Shortage of Graphics Cards Intensifies in Russia as Cryptocurrency Mining Becomes More Popular

There is still a large shortage of graphics cards in various parts of the world. Things are getting out of hand in Russia, that much is evident. A new article shows how cryptocurrency mining in the country is picking up. As a result, the shortage of video cards becomes a lot more apparent. It is unclear if this situation will grow worse over time. For the manufacturers, this is good news, though.

About two weeks ago, it became apparent cryptocurrency mining is intensifying all over the world. Given the recent price surges of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, that is to be expected. Not everyone wants to buy specific hard to mine cryptocurrency. Instead, a lot of people are reverting to using graphics cards. This has become somewhat of a problem for the global supply of these products, though. Russia seems to be affected the most by this development right now.

Graphics Cards Supplies in Russia are Drying up

As we have seen over the past few weeks, prices for graphics cards are skyrocketing. That is only normal, as demand is intensifying as well. In Russia, GPU’s are up by as much as 80% in price. This affects both retail and second-hand prices. Some people are buying hundreds of graphics cards at once, which puts a lot of strain on the available supply. Manufacturers such as AMD and NVIDIA will not be too bothered about this sudden demand, though.

A lot of media outlets still think people buy graphics cards to mine Bitcoin. That is not the case, as GPUs have been incredibly inefficient for some time now. Instead, users will mine Ethereum, Litecoin, ZCash, or even Monero. All of these currencies can be mined easily with graphics cards. Users will still need a proper motherboard which supports as many graphics

GPU Shortages in Russia as Bitcoin Fever Shows No Sign of Stopping

Bitcoin’s high price is causing GPU shortages in Russia. Customers are buying 600 Graphics Cards at a time in order to mine cryptocurrency in exchange for Bitcoin.

Market Demand Outstripping Supply

Russia is the latest country to hit the headlines with news of its shortage of GPUs driving prices of the cards up by 80%. Moscow-based IT distributor Treolan commented on the shortage, saying:

Over the past two months, video card shipments have tripled,  Market demand exceeds supply.

Confidence and investment in Bitcoin appear promising from this news, as state of the art graphics cards are not cheap with prices of $300 and above for the best ones. The electricity costs can also be significant.

Mining rigs easily run over 1000 watts for anything greater than the most basic of setups. While it is true that other altcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies,  are being mined, most of them will ultimately be exchanged for Bitcoin.

It is a quick turnaround business too, as coins are rarely kept, but rather exchanged for Bitcoin and sold for local currency. The GPUs can then be sold off or turned off when they are no longer profitable to run.

Regular Computer Users Outraged

@gpuShack Are you ever going to have any GPUs that are not sold out on your site? pic.twitter.com/ELCGHFPcDQ

— 2A Armament (@2AArmament) June 12, 2017

Posts such as this are rampant on Twitter, with users exasperated that they just cannot purchase graphics cards. They are selling out as soon as shops restock. Echoing the frustrations of many, one angry user on an MMO forum recounts a fruitless attempt to purchase one:

So then I take a trip to Best Buy where an employee informs me it’s sold out of every Best Buy in the state… Within 15 minutes of release.

It

ZCash, Ether, and Monero Miners Can Now Use Nvidia Pascal GPUs

The impressive rally in digital currencies in the past three months has given the cryptocurrency mining industry a boost. Demand for mining equipment is higher than ever as individuals and companies are looking to profit from the increased value of many cryptocurrencies through mining.

As BTCManager reported on June 9, the shares of the semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have skyrocketed due to a surge in demand for its graphics cards, which cryptocurrency miners are increasingly using to  bring more digital currency into existence.  

AMD, however, is not the only publicly-traded technology firm that has benefited from the boom in cryptocurrency mining.

Nvidia Pascal GPUs More Efficient Than AMD’s

California-based Nvidia produces graphics processing units (GPUs) that are primarily using in the gaming space. Recently, however, cryptocurrency miners have increasingly started to purchase Nvidia’s GPUs to boost their mining productivity. More specifically, Nvidia’s Pascal-based GPUs.

Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs, such as the GTX 1060 and the GTX 1070, have demonstrated to be more efficient than their counterparts produced by AMD. According to research conducted by RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mitch Steeves, who compared the cryptocurrency mining performance of Nvidia’s GTX 1070 with AMD’s RX 580 GPU for the digital currency ether, Nvidia’s GPU required 33 percent less power consumption and is, therefore, a much more efficient graphics card for mining than the popular RX 580.

“If we switch to building a full Data Center environment, electrical costs become increasingly more important (Bitcoin environment), and the older NVIDIA GPUs outperform AMD over the course of a year,” Steeves stated.

Nvidia’s Pascal-Based Mining Hardware

To profit from the crypto mining boom, Nvidia has launched mining hardware built using eight Pascal GP106-100 GPUs, which are being referred to as “mining cards.” The mining hardware is targeted at ether, zcash, and monero miners

Former Microsoft Engineer Helps Raise $8 Million to Fund Giga Watt Project, an “Airbnb for Bitcoin Mining”

Giga Watt Token Launch has raised $8 million to democratize access to the Washington state-based crypto mining operation founded by former Microsoft engineer Dave Carlson.

[Note: This is a press release.]

The facility allows anyone to participate in cryptocurrency mining through the WTT token, making attainable what has traditionally been an expensive, resource-reliant endeavor. WTT tokens represent the right to use the Giga Watt processing center’s capacity rent-free for 50 years, to accommodate 1 Watt’s worth of mining equipment power consumption. Token owners can use this capacity to accommodate their own miners or can rent out the WTT token to other users.

Giga Watt’s state-of-the-art facility in Wenatchee allows Bitcoins to be mined for under $600, significantly cheaper than their online purchase price of nearly $3,000. Access to inexpensive energy makes the location particularly economical, especially compared to many East Coast cities where interest in digital currencies is rising rapidly. Launched in partnership with Cryptonomos on June 2, 2017, the 60-day Giga Watt token sale has raised $8 million and counting, with latest statistics available here.

Giga Watt founder and CEO, Dave Carlson, explains:

By tokenizing our mining infrastructure, Giga Watt is finally able to extend our huge economic advantage to anyone in the world, large or small, to run their own mining business and be successful by having our expert team build and manage it. […] This is a move to decentralize the global balance of mining power and put it back in the hands of the little guy.  The home miner built bitcoin, and I want anyone to succeed as a true participant in the explosive growth of cryptocurrency mining.

Full details on the Giga Watt project and WTT token are available in Giga Watt’s White Paper.

About Giga Watt

Giga Watt is a facility in

5 Companies Set to Profit From The Cryptocurrency Gold Rush

Nvidia, AMD, Intel and Micron as makers of hardware mining tools, such as GPUs and ASIC-based mining solutions, are tapped to profit the most from the new internet gold rush.

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It’s Off To Work We Go

As the price of Bitcoin rises it has the knock-on effect of causing a rise in the rest of the cryptocurrency market with most other altcoins also seeing sizeable gains in value. These coins can be “mined” with a graphics card and are usually exchanged for Bitcoin, turning a good profit for miners.

Specialty online mining pools such as multipool.us pool together the hashing power of individual miners and automatically choose the most profitable altcoin to mine, switching to other coins as the price dictates. In the past, electricity costs could negate actual profit from GPU mining, but with the overall rise in value of the cryptocurrency market as a whole, the situation has once again changed.

In a Gold Rush Sell Shovels

AMD has been in the news recently because their high-end gaming cards are sold out due to their mining ability. The company has seen big stock gains this year, rising in tandem with Bitcoin as their graphics cards are the most efficient when it comes to mining protocols. This has caused anger and controversy among gamers, AMD GPUs’ key market. The unavailability of the best cards has driven up prices, sending potential customers to their rivals, Nvidia, who have also been seeing gains this year.

GPU manufacturers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the current boom either. ASIC manufacturers such as Bitmain, who sell Antminers, have been seeing increased attention. ASICs are specialist circuits optimized for performing a single function, in this case, mining Bitcoin.

Other beneficiaries include memory chip manufacturer Micron Technology Inc., whose share prices have increased

Ponzi Schemes GAW Miners and ZenMiner Fined $10 Million Each

Connecticut-based companies, GAW Miners and ZenMiner, have been ordered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut to pay $10 million each as fines for their fraudulent activities.

