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posted by Fnord666 on Monday July 17, @01:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the let-the-games-begin dept.

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Over the past few months, there has been a GPU shortage, forcing the prices of mid-range graphics cards up as cryptocurrency miners from across the world purchased hardware in bulk in search for quick and easy profits.

This has forced the prices of most modern AMD and certain Nvidia GPUs to skyrocket, but now these GPUs are starting to saturate the used market as more and more Ethereum miners sell up and quit mining. Some other miners are starting to look at other emerging Cryptocurrencies, though it is clear that the hype behind Ethereum is dying down.

Earlier this week Ethereum's value dropped below $200, as soon as the currency experienced a new difficulty spike, making the currency 20% harder to mine and significantly less profitable. This combined with its decrease in value has made mining Ethereum unprofitable for many miners, especially in regions with higher than average electricity costs.

Now Ethereum is valued at less than $150, with the currency costing $134.97 at the time of writing, which is less than half of the currency's peak value. The currency has the potential to bounce back, though it is difficult to see the currency go back over £250 [sic*] in the near future.

On second-hand sales websites like eBay and Gumtree, we have seen a lot of new GPU listing appear in recent days, with plenty of used AMD RX series GPUs appearing over the weekend. More hardware is expected to hit these sites over the coming days as some miners wind down their operations, though many will simply move to a more profitable currency or to invest their computing power into an emerging Cryptocurrency that has the prospect of high values in the future.

Source: https://www.overclock3d.net/news/gpu_displays/used_gpus_flood_the_market_as_ethereum_s_price_crashes_below_150/1

Recent related Ethereum/GPU coverage: Ethereum Mining Craze Leads to GPU Shortages; and Cryptocoin GPU Bubble?

[* I'm not sure where they got a pound value from, or why, but a little bit of research shows ethereum peaked at $401 on June 13. (Needs javascript from *.coindesk.com and *.hotjar.com). Ooops, spent too long editing this, it went out before I'd completed my changes, sorry -- Ed.(FP)]


Original Submission

Related Stories

Cryptocoin GPU Bubble? 11 comments

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/23/cramer-bitcoin-ethereum-craze-boosts-nvidia-and-amd-but-it-shouldnt-be.html

There are many reasons for investors to buy chipmakers Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, but the recent rush for an indirect way to play skyrocketing cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ethereum should not be one of them, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Friday. "One of the reasons why AMD and Nvidia have been going up is their chips are used for mining, for cryptocurrency mining," Cramer told "Squawk on the Street." But he warned, "Do not play it for this is what I'm saying. But it is being played for that." [...] Cramer cited a recent note from RBC Capital Markets, which said the growing cryptocurrency mining market has contributed $100 million worth of GPU sales for Nvidia in the past 11 days alone. "AMD chips are the best ones for the ethereum platform," he added.

Ethereum Mining Craze Leads to GPU Shortages 30 comments

German retailer MindFactory has removed many AMD and Nvidia graphics cards from sale because the products have a delivery time of 3 months. According to them, the GPU shortage affects "the whole of Germany" or even the "whole Europe".

The demand for GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies, particularly Ethereum, has led to OEMs creating products specifically tailored to cryptocurrency mining. For example, new cards that are smaller, have fewer display ports, with cooling systems:

While the GPU shortage continues, there are some signs of improvement. There are now several models of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1070 in stock from various OEMs, but prices remain high and relatively close to the price of the GTX 1080. There are also a few more GTX 1060 6GB graphics cards available, and the price on the least expensive one has dropped significantly, down from $484.80 to $259.99.

At the same time, however, the price on the least expensive GTX 1050 Ti has climbed by about $10, and several models now cost around $200. The price on the least expensive Geforce GTX 1060 3GB has also climbed by roughly $20, as well. This likely indicates that sales of these cards have increased somewhat, pushing prices up accordingly.

Meanwhile, several OEMs, including Asus, Biostar, Sapphire, and Zotac, have announced new mining graphics cards that are tailored for cryptocurrency mining. We have also seen a new motherboard from Asrock that can support up to 13 GPUs for mining. Biostar has a similar board for AM4 CPUs that can support six GPUs. Although we haven't seen them yet, EVGA and MSI also have mining GPUs coming soon, and MSI will also have a motherboard designed for mining. Although these may be attractive to cryptocurrency miners, one source told us that they use the same GPU cores as traditional graphics cards, and thus don't address the underlying supply problem.

