Fall in Ether prices see fall in Graphic Card
A clear indication of hardware capabilities and cryptocurrency prices is the recent fall in prices of graphics cards. Radeon RX570 is the first choice in graphics cards for cryptocurrency mining, in the mid-range computing power. The prices of this graphics card along with its high-range card, the RX580 was found to have climbed past $230 in April of 2017 to nearly double its price at $540 by February of 2018.
RX570 prices had soared from its pre-2017 price of $200 to $450 by February 2018. But a few months since these peak prices, the two graphics cards have lost much of their popularity, says hardware analyst firm PC Park Picker. Price of the RX570 had dropped back to nearly $350 by the end of April, and the RX580 for $330.
Prices to fall further
Analysts predict these prices are likely to fall to an all-time low if the current trend in cryptocurrency prices will continue. In the months since May, prices of many of the small coins have been running flat. Two of the most valuable coins in the market currently are Bitcoin and Ether.
Bitcoin is the world’s most valuable coin, but cannot be mined using mid-range computing power. Ether is priced much lower than bitcoin and is thus it is able to be mined on the mid-range computing hardware. On the other hand, there was no such limitation for mining bitcoin. Besides, bitcoin mining is not economical when graphics cards are used for mining them. These high-value coins mining consumes large quantities of power and also need elaborate infrastructure to cool the hardware.
Their operations are very similar to huge data centers, as the latter too is known to consume high quantities of power to keep the servers running round the clock. In the case of the data centers, storage media of different types and sizes are used to ‘hold’ data pushed to the cloud by clients. Hence, the power supply has to be constant and uninterrupted. The same is the case with bitcoin mining as well, especially in setting up of large computing power for mining of coins.
The higher computing power required
The principle for these coins is to decode alphanumeric keys so as to validate coins position in the block before transmitting it to the ledger in ‘mint’ format. Hence, the process consumes massive computing power and also electricity to drive such hardware capabilities. Hence, only ether is mined on PCs by using mid-range graphics cards.
Bitcoin prices have crashed to $6000 in December of 2017, leading to further price fall in the smaller coins. Earlier in 2017 prices of cryptocurrency were most buoyant and peaked to as high as $20,000. It was during these months that there was a sudden interest in these ledger-coins and many retail customers took to mining them in their basement.
The surge in hardware prices, especially powerful computing processors such as graphics card helped push prices to their highest ever price.
Analysts point out that this type of graphics card is typically used for mining of the second most valuable crypto coin after bitcoin, Ether. The latter runs on the ethereum network and fall in RX 570 and RX 580 have been linked closely to this coin.