This has been a bad week for bitcoin and altcoin traders. Bitcoin is down around 30%, and most of the GPU mine-able coins have followed suit. As I sit and write, I’m watching bitcoin tumble further on my second monitor, it’s just crashed through $3500, and probably has a way to go down yet as uncertainty about Chinese regulation scare off investors. Coins like Etherium and ZCash are also shooting down, pretty much in line with BTC.
Most news site report away merrily on how bitcoin is loosing value, but the affect on miners and the wider GPU market seem to miss the narrative.
Well, Etherium difficulty which has been trending up and up for months has indeed slowed down. Over the last 7 days, difficulty has actually begun to drop. Of course it has not dropped anywhere near as fast as the value of Etherium, so overall i’m afraid the news is bad for miners. Your returns continue to shrink, but that is probably something you expected to happen.
Also of interest, the value of graphics cards has started to come down. Major retailers are still out of stock, and inflating prices, but head over to ebay and you’ll see that RX480 cards (still the best mining card there is) are loosing value. Yesterday’s average auction end price on ebay in the UK was £259, just a shred over the original RRP of around £240.00. Retailers will probably still suffer shortages as stock is gobbled up by countries with low rate electricity like China and Russia, but the used market it certainly heading back towards normality.
Profitable mining on RX480 cards is of course still possible, even here in England. The ROI on these cards right now is almost a year just to pay for the card itself- hardly worth doing on a hobbyist level. Those with cheaper power are probably still in good shape, but I suspect GPU prices on ebay are going to fall sharply over the next few days. If nothing else it’s good news for gamers looking to upgrade their computers. Times may not be certain for us miners, but the adventure goes on.