The shortages go all the way to the source. OEMs are reportedly having trouble getting GPU cores from Nvidia, and Nvidia can't get enough from TSMC. This is presumably the same situation for AMD and GlobalFoundries.

Previously: BitCoin, Ethereum and Gold
Cryptocoin GPU Bubble?


Original Submission

Robbing the Ethereum Stagecoach 17 comments

Some time ago, I wrote that I had given up on Ethereum. While the problems coming from the DAO hack are now in the past Ethereum has had a few other problems.

Granted, these problems have nothing to do with Ethereum itself. They are all exploits in the surrounding ecosystem. Hacking the CoinDash website to replace their public wallet address was particularly cheeky. This all reminds me of tales of the Wild West, when money was transferred between banks by stagecoach or by train. The technology simply didn't exist to provide the necessary security way the heck out on the prairie.

Seems like that's where we are now. The necessary technology does not exist, to provide the security that currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin really require. Website hacks are a dime a dozen, and when a hack can be worth $millions... The same for software: When professional programmers still write code vulnerable to SQL injection - when our platforms even allow this as a possibility - then we simply do not have the technology to secure the stagecoach.

Previously:
$30 Million Below Parity: Ethereum Wallet Bug Fingered in Mass Heist
Hacker Allegedly Steals $7.4 Million in Ethereum During ICO
Used GPUs Flood the Market as Ethereum's Price Crashes Below $150
Ethereum Mining Craze Leads to GPU Shortages
Ethereum Unusable, DAO Refunds Possible


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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday July 17, @02:14PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Monday July 17, @02:14PM (#540311)

    Customer: Dear tech support, my PC feels like it has a vibration and I can hear sort of a faint buzzing sound. Could it be my CPU fan or a fan on one of my used GPU cards?

    Tech Support: Have you tried rebooting?

    Customer: Yes, but that did not help.

    Tech Support: Have you tried reinstalling the OS?

    Customer: Yes, but that did not help.

    Tech Support: Then I think the vibration is most likely due to a bad bearing in one of your SSD drives. We happen to be selling a new line of SSDs.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by DECbot on Monday July 17, @06:22PM (1 child)

      by DECbot (832) on Monday July 17, @06:22PM (#540447) Journal

      Customer: Why would Solid State Disks have bearings?
      Tech Support: The bearings are to keep the bits on the SATA bus until they reach the correct stop.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:34PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:34PM (#540318)

    Perhaps I should start barfcoin - keep your GPU's and get in at the ground floor now!

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday July 17, @07:45PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @07:45PM (#540514) Journal

      Well, how do you get people to massively participate in a hash breaking initiative? Well, you need to do two things: First, hide your true intentions. Second, pay people for doing it. However that second part is problematic: It costs a lot of money. But hey, you don't need to pay them in dollars. Pay them in virtual money you just created for that purpose. Let them sell it to third parties who pay real dollars for it. Voila, you get free computing power for your hash-breaking project, in a scale you never could afford if you had to pay for it.
      </conspiracy theory>

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Monday July 17, @02:40PM (3 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday July 17, @02:40PM (#540322) Homepage
    If you look at the last 3 months' prices, about half of the graph is the typical "oooh, new and shiny" exponential curve, and the second half of the curve is just a slow and steady (almost linear) decline, with nothing particularly standing out blip-wise. Sure, it dipped a few times, but it mostly recovered each time.

    Apparently people are already on the lookout for even newer, even shinier things to buy and sell...
    --
    I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Monday July 17, @04:02PM (2 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Monday July 17, @04:02PM (#540359)

      But but but I gotta pretend my latest cryptocurrency obsession is really important to the ~markets~, because I have no control over my life, I need to pretend the subculture I'm part of is really important to something, anything.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday July 17, @04:17PM (1 child)

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday July 17, @04:17PM (#540366) Homepage
        Yes, yes! I am doing a thing - a modern progressive thing - by having my computer run hot whilst I'm not actively using it! Does someone have a newsletter I can subscribe to?
        --
        I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday July 17, @06:21PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 17, @06:21PM (#540446)

          I'm way ahead of you: I make other computers than mine run hot!
          I'm important, according to lawyers and the news.
          Though the guys who make other computers self-encrypt are more important, according to lawyers and the news. I need to check that out.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @02:43PM (#540326)

    "Earlier this week Ethereum's value dropped below $200, as soon as the currency experienced a new difficulty spike, making the currency 20% harder to mine"

    Possibly the explanation is wrong, but if not,

    Money is strange stuff. The value depends on folks depending on it. In this case, perhaps not so much?

