The price of bitcoin mining rigs has surged by 35% recently, closely tracking bitcoin’s own bullish trend, with the cryptocurrency recently having hit an all-time high in price. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trending at $22,525 with no signs of slowing down. Ethereum, on the other hand, is priced at $635, still a fair bit lower than the $1,386 high of Jan 2018.
Bitcoin mining ASICs from major vendors are apparently sold out until the middle of 2021, due to immense demand. The surge in mining and bitcoin pricing is interesting considering the cryptocurrency’s major price correction in 2019. A range of factors could be contributing to this, from increased governmental acceptance of cryptocurrencies to greater institutional use of blockchain-based technologies as well as the launch of Eth 2.0. Recently PornHub shifted to an all-crypto payment system after major credit card companies decided to withdraw support from the platform. Whatever the case, Bitcoin is worth more than ever, and that’s pushing the price of ASICs up too.
This is bad news for gamers looking to get their hands on Big Navi or Ampere. The stock situation for these next-gen PC graphics cards is already abysmal, thanks to scalpers and relatively lower production volumes on the 7nm and 8nm processes. The addition of crypto miners to the equation could keep GeForce RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT prices sky-high and availability, well, theoretical, for the foreseeable future.
If you’re struggling to run Cyberpunk 2077 on previous-generation hardware thanks to GPU supply shortages, you could be in for an even longer wait. It remains to be seen how AMD and NVIDIA will tackle this issue: they could potentially limit access to cards to gamers or limit the number of cards purchasable (which is being done anyway).