700,000 graphics cards were bought by crypto-miners in early 2021 alone

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In the first quarter of 2021, analysts believe that crypto-miners have purchased an estimated 700,000 mid-to-high range graphics cards.

Analysts at Jon Peddie Research claim that the crypto-mining industry was responsible for purchasing 25% of all GPUs in the first months of 2021. They estimate that this translates to “700,000 high-end and mid range” graphics cards which are worth around $500million in market value.

Crypto-mining uses the processing power of graphics cards to create new bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency that has raised significantly in value over the years.

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The research model provided by JPR works on the assumption that PC sales are slightly down, however there’s been a huge spike in sales for individual graphics cards. They believe that their model detects dedicated mining farms because these crypto-miners only purchase graphics cards as opposed to fully build PCs.

Bitcoin. Credit: Francesco Carta fotografo

The researchers note that they cannot put a market value on the impact of current large scale crypto-miners because the prices of graphics cards “are so volatile and increase almost every minute as bots fight or negotiate with other bots and humans.”

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JPR also point out a divergence between the two primary graphics card companies AMD and Nvidia. While Nvdia have taken steps to reduce the effectiveness of crypto-mining on their own cards – such as introducing firmware that reduces the capacity for GPUs to create bitcoin – AMD has made no such move.

As PC Gamer notes, the price of Ethereum bitcoin remains high – meaning that crypto-miners will still have good reason to purchase GPUs in bulk.

In other news, pirated games and software – including Adobe Photoshop – helped spread a strain of malware that infected 3.2million PCs and stole over 1.2 terabytes of personal details. 

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