Ethereum, the hugely popular Cryptocurrency is changing its algorithm, which will effectively kill GPU crypto mining, which has caused GPU prices to plummet.
Over the last 24 months and change, cryptocurrency mining has been cited as one of the main reasons that we saw inflated GPU pricing over the course of the pandemic. Demand from GPU miners, in combination with the global semiconductor shortage, caused GPU pricing to surge.
However, with the cryptocurrency pricing crash a few months ago, combined with an easing in the semiconductor shortage, we found GPU prices dropping to near-MSRP levels. Now, Ethereum is moving over from a proof-of-work model to a proof-of-stake. This essentially means that you can no longer use your GPU to mine the cryptocurrency.
When taking into account that mining using a graphics card is no longer the most efficient way to mine crypto, a huge chunk of the mining market will no longer be looking at GPUs to mine with. ASICs are much more efficient and will eat up much of the demand for miners. There are still some cryptocurrencies that do indeed use GPUs to mine with. However, out of all of them, Ethereum and Bitcoin have the highest market caps, and therefore the most demand.
So, what does this all mean for you? Well, mining operations will be dismantling their systems and will be attempting to recoup costs on the used market. Peering over to eBay, we can see that the RTX 3080 10GB Founder’s Edition model was selling for around $750+ in mid-June. However, now, they can be purchased in the $500-600 range. Just from this small sample, prices of the GPU have dropped by as much as 39%.
To compound these movements on the used market, Nvidia is also sitting on many of these powerful graphics cards, which are now significantly dropping in price. This will force their hand to raise the prices of the RTX 40-series, which may be much more expensive than the 30-series. This is due to market positioning. They need to clear out older stock and contend with an aggressive used market in order to sell through existing models.
This is good news for those who might want a new graphics card since RTX 3080-level performance will now be accessible to users for around $500 if you want to take a risk potentially purchasing a card that’s previously been used for crypto mining. But, if you’re looking for the best performance, you should expect to pay a pretty penny for the likes of the RTX 4090.