Skip to main content

Roughly 25% of graphics cards went to crypto miners and speculators in the first quarter of 2021, according to report

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Graphics cards have been in short supply all over the world for many months.
  • The impact of crypto miners on the shortage has been brought into question repeatedly.
  • One firm is dishing out hard figures on how much crypto fans are affecting GPU supply chains.

Though people have been asking about the impact of crypto miners on the availability of the best graphics cards for months now, companies such as AMD have been tight-lipped. Others, such as NVIDIA, have gotten to work on stifling crypto miners' ambitions, though still haven't said much to the public in terms of what the concrete impact of crypto miners has been on GPU supplies.

Now, Jon Peddie Research has bucked the industry trend of ambiguous answers by giving some hard estimates on the not-so-minor impact miners have had (via Tom's Hardware).

Jon Peddie Research has produced a model which posits the idea that "[...] about 25% of the AIBs shipped in Q1'21 went to miners and speculators. That's approximately 700,000 high-end and midrange AIBS in Q1'21. And the market value is about $500 million—a half a billion dollars."

So, there you have it. Close to a million GPUs have disappeared into the ether of mining and speculation if the aforementioned firm's numbers are correct or close thereto. Perhaps they're not accurate, and NVIDIA's efforts to inconvenience crypto miners are just an elaborate ruse to prop up a hoax that helps masquerade natural, organic shortages. Maybe the whole thing is a big boogeyman scenario.

... Or, maybe crypto miners grabbing supply where it hurts amid an already dire global semiconductor shortage has exacerbated issues to a dangerous point. Have you seen what happened when RTX 3080 Tis went on sale at Best Buy? People are getting desperate ⁠— not for Dogecoin and Ethereum, but to be able to play modern games on their PCs.

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 robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

11 Comments
  • The other 45% belongs to scalpers, 20% to reviewers/sponsored-partners, 2% to PC gamers/streamer/customers and rest of it is on the retailer shelves with 2x price tag.
  • Tech blogs constant articles pointing to how good the cards are for mining don't help either. They don't care because they get the click revenue regardless. Windows Central is guilty of this.
  • Windows Central is most certainly guilty of covering topics from multiple perspectives for the sake of well-rounded coverage that considers all audiences, it's true. Would you rather WC select your preferred stance on the mining issue and only ever report from that angle?
  • By that logic, WC could "cover" just about anything without guilt.
  • When the crypto market is regulated out of existence by greedy Governments, there should be a glut of these on the used market. And don't for a minute think it couldn't happen...
  • Except literally just the opposite is happening.
  • If a government is greedy, crypto miners will simply move their operations somewhere else.
  • Miners are a huge problem but scalpers are even worse, as are the people who pay scalped prices
  • On one hand, it's hard to be angry at people who pay scalped prices given that it's their money and they can do what they want with it. On the other hand, it is selfish in its encouragement of scalpers that ruin the MSRP for everyone else. Though sometimes there's an urgency and paying scalpers is justifiable, the weak-willed folks who crack and pay scalpers just to get their hands on the latest toy due to impatience are annoying (imo).
  • True it's their money, but now the scalpers are pretty much dictating the market price of new kit, everyone is hit by that as well as the shortages.
  • I sure hope for the sakes of the buyers that the next fad "investment" is also based on how hot you can run your GPUs. Otherwise they have to go into the video arcade business or something.