The value of Ether has fallen alongside the rest of the crypto market, according to CoinDesk. That could be good news for anyone hoping to buy a new GPU without having to compete with Ethereum miners for the best graphics cards.
Ether is the native token of the Ethereum blockchain. It's valued at roughly $1,795 at the time of writing, which means its price fell by approximately 1.1% in the last 24 hours, but it's also down over 10% during the past week. Ether has suffered from similar drops over the last three months—the coin is now worth less than half of the peak $4,132 price that it briefly enjoyed on May 11.
A variety of factors have influenced Ether's declining value. CoinDesk said it can be attributed in part to the financial market's concerns about the resurgence of COVID-19. The coin also suffers when the value of Bitcoin falls, and the crypto-wunderkind has struggled to maintain a price above $30,000 in recent months. There's also the upcoming hard fork away from proof of work mining to proof of stake, which will mean Ethereum miners will need to look for other, likely less profitable, options.
Ether's loss could be enthusiasts' gain. It's nearly impossible to profitably mine Bitcoin without very specific hardware (or many, many rigs, or stealing power). Ethereum can be mined using consumer GPUs, however, especially if they've been properly optimized. That means PC builders are mostly competing with Ethereum miners for new gear.
It would make sense for the availability of modern graphics cards to improve as Ethereum mining becomes less profitable, and evidence suggests that is indeed the case. Many products still cost more than MSRP, but they're still more affordable than they were when Bitcoin and Ethereum were at their peak.