Early January 2018 saw a sudden shortage of high end computer graphics card in the worldwide market. Until then graphic cards faced a normal demand like any other computer component. So what exactly created this huge demand for graphics cards?
Crypto-Currency mining. The standard use of graphics cards is to provide high speed, high resolution video in computers. Its main target audience are video editing professionals and gamers. The relatively new field of crypto-currency mining requires graphics cards for number crunching.
Mining is of two kinds as far as hardware usage is concerned. Bitcoin – the original crypto-currency is not mined using graphic cards anymore because people have created cheaper and more efficient ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) chips which do a better job of number-crunching than graphic cards. Besides bitcoin mining is not so memory-intensive.
Other crypto-currencies like Ethereum , Monero do not require so much number crunching as Bitcoin but they require a good amount of memory as well. So a graphics card becomes more feasible in these cases.
Overall, as far as the crypto-mining industry goes, it is cheaper and more profitable to mine non-Bitcoin crypto-currencies as the demand is high in that area.
Graphics card manufacturers never imagined that their cards would be used for something other than displaying graphics. They are struggling to meet the high levels of demand as their sales projections never anticipated something like crypto-currency to completely disrupt their industry.
The current political and economic scenario is very fast-changing and fluid. One needs to be light and lean to be able to adjust quickly to changing demands and markets. Gone are the days where giant dinosaur-sized companies could rule the market for decades.
(Featured photo by Bartosz Kwitkowski)