Cryptominers may not have seen this coming as they were having the time of their lives in the summer of 2017 up until early in 2018 during which they were most sort after by gamers, scientific researchers and anyone else who relied on GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) which only they possessed. Miners had earlier gone on to stack up all available graphics cards as a result of the rising cryptocurrency prices. The resultant effect was that graphics cards were not readily available in PC stores around the world where gamers and scientific researchers sought them. Fast forward to a year later and the same highly sought after graphics cards of the previous year can now be gotten for a token fee.
Once Upon A Time…
Cryptocurrency mining was good business as the industry was enjoying a boom like never has been seen since inception. Nvidia’s second-most powerful graphics card- the Geoforce 1070 had a retail price of $450 in the summer of 2017, but nobody seemed to be able to get it anywhere- not even in PC stores where they should have been readily available. Cryptominers had already cleared all the stores and even the wholesalers of every available unit of graphics cards.
The second-hand market-where the miners controlled- was where anything regarding the purchase of graphics cards was happening. Graphics cards such as the Geoforce 1070 and Radeon 570 which had a regular retail price of about $450 traded hands in the second-hand market for a premium of nothing less than 100% increase in its regular price ($900 and above). Although Bitcoin was only profitably mined using ASICs (Application-specific Integrated Circuit) and even Ethereum was heading that way, mining of other altcoins such as ZCash, Monero, and SIA as well as hundreds of other coins depended solely on GPU which is the main component of the graphics card these miners had in their possession.
The Tides Turn For the Gamers
One year later and it is now the turn of the gamers, data researchers and scientists to glory over the crypto miners as they can now obtain these graphics cards at bargain prices which are relatively low to what they cost the miners. The value of all leading cryptocurrencies has dropped drastically as a result of the increasing difficulty on their respective blockchain networks. GPU mining is no longer regarded as profitable, and are now selling for less than the recommended retail price for the first time in a long while.
The Struggle to Sell of Second Hand Mining Rigs
Many of the mining rigs available in the peer-to-peer marketplace have less than six months’ use. This alone shows that the original owners were not able to turn in profit before offloading them. Gumtree, which is one of the largest P2P marketplaces in the UK is currently showing 42 mining rigs for sale including a rig of 8x 1070s for about $4500 and a build of 7x RX480s. Other P2P marketplaces such as Craiglist and The Bay Area have similar cases of sellers wanting to offload their mining rigs at meager prices which are ridiculously low when compared to how much they cost them – the problem however is; no one seems to want them.