    I can see the value one crypto currency, but many seems more like a pyramid game for miners and traders.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by linkdude64 on Monday July 17, @03:10PM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @03:10PM (#540335)

    Start "suggesting" articles be run at the relevant tech-news websites about the (actually very legitimate) concerns consumers should have over cards which were likely running close to maximum power draw for consecutive months, and the ratings on related components such as capacitors, etc.

  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @03:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @03:12PM (#540336)

    Crosswordium - Crossword puzzles, must be completed in blue ink.

    Stupidium - Sheets of paper with "I am stupid" written in long hand 100 times.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MrGuy on Monday July 17, @03:48PM (3 children)

    by MrGuy (1007) on Monday July 17, @03:48PM (#540353)

    Over the past few months, there has been a GPU shortage, forcing the prices of mid-range graphics cards up as cryptocurrency miners from across the world purchased hardware in bulk in search for quick and easy profits.

    This has forced the prices of most modern AMD and certain Nvidia GPUs to skyrocket, but now these GPUs are starting to saturate the used market as more and more Ethereum miners sell up and quit mining. Some other miners are starting to look at other emerging Cryptocurrencies, though it is clear that the hype behind Ethereum is dying down.

    Earlier this week Ethereum's value dropped below $200, as soon as the currency experienced a new difficulty spike, making the currency 20% harder to mine and significantly less profitable.

    It's not clear to me that the link between "the value of the currency fell and suddenly everyone is selling their mining rig" is as obvious as TFA seems to make it out.

    It's been the case for awhile that "casuals" can't really mine cryptocurrencies with space CPU cycles - this is why big GPU heavy rigs are required to mine the currencies in the first place.
      If you're putting many thousands of dollars into building a mining rig, you're looking at the long haul. It takes YEARS to get a return. Are there people who didn't do the math and are now caught out? Maybe. But it's also the case that if you spent thousands of dollars, you KNOW you're not coming close to breaking even selling your rig for used parts. Either you ride it out and make what you can mining Ether, or you switch to some OTHER currency where you think you can make more. But it's hard to believe that there's a mass movement to disassemble rigs and sell them for parts, presumably to other miners.

    Now Ethereum is valued at less than $150, with the currency costing $134.97 at the time of writing, which is less than half of the currency's peak value. The currency has the potential to bounce back, though it is difficult to see the currency go back over £250 [sic*] in the near future.

    Please. Take a look at Bitcoin or Etherium or any other cryptocurrency over time and tell me that the value trend is highly predictable or stable.

    "It's difficult to see..." the value of a currency "bounce back" to the level it was at less than 3 months ago? Citation needed. The value of a currency isn't tied to any question of "how easy is it to mine?" It's possible that the current value is the long term value. But anyone with a long term focus (e.g. almost anyone who dropped thousands on a mining rig) isn't going to sell off their hardware for pennies on the dollar betting that things will never recover.

    On second-hand sales websites like eBay and Gumtree, we have seen a lot of new GPU listing appear in recent days, with plenty of used AMD RX series GPUs appearing over the weekend. More hardware is expected to hit these sites over the coming days as some miners wind down their operations, though many will simply move to a more profitable currency or to invest their computing power into an emerging Cryptocurrency that has the prospect of high values in the future.

    You're going to need to cite more than "we've seen a lot of new listings!" anecdotally to credibly predict a trend. Compared to WHAT? What's the baseline and where's the spike?

    Some alternate explanations - there was a shortage before, and now manufacturers have caught up, so there's less demand for used equipment than there was before, forcing the SAME amount of used supply to eBay instead of bulk sales. Or, maybe people are building fewer mining rigs (because the long-term economics look less favorable right now), so auctions are lasting longer, leading to more visible on the site when you look. Neither explanation is consistent with "people are selling off mining rigs en masse."

