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Chia - The Cryptocurrency Gunning for Your SSD and HDD Space That Could Bring Another Tech Sector Pricing Up

A new cryptocurrency going by the name of Chia could bring about a boom in demand for HDD and SSD, which have been kept relatively untouched by the latest mining and supply constraints. However, optimistic predictions of falling prices for NAND (optimistic for consumers, that is) could prove to be erroneous. Apparently, the new cryptocurrency, which saw its whitepaper being published in February 9th and has already led to shortages of high-performance SSDs from China's Jiahe Jinwei.

The cryptocurrency was designed to be mined in SSDs and HDDs, looking to cut on electricity cost from proof of Work (PoW) cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and (still) Ethereum. The intention is for the cryptocurrency to have as broad an appeal as possible, by excluding the need for prohibitive investments in either ASICs (for Bitcoin) or GPUs (for Ethereum and other Dagger/Hashimoto-based calculations). It also leverages that which is most widely available and oftentimes left empty of any workload - storage space. Due to this, it's been reported that Chinese miners are already buying HDDs (4 TB through to 18 TB) and SSDs (mainly NVMe solutions) in bulk. This could prevent technologists from ushering in the current trend of falling storage pricing - if demand becomes as crazy as it has become in the GPU space.

AMD Confirms it Won't Block any Workloads on its Graphics Cards - Including Mining

Hot on the heels of NVIDIA's recent Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMP) launch and slightly debacled driver-level neutering of popular mining algorithms with their latest GeForce RTX 3060, AMD product manager Nish Neelalojanan confirmed to PC Gamer that AMD's stance is a fundamentally different one: that they won't be the ones to decide what their customers can or can't do with their hardware. His words, precisely, were this: "We will not be blocking any workload, not just mining for that matter."

Nish then went on to speak on how AMD - and its current RDNA2 product stack - have been specifically geared and optimized for gaming workloads. There are some architectural choices present in RDNA2 that automatically reduce its utility and performance when it comes to mining, such as its infinity Cache - an architectural choice that aims to increase gaming performance by improving cache hits, at the expense of overall memory bandwidth (the most important metric for actual mining operations).

First NVIDIA Palit CMP 30HX Mining GPU Available at a Tentative $723

NVIDIA's recently-announced CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) products seem to already be hitting the market - at least in some parts of the world. Microless, a retailer in Dubai, listed the cryptocurrency-geared graphics card for $723 - $723 which are equivalent to some 26 MH/s, as per NVIDIA, before any optimizatons have been enacted on the clock/voltage/BIOS level, as more serious miners will undoubtedly do.

The CMP 30HX is a re-released TU116 chip (Turing, sans RT hardware), which powered the likes of the GeForce GTX 1660 Super in NVIDIA's previous generation of graphics cards. The card features a a 1,530 MHz base clock; a 1,785 MHz boost clock; alongside 6 GB of GDDR6 memory that clocks in at 14 Gbps (which actually could soon stop being enough to hold the entire workload completely in memory). Leveraging a 192-bit memory interface, the graphics card supplies a memory bandwidth of up to 336 GB/s. It's also a "headless" GPU, meaning that it has no display outputs that would only add to cost in such a specifically-geared product. It's unclear how representative the pricing from Microless actually is of NVIDIA's MSRP for the 30HX products, but considering current graphics cards' pricing worldwide, this pricing seems to be in line with GeForce offerings capable of achieving the same hash rates, so its ability to concentrate demand from miners compared to other NVIDIA mainstream, GeForce offerings depends solely on the prices that are both set by NVIDIA and practiced by retailers.

MSI Promotes Their RTX 3080 GE76 Raider Laptop For Cryptocurrency Mining

MSI recently published an official blog article advertising the cryptocurrency mining potential of their GE76 raider laptop with a mobile RTX 3080 graphics card. The official post appears to have now been removed but has been archived by the Wayback Machine. MSI acknowledges the shortage of graphics cards and proposes that miners look at purchasing their new laptops. MSI shows the earnings potential of their GE76 raider laptop running NiceHash on the Intel Core i9-10980HK processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. The mobile RTX-3080 achieved a hash rate of 52.8 MH/s running the Excavator miner with the DaggerHashimoto algorithm. This performance is slightly above the RTX 2080 Ti but falls significantly short of a desktop RTX 3080 which achieves nearly double at 95.7 MH/s. MSI also noted that they would be publishing a follow-up post with their profitability statistics however this now seems unlikely given that the original post appears to have been taken down.

