Since 2015, cryptocurrency miners have purchased $15 billion worth of graphics cards, Bloomberg reports. This activity exploded in 2020, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which also corresponds to the onset of the component shortage. In the meantime, however, this enthusiasm has dampened, while prices are gradually returning to normal.
This is an unprecedented situation that has affected all PC gamers in 2020. For the first time, almost all graphics cards, whether from Nvidia or AMD, were displayed out of stock or, failing that, at exorbitant prices on resale sites between private individuals.
While the shortage of components has a lot to do with it, cryptocurrency miners have also been a major reason for this confusing situation. Indeed, the latter quickly increased prices exponentially by grabbing the smallest stock of GPUs while drawing the ire of players. While it’s easy to understand the impact of cryptocurrencies on the market as a whole these days, our colleagues at Bloomberg wanted to accurately measure the magnitude of the phenomenon. According to their calculations, the miners bought the equivalent of $15 billion graphics cards since 2015.
Cryptocurrency miners, a market for graphics card manufacturers
That is about EUR 14.2 billion, an amount that, unsurprisingly, skyrocketed from July 2020 when the shortage was greatest. This is also the time when Ethereum, the cryptocurrency most commonly mined by graphics cards, saw its value skyrocket.
Also, note that these $15 billion only take into account graphics cards and no additional accessories such as power supplies or cables. This explains why Nvidia has always been wary of the idea of: reveal in detail its sales figures, or why AMD formally assured never to sell GPUs to minors. Fortunately, things have improved a lot since then. The cryptocurrency crash had a huge impact on graphics card sales, which are now seeing their prices fall inexorably.
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