    The prediction that "some miners (will) wind down their operations" in the near future is unsupported and (again, in my opinion) a tenuous one. It's guaranteeing a long-term loss. The notion of "turning attention elsewhere" is a more likely one.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday July 17, @04:27PM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday July 17, @04:27PM (#540371) Homepage
      Indeed - there are issues with the article. One reason I sniffed the prices was because I wasn't even sure that the order of the components in the correlation was even being represented accurately. And the downward slope that started 2 months ago seems to be the actual "trend", whilst this small dip seems to be mostly noise. Volatile thing is volatile.
      --
      I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DECbot on Monday July 17, @06:43PM

      by DECbot (832) on Monday July 17, @06:43PM (#540468) Journal

      I can't dig for the article now, but I seem to recall that there were two key events that would directly change the economic model of mining Ethereum.

      1. The reward of mining ETH was cut from something like 5 ETH to 2 ETH.
      2. The reward model changed from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake, which incidentally contributed to a fork.

      My memory isn't perfect, and I haven't been following cryptocurrencies, but the headlines I've been seeing in regards to Ethereum scream that the currency should lose value rapidly as the easy mining conditions evaporated.

      I can see rigs being decommissioned or being switched from ETH to another currency, but not getting parted out by the miners themselves. My hunch is it is like some of the other posters have said and the perceived additional used GPUs available are not related to mining rigs. I wonder if these are refurbished boards that the manufactures are unleashing onto ebay to get rid of them. On the other hand, perhaps these were GPUs from leased mining rigs that are getting parted out by the manufacturer after the lease is ended.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 18, @06:00PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 18, @06:00PM (#541068) Journal

      If you're putting many thousands of dollars into building a mining rig, you're looking at the long haul.

      Everything I've heard about these markets is either you make the investment back inside of a year or GTFO. There's no room for playing the long game due to the massive decline in the expected return of your rig over time due both to the difficulty spikes (which by themselves will eventually make the gear uneconomic to run unless you have access to free electricity) and to the competition with faster gear that enters the market in the future.

      The rest of your analysis looks on the spot. If you have invested in this gear, win or lose, you still have to make a decision whether to keep the lights on. You aren't going to get much of anything when you let go of the equipment (particularly, if bunches of other people have the same idea). So the tail end of the life of this equipment is going to almost completely depend on whether they can do computations more valuable than the electricity they consume. Once that's no longer true, then it's time to turn it off and get what you can out of selling the equipment. Having alternate currencies to tackle or other computation markets out there can extend the lifespan of your gear.

  • (Score: 1) by arcz on Monday July 17, @05:22PM

    by arcz (4501) on Monday July 17, @05:22PM (#540411)

    I was right.

  • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Monday July 17, @07:15PM (4 children)

    by richtopia (3160) on Monday July 17, @07:15PM (#540496) Homepage Journal

    I'm actually in the market for a new card, and am willing to roll the dice on a used card. Does anyone have some advice what model would be popular with the miners and I should scour ebay for now?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @09:06PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @09:06PM (#540560)

      But RX560, 4 gig, Radeon Pro Duo (Verify the model I think there are two versions called this, earlier one was only 4GB of HBM, the new model is 16GB of GDDR5 or HBM2), HD7970/7950/280/280x (ONLY if you need support for older systems OR Double Precision Floating Point... best bang for your buck without spending a couple grand for a 'pro' card now :/). If you are just looking for current midrange/high end, then find out new/used pricing for the RX470/480/570/580 and GTX 1060/70.

      Best of luck! I'm waiting for the next gen cards with better network training capabilities.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 18, @06:07PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 18, @06:07PM (#541073) Journal

        Best of luck! I'm waiting for the next gen cards with better network training capabilities.

        What you do mean by that? Are we speaking of getting GPU to communicate better with each other so that they can tackle somewhat finer-grained parallel computation problems?

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday July 17, @11:00PM (1 child)

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @11:00PM (#540621)

      For games, I vote RX 480/580. Don't pay more than 200$ for it. They are 200$ new (if you could find one).

      If you can wait, AMD is releasing a new high-end card at the end of the month. It might suck though, nobody knows yet. But people will buy it anyways. So prices should drop even more.

      PS: I'm only talking AMD because of FreeSync. If you have G-Sync or haven't committed to either monitor tech yet then NVIDIA is probably the way to go if you want high-end.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @01:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @01:37AM (#540684)

        If you can wait, AMD is releasing a new high-end card at the end of the month.

        The reason prices are dropping. Everyone is clearing out inventory...

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