NVIDIA Wins $1 Billion Lawsuit by a Class of Investors

Last year, we found out that a group of investors has accused NVIDIA that the company has misled its investors by reporting crypto revenue as gaming revenue numbers and making its gaming revenue seem much bigger than it is. The original lawsuit was filed in 2017 and it demanded that NVIDIA should pay one billion US Dollars to investors shall they be proven right. In 2017, cryptocurrency mining was at the same craze it is today, with people buying every possible card that exists and consumers having a hard time upgrading their PCs. Investors in NVIDIA corporation have believed that in 2017, the company has presented its cryptocurrency earning figures as a part of the gaming figures, thus giving misleading information about the company's success in the gaming market.

Today, we have information that NVIDIA has won this lawsuit. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam has dismissed the case and ruled that investors were unable to provide any significant evidence that the company has used such practices and misled investors. By taking this case off the company, NVIDIA will not be paying one billion USD to the accusing investors and the company continues operations as normal.

AMD is Preparing RDNA-Based Cryptomining GPU SKUs

Back in February, NVIDIA has announced its GPU SKUs dedicated to the cryptocurrency mining task, without any graphics outputs present on the chips. Today, we are getting information that AMD is rumored to introduce its own lineup of graphics cards dedicated to cryptocurrency mining. In the latest patch for AMD Direct Rendering Manager (DRM), a subsystem of the Linux kernel responsible for interfacing with GPUs, we see the appearance of the Navi 12. This GPU SKU was not used for anything except Apple's Mac devices in a form of Radeon Pro 5600M GPU. However, it seems like the Navi 12 could join forces with Navi 10 GPU SKU and become a part of special "blockchain" GPUs.

Way back in November, popular hardware leaker, KOMACHI, has noted that AMD is preparing three additional Radeon SKUs called Radeon RX 5700XTB, RX 5700B, and RX 5500XTB. The "B" added to the end of each name is denoting the blockchain revision, made specifically for crypto-mining. When it comes to specifications of the upcoming mining-specific AMD GPUs, we know that both use first-generation RDNA architecture and have 2560 Stream Processors (40 Compute Units). Memory configuration for these cards remains unknown, as AMD surely won't be putting HBM2 stacks for mining like it did with Navi 12 GPU. All that remains is to wait and see what AMD announces in the coming months.

NVIDIA Announces New CMP Series Specifically Designed for Cryptocurrency Mining; Caps Mining Performance on RTX 3060

This is a big one: NVIDIA has officially announced a new family of products specifically designed to satiate the demand coming from cryptocurrency mining workloads and farms. At the same time, the company has announced that the RTX 3060 launch driver will include software limitations for cryptocurrency mining workloads specifically correlated with Ethereum mining, essentially halving the maximum theoretical hashrate that could be achieved from a purely hardware perspective. The new family of products, termed CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) series, will see its products under the HX branding, and will be available in four different tiers: 30HX, 40HX, 50HX and 90HX. These products will not have any display outputs, and therefore are not applicable for gaming scenarios.

NVIDIA's stance here is that their new product will bring some justice in the overall distribution of its GeForce graphics cards, which are marketed and meant for gaming workloads. The new cryptocurrency-geared series will be distributed by NVIDIA authorized partners in the form of ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, and PC Partner (more may be added down the line). There is currently no information on what silicon actually powers these graphics cards; and of course, the success of this enterprise depends on A) the driver restrictions not being limited to the RTX 3060 graphics card - it isn't clear from NVIDIA's press release if other RTX 30-series graphics cards will see the same performance cap. Even if NVIDIA did release those drivers, however, cryptocurrency miners would just opt to, well, not update them. So it is possible that NVIDIA will release a revision of the RTX 3090, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti with silicon enhancements that will only work with the latest GeForce drivers - after allowing the channels to move all of their existing, cryptocurrency-enabled stock.

ZOTAC Promotes Cryptocurrency Mining Farm via Twitter

ZOTAC's official Twitter channel has posted an image that promotes the usage of its graphics cards in mining environments. Under the caption "An army of #ZOTACGAMING GPU's hungry for coin!", the company posted an image of a cryptocurrency mining farm populated with its graphics cards. The usage of a gaming hashtag in the post just adds insult to injury, with the picture showcasing at least eight of its GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge graphics cards on mining duties.

