The impact of the soaring Bitcoin is gradually spreading to the semiconductor industry where production capacity is tight. Cryptocurrency “miners” have rarely grabbed video cards from game players.
The reason for the sharp increase in the price of graphics cards is directly related to the skyrocketing cryptocurrency. Since September 2020, Bitcoin has continued to rise and has driven the prices of other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum to rise.
At present, the highest price increase of Bitcoin has reached 5 times as high as September 2020, and the highest price increase of Ethereum has reached 4.6 times. The subsequent mining boom is surging, and a large number of “miners” have invested capital into the mining market.
The principle of Bitcoin mining is to complete more SHA256 hash value operations in a unit of time until a string that produces a specific hash value is found. The higher the computing power, the greater the chance of getting bitcoin rewards. Therefore, the pursuit of computing power has promoted the development of mining machines. Since 2013, ASIC mining machines have become the first choice for mining.
The ASIC chip has a single algorithm, strong repetitiveness, and a huge amount of calculation. The computing power is tens of thousands of times that of the CPU and GPU. The ASIC mining machine chips are produced using advanced processes. For example, Bitmain’s ASIC mining machine Ant S19 Pro uses TSMC’s 7nm process wafer, Shenma M30S mining machine uses Samsung’s 8nm chip, and Canaan uses SMIC’s N+1 chip. However, the global advanced manufacturing process has been in short supply for a long time, and the production capacity of ASIC chips for mining machines is facing competition from CPU and GPU. At present, there is a serious shortage of professional mining machines.
Unlike the high price of ASIC mining machines, “miners” only need to assemble the graphics card mining machine by themselves or directly mine through a personal computer. The threshold for participation is low. Individual “miners” are attracted to participate, and the amount of graphics cards is greatly increased.
The “miners” are competing with a large number of game enthusiasts. The new graphics cards released by NVIDIA and AMD in September and November of 2020 adopt Samsung’s 8nm process and TSMC’s 7nm process respectively. The performance is greatly improved and it is extremely cost-effective.
Demand has risen sharply, causing the price of graphics cards to soar. NVIDIA pointed out that the world will still face a shortage of graphics card supply in 2021. NVIDIA will work hard to increase the supply, but it is still difficult to get new graphics cards. Gamers, cryptocurrency “miners” and “scalpers” have already caused the actual price of graphics cards to get out of control.
A securities researcher said that for mining participants, the net profit of mining = the amount of cryptocurrency obtained by inputting computing power x the price of cryptocurrency-the cost of the mining machine and the electricity bill. Therefore, as long as the price of a single cryptocurrency is greater than the input cost, there will still be an influx of participants, and the demand for mining will continue to rise.
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