“So I’m thinking about mining…” u/Zatiik
Over the last two months, I have seen many posts on r/pcmasterrace and other PC gaming forums about crypto miners buying up all of the mid-range graphics cards. This sudden increase in miners going into a PC hardware store and buying every graphics card available has resulted in a lack of hardware and increased prices for what were “mid-ranged” priced cards.
The Radeon RX 480 and some other mid range cards have been significantly affected. This card used to be around $200 and has doubled to tripled within the last month due to demand. AMD is specifically targeted by miners over Nvidia because their GCN architecture is much better at computing hashes.
Recently, Bitcoin has hit an insane high of $2,475 / BTC, and a new currency, Ethereum, has hit the market in a big way. This has created a rise in people either recreational or professionally making mining rigs to cash in on the current rise and hype of the cash cow. Unfortunately, AMD and Nvidia cannot keep up with the demand, and it’s the gamers that are suffering from pretty much not having access to purchase or having to pay double or more for new graphics cards.
Ethereum is an interesting new cryptocurrency that combines decentralized currency, contracts, and crowd funding. Ethereum is a block chain application platform to source out ideas, building, and funding pretty much anything. Users can create contracts to fund a project and it only charges them if certain benchmarks are met. Basically, it is an organization where shareholders transparently vote on issues, all associations are transparent, and the “constitution” of the organization is unchangeable. In short, Ethereum is a non-influential, transparent, secure, and democratic CEO. I will definitely be talking about this platform in the future.
See projects being built off this platform. [https://dapps.ethercasts.com/]
I see the current demand as a growing pain of the inevitable trend of markets going decentralized. I do hope that the future holds a new type of hardware specifically for mining other than graphics cards. I am not as upset as many other gamers on the forums I browse, but the way we mine now is unsustainable. The power consumption that mining takes could probably run a small country at this point, and unless the block chain is worth a lot, it does not return on investment. I am very happy to see that people are getting excited about cryptocurrency, though. It's cool that there is a large community not only interested in it, but actually going out and building their own rigs to participate in a decentralized market.