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.
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.