tiny pool of GPUs available has been felt exponentially harder. That reality may be set to change in the near future, depending on current Ether trends.
If you look up how to mine Chia coin, Bitcoin, or Dogecoin, you'll notice a trend: They're not dependent on GPUs — not like Ethereum. This is why it's peculiar that as the value of Ether drops lower and lower (as tracked by CoinDesk), so do certain countries' reports of GPU prices. Germany, for example, has seen NVIDIA and AMD GPUs begin a return back to MSRP in a strangely parallel fashion to that of Ether's dropoff in value.
Though the link isn't one-for-one and there's no guarantee the cryptocurrency's dwindling prospects have any hard impact on current GPU valuations, the fact that the first quarter of 2021 saw an estimated 25% of graphics cards go to miners and speculators says a lot about who controls the flow of GPUs. As such, if prices of cards are dropping at the same time as Ether prices, it stands to reason the aforementioned two groups could be influencing the demand for hot items such as the RTX 3060 Ti. In the event Ether miners move away from the currency and stop grabbing GPUs, and speculators see their scalped prices are no longer gaining desperate buyers as a result of miners' actions, a feedback loop like the one we're potentially seeing right now is conceivable.
Time will tell if the two separately charted entities continue to nosedive in sync with each other. For now, it's worth keeping an eye on both to spot any sustained correlations.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.