Updated on January 22nd, 2019
Esports is an industry with a great future and carries lot of opportunities for our youth. Gaming doesn’t need to remain a hobby anymore; It is now an Electronic-Sport.
Getting into Esports is not very complicated, all you require is a computer and motivation to learn. Getting a computer together isn’t very hard, several websites on the internet such as PCPartPicker, CaseFansGuru and PCGamer serve great information to help anyone get started with gaming. Thought It might open new opportunities for the youth but currently, it’s availability is very limited.
Unlike many other sports, Gaming is expensive; This is due to the costly computer components that are required. These components are not meant to be as expensive as they are, the reason behind it is the greed of people mining cryptocurrency. These people buy the majority of computer components which are manufactured. This leads to a shortage of some specific components which further leads to a price increase.
Introduction To The Issue
Cryptocurrency mining is no longer a new phenomenon and the section worst hit by it are the PC enthusiasts. It was first seen in 2011 with Radeon HD 5870/5850 cards and Bitcoin (SHA256) when the cost of graphics cards spiked at astonishing levels. It took a severe toll on avid gamers who are always on the lookout for cheap graphics cards.
Thanks to hardware arms race and Ethereum mining, specialized application-specific integrated chip (ASIC) mining hardware took the lead and graphics cards became the en masse for Bitcoin mining. It proved more profitable and beneficial than Ethereum mining.
A significant consequence was observed in January 2018 when the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 which was once available at just $200 in April 2007 reached retail of anywhere between $400 and $800 at various e-commerce and retail websites. Various other cards like GTX 1080 Ti, AMD’s cards, Vega 56 and 64 cards etc.
Show the same trend. It has made the brand manufacturers like AMD and Nvidia sit up and think of solutions to address the problem. The enthusiasm of gamers had taken a serious dip. Simultaneously, as experienced in 2014 by AMD, mining may lead the brands to a major and significant loss in case the crypto market crashed by any chance.
Steps Taken By Brands
As a preventive measure, NVIDIA has started selling graphics cards directly on its website and has requested its retailers not to sell more than two cards per person. The step can make the graphics card available to the gamers more along with a reasonable price tag. Obviously, the move will prevent the giant cryptocurrency mining operations to lay their hands on a bulk supply of cards.
Need For Action Against Price Hike Due To Cryptocurrency
One might speculate on the need to take some concrete action against cryptocurrency mining by the manufacturers since sales are still taking place for them. However, the reason for it is quite simple. The companies can neither take the gaming market for granted nor give more importance to digital currency miners over their gaming customers.
Foremost, the steep prices of the graphics cards might very well put off the gamers to seek other entertainment alternatives or opt for more powerful consoles like Xbox One X. This would mean a serious blow to the company as even the data miners would no longer have the demand to supply.
The second thing is the very nature of the cryptocurrency market. Its algorithm is such that the generation of coins has to go down mandatorily due to increase in difficulty. It would force companies to wait for a long time to recoup their money as well as potentially face huge loss eventually. Both NVIDIA and AMD cannot afford such a situation. Thus, it is imperative that they take steps to bring the prices of the graphics cards to levels of sanity.
What Can Be Done?
Retailers are concerned only with their profit which is a tidy sum when selling the GPUs to the miners. It needs to be seen how big companies can motivate and persuade the retailers to join their camp and work in partnership with them.