Of course, for ZOTAC, its cards being re-purposed for mining isn't a make-it-or-break-it affair: the company makes money selling its products to gamers or miners alike. However, considering how global supply of the latest gaming-branded graphics cards has been constrained ever since the initial RTX 3000-series launch, it seems that this Tweet might have been a misstep on the company. It's bound to attract crosshairs towards a seemingly unjust distribution of graphics cards in the market, with several would-be users of their gaming-branded graphics cards being left out in the cold regarding the primary purpose these graphics cards are developed and marketed for: gaming. The company has in the meantime deleted the Tweet.

Bitcoin Breaks $50,000 Barrier, Hitting the Highest Value Ever

Cryptocurrency has in the past few years gained a lot of popularity, mostly fueled by Bitcoin's rapid growth and its massive price increasing over time. Today, Bitcoin, the world's leading cryptocurrency, has managed to make history and broke the record of 50,000 USD. As of now, on February 17th at 07:00 UTC, Bitcoin has reached 50,452.60 USD value. What is driving the price up you must wonder? It is the market adoption of the currency. Tesla Inc. has invested 1.5 billion USD in Bitcoin as it intends to accept it as payment for its products. Next up is Mastercard, which is preparing to support cryptocurrency on its network. In addition to Mastercard, Apple is also preparing its services for cryptocurrency payments. Right now, the market cap of Bitcoin is $935,359,977,182 at the time of writing, just shy of one trillion USD.

Internet Cafes Are Turning To Cryptocurrency Mining As "Profits are Higher"

An internet cafe in Vietnam has turned to mining cryptocurrency as the pandemic has affected their business. Internet cafes have been ordered to close to limit the spread of COVID-19 forcing the owners to find an alternative use for their computer hardware. The owner of Star Computer computer cafe in Ho Chi Minh city has announced that they will be switching to cryptocurrency mining as the "profits are higher". The cafe is owned by a Vietnamese computer store and has managed to secure a significant number of RTX 3080 GPUs for the mining operations. Star Computer internet cafe has also encouraged other internet cafe owners to contact them about setting up similar operations.
Star Computers (translation)
Switching business season, Profits are higher than net business, whoever wants to do, contact me for free.

Chinese Cryptocurrency Miners Are Buying Up Gaming Laptops To Mine Ethereum

The value of Ethereum (ETH) has surged over the last few months, improving the profitability for cryptocurrency miners and increasing the demand for hardware. We have seen several stories where miners are recognized as one of the causes of desktop GPU price rises however it now seems gaming laptops will be their next target. The gaming laptops in question feature RTX 30 series GPUs most commonly the RTX 3070, these laptops come at a significant premium over a bare desktop card showing just how insane the situation has become. This will likely exacerbate the already limited supply of RTX 30 series laptops.

Bitcoin Hits All-Time High: Now Worth Over 23,000 USD

Cryptocurrency market capitalization has now hit over $650 Billion, and that is mainly influenced by a single, most wide-spread currency on the network - Bitcoin. The Bitcoin (BTC) is the biggest cryptocurrency available, simply because it was the first one established and well designed. In its history, Bitcoin was priced anywhere from 0.1 cents to tens of thousands of US Dollars. However, in the recent soaring, the cryptocurrency has reached its peak value since it was created. Today, at around 09:14 UTC, the cryptocurrency has reached an astonishing value of 23,441.60 USD, making it a record high value. What is driving the price up and the reason for soaring is unknown, but it is a reflection of the market capitalization of cryptocurrency and its use, so it must mean that the BTC is getting more attention than ever.

AMD Seemingly Working on Cryptocurrency-focused Navi 10 GPU

New Linux patches seem to point towards a cryptocurrency-focused graphics card from AMD. First spotted by Phoronix, the patches add descriptions for a "navi10 blockchain SKU" - it's a pretty self-describing, well, description. The device ID is reported as 0x731E, and Phoronix says that the major difference between this graphics card and the other Navi 10 offerings in the market (namely RX 5700XT and RX 5700) is the absence of Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) engines. Whether these are absent from the silicon, or simply disabled by other means is currently unclear. Their absence, however points towards cards with no graphical outputs, a lapalissian practicality for cryptocurrency-focused graphics mining products.

