Here’s a sentence that cryptocurrency enthusiasts and PC gamers will respond to very differently: Ethereum prices rose above $3,000 for the first time this morning.
That’s good news for cryptocurrency enthusiasts who started mining Ethereum when it was first introduced. According to the Coindesk price index, Ether was trading at less than $200 in May 2020. This morning its value peaked at $3,204.
People who have optimized their GPUs for Ethereum mining—or who simply bought into the cryptocurrency when it was trading for about $500 six months ago—are probably ecstatic that Ether is now 16 times more valuable than it was last year.
But it’s not great news for PC gamers. Ethereum miners have been quick to buy whatever graphics cards, gaming laptops, and other hardware they can get their hands on, which has exacerbated the ongoing shortage of those products.
It almost feels like hardware enthusiasts were tricked. Just a few days ago Ether’s price tumbled as much as 10.5% as the entire cryptocurrency market responded to a report that President Joe Biden planned to increase the capital gains tax this year.
Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe someone could finally shop for one of the best graphics cards without having to worry about Ethereum miners (and their bots) buying up seemingly every retailer’s inventory after every restock.
This is the cryptocurrency market, though, and last month’s declining prices are this month’s record-setting values. It seems like waiting for Ethereum to be less attractive to miners isn’t going to work. It looks like we’ll just have to wait for GPU supplies to improve instead— or hope to be one of the 0.001% of Newegg Shuffle participants to win the chance to buy a graphics card as part of a bundle with a motherboard or power supply you probably don’t want.