Cryptocurrency Mining Results in GPU Prices Skyrocketing Amid Major Demand

Cryptocurrency mining has driven the demand for Nvidia's GPUs so high that the company is struggling to cater to its core customer base. Prices have also skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.

The primary purpose of a GPU is in its name. It was originally meant to process graphics on computers.

Now that the cryptocurrency boom has come to fruition, there’s a huge influx of people buying GPUs for purposes that have nothing to do with gaming or rendering graphics.

Because of their efficiency in hashing, there’s now a gold rush for crypto miners to get their hands on these little chips, regardless of their price.

As a result, gamers that may have been used to paying $500 for a graphics card will now have to shell out over $1,000.

An analysis by Gamespot of the current GPU market shows that cards like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti are selling for $1,350 on the retail market. Its MSRP—the suggested price given by the manufacturer—is around $700.

AMD chips aren’t doing much better, with the Radeon RX Vega 64 selling for $1,500, three times its MSRP of $500.

The surge in prices comes after Nvidia implored retailers to avoid selling its GPUs to cryptocurrency miners.

“All of our activities around our GeForce products are directed towards our main target group. To ensure GeForce gamers continuously have access to GeForce graphics cards even in the current situation, we recommend our trading partners to take according measures to ensure they can provide the needs of gamers per usual,” a spokesman for the chipmaker said.

Though Nvidia might not be very pleased with the fact that its chips are being used for an “off-label” purpose, the company is enjoying the success of unprecedented sales of its highest-tier units.

Since May 2017, its stock price doubled from just above $100 to a ripe $214.18 when we checked on their progress in the middle of November.

Today, Nvidia’s shares trade at above $230 a pop and continue to climb.

Regardless of this success, however, it appears that the company is worried that gamers might slow down graphics cards purchases, since cryptocurrency miners are not a stable customer base.