Crypto Miners Hated by VR Players as Graphic Cards Sold Out in China

As reported by SINA VR, some VR players find themselves in an awkward situation recently: they have carefully selected all components of their first VR-ready PC but stuck on the GPU part. Almost all high-end GPU are nowhere to be found, even JD, the biggest online 3C shopping site in China, is out of stock. The reason is simple. VR players couldn’t afford the price offered by cryptocurrency miners, who are well funded by the soaring cryptos that are built specifically for GPU mining.

People assembling graphic cards in a miner. (credit:Sina VR)

6 graphic cards in a miner. (credit:Sina VR)

 

Supply of graphics card has been tight since the beginning of this year but the situation is getting worse in June. Both online and offline stores across China are reported in shortage of graphic card. Price of some highly-demanded GPUs have doubled this year, which has never happened before. It’s said that the GPU wholesalers were hoarding units for higher profits.

Graphic cards are “out of stock” on JD, the biggest online 3C shopping site in China. 

Searching on weibo, one can find that VR players are complaining the situation and hoping for a price crash of cryptos.

 


Jerry:

I gave up. Can’t buy a good graphic card at a proper price across the world…..When will the mining crash? My computer is almost out of service and GPU price rise by over one thousand yuan.

Jiulangya:

Wait. So the shortage of graphic card is caused by the rise of Bitcoin???? WTF!

Wudimiao:

Memory stick rise after SSD rise. Now it’s turn for graphic card. Oh, that’s not true because there is none available.

VR players blame the Bitcoin miners as they are unaware of the difference between GPU miners and Bitcoin ASIC miners.

The most popular GPUs are AMD RX 480/580, NVDIA GTX 1060 as they are the best cost effective option for hashrate generators. AMD RX 580 is built with FinFET 14bm process technology, which makes it less demanding for power and cooling. The price of RX 580 has been pushed from around 2,000 CNY in April to 3,499 in late June, according to Sina VR.

Price chart of RX 580 8G graphic card (from April to June, source: Sina VR)

A proper mining farm will require over 10,000 graphics card according to Li Ang, operator of Bitcoin mining pool :Canoe pool.
As a seasoned miner since 2013, Li Ang told 8btc:

“We built a small GPU mining farm at the end of last year and never bought any new graphic cards ever since. But we are aware that there have been increasing demand for GPU along with the rise of cryptos. The shortage of GPU is definitely driven by crypto miners, that’s for sure. “

The ROI of mining some cryptos is 2 month in its best time, not the mention the residual value of sales from second-hand graphic card.

He said that a big GPU mining farm could host 20,000 miners, each of which carries 5 to 6 pieces of graphic card. That means a mining farm of this size could consume 100,000 to 120,000 graphic cards alone. He also revealed that several  mining farm of similar size are under construction in Yunnan province.

Speaking of second-hand graphic card, he also expressed his concern for the re-occurrence of 2014 crash.

“Lots of mining farm shut down from 2014 to 2015 simply because the business was not profitable. The second-hand GPUs were renovated and then sold to the open market. Some people bought them, only to find they were function-less after a short while.”

Recently NVIDIA release a “trimmed” version of graphic card, which has not video output interface.

Li Ang estimated that the shortage of graphic card would ease by the end of 2017.

The shortage of graphics card in China signals a bubble in the cryptocurrency market. A bubble could not last long.

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