Following a massive rise in purchases of graphics cards by cryptocurrency miners, tech company Nvidia is asking its partners selling their products to prevent people from buying their graphics cards in bulk, because gamers are unable to buy them before they sell out.
Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are digital forms of money created, or “mined” through decryption. Early in the cryptocurrency mining boom, miners realized they could use GPUs to do most of the work decrypting instead of their much more expensive CPUs, and so they began buying graphics cards in bulk. Now, with the incredible rise in value of Bitcoin, many are trying to get into the cryptocurrency game, which means gamers are having trouble buying cards for themselves. Due to the boom, graphics cards have gone up in price significantly, and where they haven’t graphics cards are sold out. This has caused issues for many, as Nvidia’s most popular graphics card, the GTX 1080 Ti, is available from the Nvidia site for $699.99, but in other places like NewEgg, the graphics card is being sold in the thousands.
Due to this shortage of graphics cards, NVIDIA spokesperson Boris Böhles issued a statement to German hardware site Computer Base, stating the following:
“For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers’ needs as usual.”
What Böhles may mean in this statement, is that sites selling Nvidia products need to limit how many graphics cards an individual can buy. All graphics cards on the Nvidia website are limited to two per person, but if you go on a site selling the same products such as NewEgg, you can buy as many graphics cards as the site has in stock. This means if a Bitcoin miner wanted to buy every available GTX 1080 Ti in stock on NewEgg, they are able to. Attempting to buy a GTX 1080 Ti on Amazon results in third-party retailers being the only option, with prices being grossly inflated.