Phoronix estimates a release of no sooner than early 2021, considering the timing of the patch information on Linux. While the market for GPU-accelerated cryptocurrency mining isn't what it used to be (luckily), there is still a market opportunity to be taken advantage of here - while ASICs have become more commonplace, there are still many GPU-mining alternatives within the realm of crypto. A crypto-focused product might steer users away from gaming-oriented consumer products, thus easing strain on supply for AMD's upcoming RX 6000 series - especially if this Navi 10-based GPU (or should we call it a CHU - Cryptocurrency Hashing Unit?) features some voltage and power adjustments to increase power efficiency on these workloads.

10 Years Jail for Buying, Selling, Mining Crypto-currency in India: New Bill

The Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019, on its way to the Indian Parliament for debate and possible legislation, seeks to impose a stunning 10-year imprisonment as penalty for any person or business found buying, selling, holding, or mining crypto-currency in India. It has wording to tell wilful mining apart from "crypto-jacking" (malware that mines crypto on a computer or portable computing device without its user's knowledge). Violations of this Act will also be treated as "cognizable" and "non-bailable," meaning that the accused cannot seek bail, anticipatory or in custody, while their case is being taken up by India's criminal-justice system.

A Cognizable Offense under Indian law, is comparable to a Felony under U.S. law, and some of the most heinous crimes, such as homicide and rape, are classified as these. The Indian Government has reportedly taken this step to clamp down on rampant tax-evasion, "hawala" money transfers (illegal money transfers disconnected from the banking system), and financing of terrorism, drug-trade, and social unrest by foreign NGOs and eco-terrorists. The Bill is expected to have smooth sailing through Parliament as the incumbent political administration enjoys a simple majority in the Lok Sabha (essentially House of Commons); and has a good sway over the Rajya Sabha (Council of States, but essentially House of Lords).

NVIDIA Faces New Class Action Lawsuit Over Cryptocurrency-related GPU Demand Drop

The new year does not seem to bring good tidings alone for NVIDIA, with yet another class action lawsuit promising to keep their legal team busy. When we first posted about NVIDIA stock prices falling 2.1% following the launch of their Turing microarchitecture cards, there was no warning that just a few days after that post things would get worse. Indeed, as of today, the NVIDIA stock price on the NASDAQ stock market has fallen nearly 54% from the 1-year high that was only this past calendar quarter. California-based Schall law firm believes this drop in price can be attributed to more than just the volatile trading that has been ongoing in general in the stock markets, and has decided to file a class action lawsuit against NVIDIA.

Schall Law believes, and we quote, "the Company made false and misleading statements to the market. NVIDIA touted its ability to monitor the cryptocurrency market and make rapid changes to its business as necessary. The Company claimed to be "masters at managing our channel, and we understand the channel very well." NVIDIA also claimed to the market that any drop off in demand for its GPUs amongst cryptocurrency miners would not negatively impact the Company's business because of strong demand for GPUs from the gaming market. Based on these facts, the Company's public statements were false and materially misleading throughout the class period. When the market learned the truth about NVIDIA, investors suffered damages." These are strong words indeed, as oft is the case with the launch of class action lawsuits, and they have put out a press statement to accompany a link for those wanting to join along which can be seen in the source below.

Razer Wants to Mine Crypto on Your PC in Return for Loyalty Rewards

In a move that made us go "WTF" internally, Razer has decided to test their fanbase's loyalty more so than ever before. Today, the company introduced Razer Softminer, a mining software program that is intended to be installed on computers and run to mine cryptocurrency. But instead of the users getting whatever new cryptocurrency is in fashion, Razer instead wants to retain all mined crypto and in turn "award" users with the so-called Razer Silver- loyalty reward credits, in their own words. The miner appears to be running off a version of the Gamma desktop application, as per speculation from TweakTown.

Razer Softminer utilizes heavy GPU performance loads, and there is no mention as to what the actual mining is for. It is clear, however, that the users are not mining Razer Silver (which Razer is quick to admit is not cryptocurrency) and these loyalty credits are handed out in an equivalent manner based on the mining power of the system. In their estimate, a sytem with at least a NVIDIA GTX 1050 or AMD RX 460 running the mining program for a whole day will net ~500 Razer Silver, and these can be used to "redeem Razer peripherals, digital rewards such as games, vouchers and more" from a dedicated rewards page.

