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Sorry Gamers, Ethereum Is More Valuable Than Ever

Gamers
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Here's a sentence that cryptocurrency enthusiasts and PC gamers will respond to very differently: Ethereum prices rose above $3,000 for the first time this morning.

That's good news for cryptocurrency enthusiasts who started mining Ethereum when it was first introduced. According to the Coindesk price index, Ether was trading at less than $200 in May 2020. This morning its value peaked at $3,204.

People who have optimized their GPUs for Ethereum mining—or who simply bought into the cryptocurrency when it was trading for about $500 six months ago—are probably ecstatic that Ether is now 16 times more valuable than it was last year.

But it's not great news for PC gamers. Ethereum miners have been quick to buy whatever graphics cards, gaming laptops, and other hardware they can get their hands on, which has exacerbated the ongoing shortage of those products.

It almost feels like hardware enthusiasts were tricked. Just a few days ago Ether's price tumbled as much as 10.5% as the entire cryptocurrency market responded to a report that President Joe Biden planned to increase the capital gains tax this year.

Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe someone could finally shop for one of the best graphics cards without having to worry about Ethereum miners (and their bots) buying up seemingly every retailer's inventory after every restock.

This is the cryptocurrency market, though, and last month's declining prices are this month's record-setting values. It seems like waiting for Ethereum to be less attractive to miners isn't going to work. It looks like we'll just have to wait for GPU supplies to improve instead— or hope to be one of the 0.001% of Newegg Shuffle participants to win the chance to buy a graphics card as part of a bundle with a motherboard or power supply you probably don't want.

  • thepersonwithaface45
    Don't understand the headline, I'm a gamer and my ETH is booming!
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    Bottom line is that you should hold onto your current graphics hardware and delay any PC builds until next year. Miners are willing to pay scalper or Asus prices. Gamers stand no chance. Stop looking, give up, and come back next year. The miners own the GPU market. Don't get screwed by companies (like Newegg) taking advantage of the situation.

    We'll all know when Nvidia and AMD come crawling back -- they'll start bundling games and discounts again. Gamers really shouldn't bite though. Make these companies lower their prices rather than bundle in extra crap. Hold that line.
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    It doesn't matter, the GPU manufacturers are popping champagne corks.
    Gamers will have to just wait it out and resign themselves to the fact they have to get in line, or pay the "I'm an idiot" price for a GPU.
    I think if I had no platform I'd go look for a last gen console( PS4/Xbox, etc) right now if I was wanting to game.
    It isn't like anyone is entitled to the latest greatest. Hell, I want a supercar, but I am driving a fusion. :p
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    If you bought ETH when the new GPUS were announced, today you could buy a few at scalper prices :oops:
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    bigdragon said:
    Bottom line is that you should hold onto your current graphics hardware and delay any PC builds until next year. Miners are willing to pay scalper or Asus prices. Gamers stand no chance. Stop looking, give up, and come back next year. The miners own the GPU market. Don't get screwed by companies (like Newegg) taking advantage of the situation.

    We'll all know when Nvidia and AMD come crawling back -- they'll start bundling games and discounts again. Gamers really shouldn't bite though. Make these companies lower their prices rather than bundle in extra crap. Hold that line.

    Yup l'll be sitting on my RX 580 going into next year. I refuse to pay $800 for a midrange gpu they are not getting any money from me. i've been spending money on other area's. Upgraded all the 2TB's drives in my NAS to 4TB's, Going to upgrade from 16GB to 32GB of ram soon.
    Reply
  • edchan1975
    It's not all great for miners as the difficulty of mining Ether is going up alongside the price.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    The mining problem is something that is not only concerning "gamers" or, let me clarify "non-mining gamers" (I've seen a lot of people that barely knew how to turn on a PC into miners... like... WTF) as it also puts AMD and nVidia in quite the conondrum for when they have the next generation ready to go, if they ever want to release a new generation...

    Why? This would be like a "pump and dump" scheme for miners and AMD with nVidia can't assess what quantities they will need to move vs what quantities will be supplied by old stock. The re-sale market after the new generation comes will be huge and nVidia with AMD will not touch any of the money from those transactions; this is also why nVidia is so keen on controlling the mining market in whatever way they can and I don't know what AMD is planning, but it seems they'll just adjust to their own internal prediction of how the market will be after they release their new cards, if ever.

    So, in short, this is not all happy times for neither AMD nor nVidia; maybe AIBs could have a better time? But then again, they're in the middle of this as well, so maybe not. Plus warranties are getting shortened because of mining.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • chalabam
    This is great news for gamers, but in long term.
    Higher prices will fund nvidia, and nvidia will invest in much better cards, and much higher volume of production. It will end in far more powerful, abundant and cheaper GPUs

    That's how free market works.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    not really. profitability remains the same. it looks like traders aren't spending much on fees, which goes to miners
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    Remember last summer when everyone and their mother said, "Sell you RTX 2000 series cards while they are still worth something."
    I told myself back then, "I could use my GTX 1080 for a few months I guess if I really want a new RTX 3000 series card. Heck I could even sell both my 1080 and 2080Ti and use my old GTX 1050Ti but eh, think I'll just sit on my RTX 2080 Ti."
    Me now: "I can't beleive I sold my old 3 year old GTX 1080 and 1050 at above MSRP. I never could of got a RTX 3080 with the shortages. I am so glad I kept my RTX 2080Ti!"
    The GPU market has been a real ride the last 10 months. The crypto boom has been nutz. I am not a hardcore miner and even I am using my 2080 Ti on its off time. I figure it is water cooled and I have plenty of thermal paste/pads if I see any degradation in gaming. Which so far I have none. Water cooling I honestly don't expect to see much anyways. And I pull in around 50ish dollars a week when not gaming. I even used my GTX 1080 for a hot minute as well before selling it off. With both cards it was closer to 75 a week but the resale value was just to irresistible on the GTX 1080 to pass up. A little TLC with paste, some benchmarking and it ran like new. Plus a gamer who couldn't get a GPU, did.

    All that said I am not a real fan of these crypto locked cards. I think it is more about PR and pushing mining cards than helping out gamers. I think Nvidia should have left well enough alone. Consumers should use their cards how they like not how Nvidia wants them to IMO, yes I get Nvidia has the right to segment their product stack/limit usage cases in their TOU.
    Reply