Cryptocurrency miners in China have started dismantling their operations and offloading the best graphics cards on the second-hand market. As Bitcoin and Ethereum came crashing down and graphics card pricing began to normalize, miners are looking to cut their losses and sell off their equipment.
Sellers have flooded Xianyu, a second-hand Chinese marketplace similar to eBay, with many used GeForce RTX 30-series (Ampere) graphics cards. We suspect that the miners aren't the only ones getting rid of their stock, but the Xianyu merchants also include scalpers and internet café owners. For example, Twitter user I_Leak_VN (opens in new tab) spotted multiple listings of custom GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards reportedly selling for 3,500 yuan, or $523.21.
For reference, the GeForce RTX 3080 has a $699 MSRP, so these used graphics cards are selling way below MSRP. In addition, Twitter user MEGAsizeGPU (opens in new tab) discovered that some sellers deviously used fake pricing to attract buyers. In reality, some of the merchants are asking for between $600 to $750 for a GeForce RTX 3080.
Some miners have resorted to live stream auctions to get rid of their graphics cards. As per a Baidu post (opens in new tab), miners are selling tons of GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards between $300 and $350. Once upon a time, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti was one of the most popular models for mining, given its performance and price tag. But unfortunately, the Ampere-powered graphics cards are just lying on the floor like cheap rugs waiting for the highest bidder.
It's not just the minor-league cryptocurrency miners feeling the crypto squeeze. Even big mining farms like Toronto-based outfit Bitfarms have started to take action. According to a CoinDesk report (opens in new tab), Bitfarms sold 3,000 BTC valued at $62 million to reduce the company's debt and boost liquidity. The company's now down to 3,349 BTC. In addition, Riot Blockchain, one of the big-name miners, has started selling its bitcoins since April to raise cash.
Ethereum's transition to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), commonly known as "the merge," has suffered multiple setbacks over the years. Ethereum developer Tim Beiko expects the merge to reach completion between August and November. Miners still have a few months to unload their assets. However, it wouldn't be very intelligent to pick up a graphics card with a history of operating 24/7 in the cryptocurrency mines, even if the price looks attractive. But who knows. Maybe used Ampere graphics cards will be dirt cheap by November and worth the gamble.