All 480-580 Graphics Cards Sold Out Nationwide – shouts Seeking Alpha. Blame cryptocurrency miners for scarcity, says PC Gamer. AMD shares are surging, says CNBC. RX 580 is being listed on Amazon for as high as $900 “this is absolutely insane,” says Tweak Town.
Welcome to Ethereum, the people’s currency, which keeps sparking gold rushes after gold rushes, with the latest being the minting of money itself, ethereum mining.
As eth’s price has increased to new highs, mining has now become a very profitable activity. So everyone is racing to get some of that free gold, sending GPUs out of stock while making gamers somewhat annoyed.
Rumors are that AMD and NVIDIA are working on a crypto-specific GPU that does not include display connectors, so gamers can be left alone, but its not clear how long that would take and no one wants to wait.
Because while previously it was just a small number of banks that printed money out of nowhere, it is now everyone that mints gold, as long as you can get your hands on one of the GPUs.
But the GPU rush may be temporary as all of that electricity and all of those resources could be put to far better uses rather than wasted on some random pointless math calculations.
That’s why, very soon, ethereum won’t require any GPUs for mining. Instead, through Proof of Stake (PoS), all you’ll need is some eth, a normal laptop, an ethereum node (the downloadable software such as Geth or Parity) and the willingness to lock up your eth in a savings account manner.
The exact timing of when ethereum will upgrade to PoS remains unclear. Ethereum is first to have the Metropolis upgrade which adds privacy and other efficiencies, with time estimates being sometime this year.
After that, eth is to upgrade to Serenity, one of the biggest protocol upgrade in this space that includes Proof of Stake, which should hopefully be sometime next year, but no one can be very sure.
That means GPUs may continue to be in very high demand in the near future, so gamers might want to stop wasting their time playing online and put up their GPUs on e-Bay instead.