Cryptocurrency Boom Causes Shortage of Graphics Cards Supply in Russia

News and Analysis

Russia is experiencing a severe shortage of graphics cards supply. As reported by Russian publication Vedomosti, computer hardware stores are nearly out of them.

According to spokespersons for the stores, customers tend to buy up to 600 graphics cards at one. Due to such a demand, the devices have nearly doubled their price over the last forty five days. For instance, a device that cost 16,000 rubles (nearly $350) in spring is now worth 30,000 rubles (nearly $600).

It now takes days or even weeks to deliver a required device to the store.

“Over last two months, supplies of graphics cards have tripled. The demand exceeds supply at the market,” says a spokesperson for IT distributor Treolan.

Spokespersons for the stores attribute this booming demand to the increase in numbers of PC users who mine bitcoins. The recent upsurge of cryptocurrency prices and massive interest towards virtual money are also commonly cited as the reasons for the increased demand.

Mining became easy enough to motivate people to try it. According to an employee of a bank, there are dozens of thousands of miners in Russia, which is 5 to 7 times as high compared to early 2017.

Still, it is quite expensive and hard for individual miners to mine bitcoins, so they mostly prefer more ‘lightweight’ coins like Ethereum or Litecoin.

Earlier this year, Elina Sidorenko, the head of Russian Central Bank’s working group on cryptocurrencies, said Russian legislators intend to make mining regulation as friendly as possible, however, selling mined bitcoins still might put people to jail.

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