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Ethereum Mining
Hey all. I'm just here today to talk about the new fad in the Cryptocurrency line of memery (yes, I'm looking at you, Dogecoin, the memest cryptocurrency of all), Ethereum, and the currently negative effect it has on the Graphics Card industry as a whole.

1: What is Cryptocurrency?
To understand Ethereum and what makes it popular, we must first understand what Cryptocurrency is and why it’s so popular. Cryptocurrency is a purely digital currency that exists alongside conventional currencies like the USD. Its popularity is due to a multitude of factors, the main one being that it generates big amounts of cash for very cheap in its rising stages of development. Bitcoin is one peculiar example of this, where one Bitcoin now costs $2,400 or so. This attributed to a shortage of Graphics Cards around 2013, when the hype was at its hype. The same is currently happening with Ethereum, albeit much worse than

2. What is mining?
Mining means to complete a number of equations or transactions through various methods, which include your processor (never recommended), your Graphics Card, or an ASIC mining card (more on that later). You will get “paid” in the currency you’re mining for completing these blocks.

3: What makes a Cryptocurrency not profitable?
A cryptocurrency’s profitability is dependent on, in a nutshell, three factors. The first is how much of a cryptocurrency is circulating in the market. Cryptocurrencies have built-in limits to how much of that currency can be generated, and the more blocks that are created (or, in a nutshell, the less currency there is available), the harder it is to mine. The second factor is the number of people mining a cryptocurrency. This is why it’s best to mine a cryptocurrency during its infancy, as it’s easier to mine the currency with less people on it and such. The third factor, which plays heavily into the second factor, is if there’s an ASIC mining card available, which will mine cryptocurrencies not only a hell of a lot faster but also VASTLY more efficiently. The presence of these in a cryptocurrency will mean the demise of GPU mining in said currency.

4. So why are you covering Ethereum in particular? What does this mean for the GPU market?
I’m covering Ethereum in particular because the way it is designed makes it favorable to use GPUs and not ASIC miners. As such, the second condition won’t be fulfilled as easily, and since ASICs won’t be generating godly amounts of Ethereum every day, the first condition will also be harder to achieve. As a result, we have a current “dry-up”, per se, of the GPU market. Not only is the market dry, however, but it’s also inflated. Graphics cards that normally retail at $200 can now be found for $700, and even those cards on the used market are going for a pretty penny, which encourages selling to make an actual profit off your used card. The reason why this market can’t be reasonably predicted, unlike ASIC-capable currencies like Bitcoin, is the very fact that ASICs can’t be used as efficiently.

5. What does this means for us? Will we ever see Ethereum crash and graphics card prices return to normal?
It’s a certainty that Ethereum will one day crash due to a lack of profitability. What is uncertain, however, is when that will occur. For this, I’d recommend checking out two videos, one from HardwareUnboxed on the efficiency of various graphics cards at mining as well as one from TechYESCity on his two cents on mining. What is also certain is that once Ethereum crashes, the GPU market will go with it. It will still return to normal, but you’ll actually see a dip in prices due to overproduction of product to meet demand as well as there being an influx of graphics cards on second-hand sites like Ebay and Craigslist (or equivalent out of the States).

I hope this helps understand the hype behind Ethereum. And as a recommendation, if you're looking to upgrade your graphics (or build a new computer in general), I'd advise against it currently, especially when building. When the crash comes, however, if it ever does, jump the living fuck onto that hype train and grab some cheap PC parts, haha.
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RPG and Tech Forum Manager (I may or may not be crazy)

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