$776 Million: Cryptocurrency Miners Bought 3 Million GPUs in 2017, Research Reveals

As covered by CCN, last year’s cryptocurrency mining ‘boom’ has led to a shortage in the GPU market. So much so that reports suggest using GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies is stopping us from finding aliens, as these are also used in observatories. New data shows crypto miners actually bought 3 million GPUs last year, worth roughly $776 million.

This, according to a new report published by Jon Peddie Research (JPR) that found AMD is emerging as the primary cryptocurrency ‘mining rush’ benefactor over Nvidia. The numbers have a major impact on the market as a whole and have evenincurred the wrath of gamers, while chip manufacturers have seen the value of their shares soar

Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, stated:

“Gaming has been and will continue to be the primary driver for GPU sales, augmented by the demand from cryptocurrency miners. We expect demand to slacken from the miners as margins drop in response increasingly utilities costs and supply and demand forces that drive up AIB prices.”

AMD’s market share reportedly increased by around 8.1 percent, while Nvidia’s share went down by 6 percent. Last year, notably, the GPU market as a whole dipped 4.8 percent. The preference for AMD over Nvidia could be justified by the lower price tag in its GPUs. Nvidia’s CEO has recently stated cryptocurrencies aren’t going away, and the company has prioritized gamers over cryptocurrency miners amid the graphics card shortage.

Nvidia’s move, however, isn’t believed to have been what drove AMD’s sales up, but rather the potential ROI (return on investment) cryptocurrency miners could obtain by buying cheaper graphics cards from AMD.

Last year, both companies entertained the idea of creating cheaper cryptocurrency mining GPUs, although the gaming market is still their primary concern. JTR’s analysis notes that cryptocurrency miners can be, for now, an attractive audience for chip manufacturers, which means prices aren’t likely going down anytime soon.

As a solution, Dr. Peddie suggests gamers use their GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies when they aren’t using them for gaming. This, he suggests, will help them pay premiums and help them avoid getting priced out of the GPU market.

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