Computer shops and assemblers in Asia are enjoying a business boom thanks to growing demand for cryptocurrency mining rigs.
According to a report by Reuters, miners from around the globe are descending on Singapore and Hong Kong to look for cheap mining rigs that are expertly assembled while they wait. Some of those who come to the shops buy only components, including graphics processing units (GPUs), motherboards, power adapters, memory cards, fans, and display cards.
Dima Popov, a Bitcoin miner from Russia, is one of the those who traveled to Hong Kong to buy motherboards, display cards, and power supplies to mine cryptocurrencies back in his homeland, where the electricity cost is lower. He told Reuters:
“It’s 30-50 percent cheaper to buy equipment related to cryptomining in Hong Kong than in Europe.”
The demand for mining rigs is a boon to the Asian tech sector, which has been struggling in recent years as sales dropped significantly with slowing demand for PCs. Computer shops that were used to serving local customers are now seeing an influx of foreigners looking for hardware to assist in their digital currencies pursuit.
Russians are the biggest buyers
Reuters said that most buyers in Hong Kong are coming from Russia, but some clients travel from as far as Africa and Western Europe. Shopkeepers in Singapore note that a majority of their buyers are from neighboring countries where mining costs are lower.
Singapore and Hong Kong can sell computer components cheaper because of their proximity to hardware suppliers. Most of the parts are sourced from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia, which manufacture in China.
Fears that Beijing will soon crack down on cryptocurrency mining has also contributed to parts flooding out of the country.
Grant Mak of C. Base Computer noted sales had picked up over the last few months, with the shop often running out of stock. Another shop manager from Hong Kong, Jerry Wu of Wisetek Digital Technology, said that crypto mining equipment offered them 50% more profit than computer part sales. With strong revenues, his outlet is earning between $6,400 and $7,673 monthly from mining rigs.
Crypto mining pushes up PC part prices
The growing demand for virtual currency mining rigs has also propelled the prices of GPUs and other vital computer parts. An Nvidia graphics card that used to sell for $500 now commands more than $1,000 because of the crypto mining fever.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of $700 but is retailing for $1,350, while an AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 with an MSRP of $500 is selling for $1,500.