If you’ve been looking for graphics cards to buy such as the Nvidia RTX 3080 or even the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics cards then you’ve probably noticed that there isn’t any, anywhere. Even if you were to get them from Nvidia or AMD themselves. They’re most likely sold out before they even hit the shelf.
Bots quickly snatch up most of these graphics cards, the same way they’ve been snatching up the PS4’s as soon as they’re stocked. Recant studies show that as many as 50,000 RTS 3000-series graphics cards have now been sold on online shopping sites like eBay with an average sale price of around £1000. A huge portion of these purchased graphics cards are most likely being used to mine cryptocurrencies as more and more people in the UK start learning about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general making profits, earning rewards when verifying transactions happening across the crypto-verse.
Gamers are and tech businesses who rely on the new tech are getting more and more impatient waiting for stocks to come back on the shelf and for them to be quickly snatched up by bots and then later used for mining cryptocurrencies.
Greed driving the market, but you might be thinking what does a graphic card do for helping in mining for cryptocurrencies. First of all you have to understand that it’s just not the computing power of graphics cards that can help process large files of transactions happening in the cryptoverse. There are power supply units and CPU’s and also purpose built machines that compute and aid in this. Graphics cards being the most accessible hardware (obviously not anymore) but you get the point. They can be used in computers to enhance graphics output whereas, ASIC miners are specifically made for one purpose only.
To get a better understanding of what Bitcoin Mining is, let’s start by explaining the following:
Without going into too much in detail on Blockchains and data structures, it’s important to know what an actual cryptocurrency is and how it’s one of the reasons why you might not be able to find any available graphic cards right now.
Crypto mining is a computer process, solving a really difficult math calculation that results in the creation of a unit of digital currency. You start with a pile of digital information in a “block” with things like a timestamps, transaction counts, and other various information and you push it all through a mathematical operation called a hash function. This then produces a fingerprint like string of 64 hexadecimals completely based on the information that was fed to it. Once the target value has been achieved, in the case of Bitcoin (which is a string of leading zeros) and is accepted as a calculation you will get rewarded for taking part in the mining of a block and get some crypto earnings out of it.
There is no reverse engineering involved and cannot be manipulated or coded. As you can imagine the more computing and guessing of the calculation you have the more rewards you’ll get and in turn grow your cryptocurrency ownership.
When it comes to graphics cards, they are now powerful enough to get those calculations in where it matters. With laptops now coming out with built in graphics cards you don’t even need a pc to connect to all the graphics cards. Just connect multiple laptops together and there’s no need for all the cabling. this just shows how far technology has come that once what we thought to be a powerful piece of equipment can now be shrunk and for it to inside of a laptop.
With new graphics cards being developed for crypto miners specifically and should the crypto market prices fall, then this would open up the doors for the public to once again get their hands on graphics cards for their non crypto mining use cases.