December 11, 2013 5:42 AM UTC

Cryptocoin Mining has Caused a Worldwide Shortage of AMD Radeon Graphics Cards (GPU)

Bright Side of News recently published an article entitled: LiteCoins is Causing Shortages of AMD Radeon GPUs.

Right… Well…

I’m 110% sure that it is Litecoin not LiteCoin, the same way that it is Bitcoin not BitCoin.  In fact, it’s the same way that Eurodollars are not EuroDollars, so even in that hazy circumstance where the etymological components of the compound word are both indubitably proper nouns… Grammar must prevail.

Additionally, the article only references these “cryptocurrencies” which is provided by Wikipedia, and it underestimates the total number of different cryptocoins by a whole order of magnitude.  This website, CoinWarz, provides some GPU miners with a map for where to mine based on current exchange rates and current difficulties.  While there are several such cryptocoins data aggregating and mining profitability conglomerates, the average user is immediately turned off by the volatility within the ranks of profitable-to-mine cryptocoins.  As you can see, Litecoin is currently the 26th most profitable Scrypt cryptocoin that you could point your miners at.  However, are there always reliable pools to mine the “better” 25 cryptocoins at?  The answer is yes and no; I highly suggest that dedicated GPU miners do their own research.

Back to the topic at hand: Cryptocoin Mining is causing a shortage of AMD Radeon cards.

In the history of GPU mining, even at the height of previous Bitcoin bubbles before the mass penetration of the Bitcoin mining market by ASIC miners, demand has never outstripped supply.  Since we are witnessing this phenomenon unfold before our eyes, I must ask that you all cherish this moment as it is a monumental success for every Cryptocoin.

Litecoin’s difficulty has more than doubled in the last month, which means that over 40,000 Mhash/s has been added to the network hashrate in the last month: That means that there has been an increase of over ~80,000 high-end GPUs around the world, assuming an average hashrate of .5Mhash/s or 500 Khash/s.  Said high-end GPUs produced by AMD Radeon, and even stretching so far back as to when AMD Radeon was known as ATI Radeon, include cards in the 58xx and 59xx series, cards in the 68xx and 69xx series, and as mentioned, cards in the 78xx and 79xx series as well as the new r7 and r9 series’.

If Cryptocoin Mining really is the reason for the worldwide shortage of AMD cards, then not just new cards would be sold out, but older cards no longer stocked by retailers would be commanding an economically derived premium based on their relative $/hash ratio.  In fact, checking listings for any of the forementioned GPUs on popular auction sites such as Ebay show almost all AMD Radeon GPUs having a 50-100% increase in value in the last month.

All 7970s and 7950s are sold out around the world, with the majority of AMD Radeon’s new line of R9s also being out of stock.  Experts say not to expect new supply of mining GPUs until after the holiday season.  However, Roy@AMD posted on twitter that he is currently in Asia to ramp up production and “put more 7950s into the channel.”  I hope that AMD floods the “channel” with 7950s because the more AMD Radeon GPUs are spread out among the world’s Cryptocoin Miners, the stronger Cryptocoins will be.

Additionally, the difficulty and total network hashrate for the myriad of other Cryptocoins has increased as well.  Though their total increase is small when compared with Litecoin’s doubling, a sustained rise in the network hashrate of any Cryptocoin points to wider adoption on a global scale.  GPU Miners around the world are joining in on these decentralized computing networks to jointly grab a hold of their financial future.  We are finally at the point where hardware manufacturers that are currently established, might release goods targeted specifically at Cryptocoin Miners.  For instance, ASRock released this motherboard for “Bitcoin Mining” a few years too late but it is possible that motherboard will be used for Cryptocoin Mining.

That is… if any AMD Radeon cards can be found!

Have a cryptic day, mis amigos.

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