GPU prices drop after China cracks down on cryptocurrency mining

After months of inflated prices, GPUs may soon become affordable once again. China’s ongoing crackdown on cryptocurrency has started to see GPU prices drop around the world.

China used to be a haven for cryptocurrency mining operations due to the country’s cheap electricity rate. As of April of 2020, the country accounted for 65 percent of the global Bitcoin mining hash rate.

But this was before the Chinese government started cracking down on mining, citing environmental and regulatory concerns.

The crackdown has seen GPU prices drop as miners look to sell their equipment as they move to other countries. A report by Tom’s Hardware shows that the prices of some GPUs are dropping by as much as 45 percent.

In addition, prices in other regions, such as Europe, are beginning to fall as well. ComputerBase is reporting that graphics cards in the regions have begun to drop by as much as 50 percent. At the same time, sales of GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia have doubled month-over-month.

In even better news for budget-minded gamers, all these reports show that it’s the prices of lower-end cards, such as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 and AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 XT that are seeing the biggest drops—as much as 45 to 50 percent for some SKUs. Flagship cards, such as Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and AMD’s RX 6800XT, on the other hand, have moved as much. Dipping by only 10 to 15 percent.

Here in the Philippines, Variable‘s own research shows that GPU prices have started to fall as well. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 cards are now sitting at just over PhP 40,000, depending on the manufacturer, a drop of about 10 to 15 percent compared to a few months back.

GPU prices may fall even further

Even as GPU prices drop, some experts are saying that prospective buyers should still wait a bit more. This is because some experts are predicting an impending GPU price crash. (Read: GUIDE: Should you get a GPU upgrade right now?)

According to a report by WCCFTech, barring a huge cryptocurrency comeback, a GPU price crash is inevitable.

Already, scalpers on sites such as Amazon and eBay have reduced their prices by half. The report points out that this is a typical retailer tactic to incentivize purchases and, more importantly, is usually a sign of the beginning of a stock dump.

Should this be the case, then gamers who’ve been unable to pick up a new GPU due to the inflated prices may be able to get massive savings just by waiting a few more months.

That said, the report warns that this is all speculative and that things could still swing the other way, especially if cryptocurrencies rebound again. Already, the price of Bitcoin has started to recover following a recalibration that saw computing requirements fall by 28 percent.

Will this stop the much-awaited fall in GPU prices—or is a crash still inevitable? Only time will tell.

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Franz Co

managing editor | addicted to RGB | plays too many fighting games

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