Gamers vs. Miners: GPU market explodes following crypto frenzy

GPU market

Not so long ago, Bitcoin had been the talk of the town within the tech circle, mainly due to the level of complexity in understanding its inner workings by the common consumer-base.

Currently, however, Bitcoin has ignited a frenzy among anyone looking to make extra money on the side by either investing or mining the cryptocurrency; many across the world began beefing up their PC rigs to be able to mine at a consistent rate to produce profit.

Crypto mining is the act of gaining cryptocurrencies by solving cryptographic equations using computers. This process involves validating data blocks and adding transaction records to a public record or ledger known as a blockchain.

This isn’t a light task to consider since mining requires powerful processing power to be able to consistently mine the currency, which requires heavy-duty graphic cards, otherwise known as GPUs. Many miners build rigs using several graphics cards at a time to produce a powerful machine dedicated to mining cryptocurrency, rather than gaming.

For this to be economical, the rig must generate more in Bitcoins than the cost of the hardware and the electricity it uses to run.

The rise of crypto mining has brought with it a drought in GPUs across the board, most of whom getting bought up by miners, or being sniped for re-sale on websites such as eBay for astronomical prices.

The current crypto bull-run has caused a skirmish between miners and gamers, who are struggling to get their hands on proper GPUs. This has pushed big players in the semiconductor industry to begin offering cards targeted to crypto miners, with an intent to keep gaming cards in the hands of gamers.

PC Gamer reported earlier on Monday that U.S.-based semiconductor AMD is looking to release a series of cryptocurrency-oriented mining processors, specifically for Ethereum mining.

Nvidia is looking to do the same and has already acted by allowing its software for its GeForce RTX 3060 card to limit how efficiently it can process Ethereum transactions by about 50 percent.

However, it is worth mentioning that the so-called war between miners and gamers has boosted the GPU market significantly.

According to Bangalore-based market research firm, Valuates Reports, the global Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) market was valued at $19.75 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $200.85 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 33.6 percent from 2020 to 2027.

The report highlighted that the major factors driving the growth of the GPU market mainly due to advancements in graphics-based games and growing adoption of gaming laptops and computers.

In parallel, the rise of the market could be attributed to the skyrocketing trends of cryptocurrency mining, popularity of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), as well as the high adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in various industries.

“With hyper-realistic graphics and vast, complicated in-game environments, video games have become more computationally intensive. GPU’s demand is increasing rapidly with the rise of virtual reality gaming and advanced display technology such as 4K displays and high refresh rates,” the report noted.

It later added that a variety of organizations are focusing on augmented reality solutions, all with the intention of radically improving how people communicate with machines. “Companies are designing cutting-edge GPU systems for AR and VR, resulting in a completely interactive environment that appeals to the computer and film industries, developers, and customers alike,” Valuates Reports added.

In addition, GPU enables a feature rich Internet of Things (IoT) interface that is both seamless and pervasive across all industries. 3D graphics for user interface composite processing and dynamic 3D user interfaces are some of the examples of GPU applications in IoT.

“Advances in integrated and hybrid GPUs can help IoT systems meet their ideal requirements of appropriate form factors and low power consumption, making them suitable for battery-powered devices,” the report explained.

According to the Valuates Reports, the smartphone segment dominated the GPU market share in 2019 and is expected to continue this trend during the forecast period.

Based on the region, Asia-Pacific dominated the global graphics processing unit market in 2019 and is projected to remain dominant during the forecast period. This is due to the regional government’s substantial investment in developing high-performance graphic computing systems for defense and intelligence and the growing use of IoT systems, which necessitate powerful graphic computing systems.