The crypto market is now in bear market territory, which means mining returns aren’t anywhere near as good as they were when the graph lines were all going up during 2021. As profitability drops, miners are increasingly dumping their hardware onto the secondhand market. If there are further losses, its possible we'll see some truly epic GPU dumps.
It's particularly noticeable in China, where mining was concentrated for years due to cheap electricity. Sellers are flocking to Xianyu (opens in new tab)—which is a bit like a Chinese eBay—and sellihng off piles of unwanted RTX 30-series graphics cards.
Twitter user I_Leak_VN (opens in new tab) posted listings for RTX 3080 graphics cards that are being sold for as little as 3,500 Yuan, or around $523 USD. To put that into perspective, the RRP of an RTX 3080 in the US is $699, so that's some discount. Is that just the start?
And that's not all. Some miners have been holding livestream auctions in order to dump large numbers of cards. According to this post on Baidu (opens in new tab) (via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)), RTX 3060 Ti's were auctioned off in the $300 to $350 range.
Admittedly, some of them look like they spent their lives locked in rooms with chain smoking longhair cats, but $300 is still a big drop compared to how they were priced during the highs of the crypto boom and the correlated GPU shortage.
Even here in Australia, I have seen dozens of GPUs listed for sale in my local tech forums. One seller sold 19 RX 6700 XT's for $440 AUD ($303 USD) each.
Is this the start of an even larger GPU purge? Though Ethereum's move to proof-of-stake has been delayed several times, there will still be miners willing to keep rigs running in the hope of an uptick in the price of eth in the months ahead. But as the merge draws closer and GPU mining gets phased out, we can expect to see even more cards flood the secondhand markets.
It doesn't look like there's a profitable PoW coin to migrate to right now.
GPU flood is here.Chinese miners and South Asian ecafes now dismantling their mining rigs and putting cards up for auction on livestreams.3060 Ti's going for $300-$350 US ... pic.twitter.com/kphmIt7vZwJune 21, 2022
There's also the looming launch of next generation GPUs which will depress the price of RTX 30 cards even further.
It's risky to buy a card that's been thrashed 24/7 for months, if not years, but if second hand prices continue to fall, a cheap card may be worth a gamble in the months ahead.