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Cryptocurrency and Graphics Cards

How Cryptocurrency Has Affected Gaming Hardware

You’ve most likely heard of the cryptocurrency trend that has made waves over the last few years. While the idea itself is about a decade old, it’s only become a worldwide phenomenon since the beginning of 2016. The idea is simple: create a virtual currency that people can earn through various means, after which they can use this currency to make purchases online. This simple idea has changed the online world, as we know it, and has spread to other sectors, including gaming hardware, even having an affect on people who have absolutely no interest in cryptocurrency.

When it first appeared in 2009 or so, it didn’t catch on at all. Many bought Bitcoin, among others, but for the first ten years, cryptocurrency was mostly a long forgotten idea.  Then, out of nowhere, people began buying out more Bitcoin, and its value on the market suddenly surged, making one Bitcoin worth hundreds of times more than what it was originally worth. Soon enough, more cryptocurrencies would join the market, and it quickly became a worldwide industry, and even created its own betting world for those who prefer a bit of lucky nugget casino Canada every now and again. But how does it affect the gamer?

Graphics Cards and Cryptocurrency

The answer to this is the graphics card. Graphics cards weren’t always as advanced as they are now, and for most of their history, their one and only function was to render pixels. But like everything in the tech world, graphics cards evolved, became more powerful, and were now able to more than just give visuals to games. Somewhere along the line, people began to realise that you could take a graphics card and use it to mine cryptocurrency, albeit in small increments a time. Despite this, the idea took off, and this was when the problem first started to emerge.

Up until recently, there was no dedicated hardware for mining cryptocurrency, as it was relatively new to the market, and the way the different cryptocurrencies gained and lost value, some companies believed that it would never truly catch on. But it has, and it’s lead to one of the biggest price hikes in gaming history, almost solely aimed at graphics cards. The more GPUs you have linked into a system, the more currency you can mine at a time.

It wasn’t a problem for the average user, who could purchase a second-hand card and mine a few Bitcoin at a time while at work; this had little effect on price. It was entire companies that would buy out the stock of a certain card, and then link them up together in a mining farm that truly had the biggest impact on the price of graphics hardware.

Where We Stand Now

Right at this moment, graphics cards have never been more expensive, and never been in such high demand. More and more are being bought and used for mining, and it looks to be that way for the foreseeable future. The only way that companies might fix the problem is by mass-producing cards specifically designed to mine cryptocurrency – something that many are doing right now. But until they are able to meet demand, the prices of GPUs are expected to stay on the rise.