The Day Crypto Mining got Bigger than Gaming

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When searching out Podcast topics for our July episode I stumbled across something rather exciting that I normally would have 100% ignored, Cryptocurrency.  More specific GPU mining for Ethereum.  Much like with the Bitcoin craze some 4'ish years ago people have started paying attention to Ethereum and as you can imagine the price started to rise.

However, unlike Bitcoin which is no longer cost effective to mine, the Ethereum system is still new enough that you can mine using GPUs and trade them for a decent amount of cash.  In turn this has created a worldwide shortage of gaming video cards much like it did with Bitcoin back in the day.

There is one difference though.  With this craze ASUS has decided to sell a specialized video card dedicated to crypto mining.  This new product is basically a video card with a specalized GPU and no video output.  That keeps the card cheaper and removes it from the second hand market where someone might repurpose the card for gaming.  As you can imagine this is a pure calcuation card similar to the NVIDIA tesla used in super computers and installs similar to a PhysX card in any high-end gaming right..

What really amazes me is how crazy people get when it comes to "get rich quick" schemes.  I will admit this craze ihas GPU manufactureres making loads of money but, at the expense of gamers and enthusiasts who actually want to use the product for what it was intended.  This in turn creates shortages followed by price hikes and angry consumers. 

Or, angry hardware reviewers who can't get their hands on a MSI lightning Z because demand is so high that they don't need to spend money on doing hardware reviews.  That alone has made me want to boycott GPU mining however the hardware enthusiast in me finds it interesting to see the elaborate systems people have put togehter even if it won't play Crysis.  

I found several sites talking about Ethereum

Web Articles
- Ethereum Mining Spurring Growth For AMD And Nvidia
- Something called Ethereum is suddenly all over the news
- Nvidia, AMD Planning GPUs for Mining Cryptocurrency
AMD and Nvidia Creating Cryptocurrency Mining GPUs
- AMD and NVIDIA go after Bitcoin miners with new video cards

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