As China continues to crackdown on the mining and use of cryptocurrency in the country, there is a welcome surprise hiding behind all of the concerns.
According to the South China Morning Post, the crackdown on cryptocurrency has pushed the price of graphics cards down substantially.
How substantially? Well according to the publication an ASUS RTX 3060 which was available for 13 499 yuan (~R13 499) in May on Tmall, was available for as little as 4 699 yuan (~R10 301) earlier this week.
Further to this, The Register points to an Nvidia Quadro P1000 which was retailing for 3 000 yuan (~R6 576) is now priced at 2 429 yuan (~R5 324).
This looks like good news but we hesitate to call this a win for gamers who have had to contend with miners who have far deeper pockets.
There’s also the fact that cryptomining is only one of several issues compounding the unavailability of GPUs. The COVID-19 pandemic is still in full effect in many parts of the world leading to some supply constraints and of course, the semi-conductor shortage shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
However, the effect cryptomining has had on the GPU market, at least in China, are worth taking note of.
For instance, the prices drop above have come just days after the Sichuan province banned mining on Saturday. While the province relies on hydropower many had hoped it would remain a haven for miners but that hasn’t turned out to be the case.
While fraud and money laundering are reasons for China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency, the energy usage from miners cannot be ignored.
The good news is that it looks like GPU prices are coming down. Whether these drops extend to the rest of the world remains to be seen.