September 30, 2022 6:44 am
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Graphics Card Prices Plunge In China To “Lowest Level” Following Ethereum Merge

The prices of graphics processing units (GPUs) plunged to their “lowest level ever” in China after the Ethereum network recently shifted to proof-of-stake, referred to as “the Merge,” that no longer requires mining, according to a handful of Chinese merchants who spoke with South China Morning Post

Following the Ethereum Merge on Sept. 15, the days of miners walking into stores and purchasing highly sought-after Nvidia GeForce GPUs (including Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, and RTX 3090) at any cost appear to be over. 

Merchants in Shanghai’s electronics retail market told SCMP that GPU prices have tumbled in the last couple of months, some of the downward pressure was due to the anticipation of the Ethereum blockchain’s shift. This means new ether can be produced from people staking a certain amount of cryptocurrency they already own. The previous proof-of-work model required energy-intensive supercomputers powered by high-tech GPUs for mining. 

A merchant by the name of Peng, who sells graphics cards on the Shanghai market, said RTX 3080 prices have fallen from 8,000 yuan ($1,140) to 5,000 yuan ($691) in just three months. 

“When the wave of bitcoin mining was at its peak, people from the mining companies just walked in the stores with cash and took away all the graphics cards we had in store.

“But now look at the stores. No one is buying new computers because of the coronavirus, not to mention those who want to install a new graphics card,” Peng explained. 

Another merchant, Liu, said lower-end RTX 3080 cards from MSI and Colorful plunged 1,000 to 2,000 yuan in the last few months on the anticipated Ethereum Merge. 

“I had a customer who bought an RTX 3080 card for 9,400 yuan late last year, and now he has to sell it for less than half that price, even though that specific model is not suitable for mining,” Liu said.

At the end of July, we pointed out the slide in graphics card prices ahead of the Ethereum Merge. 

SCMP noted merchants across Shanghai reported their stores are piling up with unsold graphics cards. 

Despite Beijing’s crackdown on crypto mining in 2021, we noted China was the second-largest Bitcoin mining hub earlier this year. 

Pushing down GPU prices is also a weaker consumer and faltering domestic and world economy. New data from market research institute Canalys showed personal computer shipments in the second quarter fell 16% year on year, which is the worst decline since 2013. 

Liu said the graphics card price plunge had hit its “lowest point” so far, with some GPU models selling below suggested retail prices. 

Wang Lei, another merchant, said the drop in Asus graphics cards has so steep that he thinks a bottom could be near:

“It is already at the lowest level I’ve ever seen.” 

What this means is a glut of graphics cards is hitting global markets. Amazon sellers in the US are discounting various models of GPUs — here are the current discounts for some RTX 3090s:

Prices for GeForce RTX 3090Ti are in a waterfall pattern.  

And if you’re in the market for a graphics card amid chip deflation — stay off of eBay as used GPUs (some likely used for mining) will likely flood the online auction website. 

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