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Miners are dumping GPUs via livestreamed auctions

Piles of graphics cards
(Image credit: TVB News)
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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.

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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.

Chris Szewczyk
Chris Szewczyk

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.