The two companies were fronted by Homero Joshua Garza but ceased their operations when accusations leveled against them reached a crescendo. Both GAW Miners and ZenMiner operated as bitcoin cloud mining schemes that sold shares in cloud mining contracts to investors. These shares allowed investors to have a proportionate claim to the gains made through the company’s apparent bitcoin mining activities.

Between August and December 2014, the companies sold $20 million worth of shares, which were called Hashlets to over 10,000 investors. However, a large number of complaints from the public prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the firms. This culminated in the SEC filing a complaint against the Garza and the two firms in December 2015.

The SEC revealed that the two firms simply did not have enough computing power to generate the mining returns they claimed to achieve. Paul G. Levenson, Director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office stated “As alleged in our complaint, Garza and his companies cloaked their scheme in technological sophistication and jargon, but the fraud was simple at its core: they sold what they did not own, misrepresented what they were selling, and robbed one investor to pay another.”

In typical Ponzi scheme fashion, Garza was using what he made from new investors to pay off old investors, as opposed to actually mining bitcoin and paying out a share of the profit it investors. Naturally, this fraudulent business model was unsustainable and eventually the scheme fell apart. Most victims of the two schemes did not get their initial investment back or realize any profits from their “cloud mining” contracts. The SEC

Digital Currency is Driving AMD Shares to Skyrocket

On June 6, AMD shares went up more than seven percent after the company revealed that its sales volume were skyrocketing mainly because of the direct influence of Digital Currencies, such as Litecoin. The stock was the top performer in the S&P 500 on the day. It seems that the recent price surge is directly connected to digital currency ‘miners’ who use AMD graphics cards to mine cryptocurrency.

Last Monday, AMD told CNBC that the “newly resurgent cryptocurrency mining markets are driving demand for its graphics cards.”

AMD has long been the elected graphics cards to mine for altcoins, and this is having a significant impact on the demand for this type of hardware. AMD has been one of the market’s top performers stocks in last year with its shares going up nearly 170 percent in the last 12 months.

 

This year has been an “uplifting” year for all the major cryptocurrencies. The Ethereum cryptocurrency (ETH) is up over 0.9 BTC which is roughly around $260, Litecoin (LTC) is almost at $30 while bitcoin (BTC) is up nearly 200 percent this year. The digital currency jumped more than eight percent at one point Tuesday almost nearing an astonishing price of $3,000.

Miners use graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia to mine new coins, which can then be sold or held for future appreciation; however, AMD cards are by far a lot more capable when it comes to mining, and traditionally AMD has a better reputation for mining cryptocurrencies than Nvidia.

Last April, AMD launched its new graphic card models, the AMD RX 570 and RX 580. According to NowInStock, these models are sold out at nearly every computer hardware retailer. The demand is steadily increasing, and they are becoming incredibly difficult to find. This high demand spurred a

Ethereum: Winter is Coming!

Ethereum marches into the Ice Age; the Difficulty Bomb starts to become noticeable, as the miners need more time to find new blocks. This freezing of the network aims to help to master the switch to Proof of Stake.

Currently, the Difficulty Bomb of Ethereum is hard to see. Since the beginning of 2017 the price of the second most valuable cryptocurrency is sharply rising, and with this, naturally, the hash rate of the miners and the difficulty of mining are rising too.

But if you take a closer look, you will find something unusual. The difficulty is growing a bit faster than the hash rate. Usually, both grow in parallel, or the hash rate hurries ahead.

It happens in all cryptocurrencies that the cryptographic riddles the miners have to solve to find a block are becoming more difficult when the miners invest more power. If they would not, neither the interval between the blocks nor the generation rate of new coins would be stable. Without an adjustment of the difficulty to the hash rate, every cryptocurrency would suffer from runaway inflation.

In Ethereum, however, this balance is slowly falling apart. The difficulty is growing stronger than the hash rate. The result is that the system is slowing down. While until now there has been a block every 14 seconds, it has become 15 seconds during April. That is not much, but is significant growth.

At the same time, the daily rate of newly generated ether is falling. In January and February, the miners created roughly 30,000 ether each day. At the time of writing, this rate has been reduced to 27,500. If the blocks arrive more slowly, less ether are generated. That’s easy to get.

Right now the impact of the difficulty bomb is little