GPU shortages are bad enough already: the GeForce RTX 3090, GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3070, GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6800 all continue to sell out as fast as they’re produced. Now, the best graphics cards are set to disappear even faster thanks to skyrocketing cryptocurrency prices. We’ve seen this pattern several times over the past decade since Bitcoin first came into existence, and every option at the top of our GPU benchmarks hierarchy will be impacted. It’s the great GPU shortage of 2017 all over again. Sigh.
The root cause comes from the recent upward trend in Bitcoin and Ethereum pricing, which in turn impact the prices of all of the other alternative cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin saw relatively (for Bitcoin) stable prices of around $9,000-$10,000 during the first nine months of 2020, before going ballistic starting in October. Late December saw BTC surpass the previous high of around $20,000, and a brief surge saw prices hit nearly $35,000 this past week.
Gains in Ethereum are even more dramatic. Early 2020 saw prices of under $200 before ETH jumped to $400 around August. November broke $600, and the cryptocurrency settled in around that mark in December, but it spiked to over $1,000 during the past week.