ASUS Thinks It's a Good Idea to Mine Cryptocurrencies When Your GPU Is Idle, Partners with Quantumcloud

Maybe the guys at ASUS haven't noticed it, but this is probably the worst time to announce an effort to promote cryptocurrency mining. The crypto market has fallen about 80% since its peak in 2017, and this November has been an special tough month for crypto investors with Bitcoin going under $4,000 for a few days. Miners are running away and a lot of people think the bubble is finally exploding. Companies such as GIGABYTE are suffering the consequences, but ASUS seems to be quite sure that the situation isn't that bad.

They have partnered with blockchain technology provider Quantumcloud and they will encourage users to use their idle GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies. Yeah, that's right. There are no details on what crypto currencies will be mined with Quantumcloud's software, but at least ASUS is letting now those potential users that they "won't get rich quick, but you can earn some easy money with your idle GPUs". In fact there's a disclaimer telling they do not "guarantee that users of its software will make any earnings or profit" and ASUS adds that users "are responsible for considering their own usage costs". Maybe a year ago this could have been a thing, but the idea seems really uncool right now.

Cryptocurrency Trading Bots Manipulating Bitcoin, Altcoins' Pricing

The Wall Street Journal has come forward with a story confirming what we all knew, but could have been left out of the cryptocurrency narrative for various reasons: that bots are used on a daily basis to manipulate pricing of these digital assets. The practice includes various tricks, such as spoofing (creating a hue order in the ledger and then canceling), pump-and-dump schemes (where players can resort to a variety of manipulation techniques to pump um a given product's pricing in order to then dump all their positions at the ballooned price) and ping-pong transactions (where a holder of multiple wallets makes extensive trades between his assets, never moving crypto in or out of his control, but placing extra orders and volume on the markets.

Of course, most of these practices have been outlawed in real-world investment scenarios, as price manipulation doesn't really bode well for a free market. However, some players in the crypto sphere (trader Kjetil Eilersten, who developed the market-manipulation program Quatloo Trader) go as far as defending pricing manipulation tools' implementation, saying that a market where "everybody manipulates" results in a zero-sum loss for anyone. Now isn't that refreshing.

The Only Thing You Get with Mining Ethereum Now is Room Heating

Cryptocurrency prices continue their downward slide making them no longer viable to mine on GPUs. The value of Ethereum has dropped to USD 256, down from its historic high of $1,250 this January. Bitcoin fell to below $6,000 Wednesday, way down from its late-2017 high of $19,000. A 79 percent devaluation isn't the worst of Ethereum's problems. The currency is facing stiff inflation from conversions to other cryptocurrencies or the Dollar. At its peak, ETH held 32 percent of all cryptocurrency market cap, beaten only by BTC at 39 percent. Now ETH only makes 14 percent.

Kaspersky Labs Warns Against Cryptocurrency Social Engineering Schemes

The cryptocurrency phenomenon and the growth of a keen audience of cryptocurrency owners was never going to go unnoticed by cyber-criminals. To achieve their nefarious goals they typically use classical phishing techniques, however these often go beyond the 'ordinary' scenarios we have become familiar with. By drawing inspiration from ICO (initial coin offering) investments and the free distribution of crypto coins, cyber criminals have been able to profit from both avid cryptocurrency owners and rookies alike.

Some of the most popular targets are ICO investors, who seek to invest their money in start-ups in the hope of gaining a profit in the future. For this group of people, cyber-criminals create fake web pages that simulate the sites of official ICO projects, or try to gain access to their contacts so they can send a phishing email with the number of an e-wallet for investors to send their cryptocurrency to. The most successful attacks use well-known ICO projects. For example, by exploiting the Switcheo ICO using a proposal for the free distribution of coins, criminals stole more than $25,000 worth of cryptocurrency after spreading the link through a fake Twitter account.

Twitter Reportedly Looking Into Banning Cryptocurrency-Related Ads as Well

After Google has actually announced a change to their financial services-related ad policies that will ban all cryptocurrency-related ads that run through its advertising platform, reports now place Twitter as the next major service to follow suit. According to Sky News, the banning will affect the majority of ads relating to cryptocurrency products, services, and advice, cutting it diagonally and indiscriminately if services are actually legit or fakes. The publication says the decision comes "amid looming regulatory intervention in the sector."

Sky's sources say this ban will enter into effect within the next two weeks. If so, this is now the third major servie (after Facebook and Google) to ban all crypto-related content form its advertisements. That regulatory intervention is looming on the sector is putting it mildly; and it's high time that happened. The cryptocurrency market really is "being chilled", to quote Mike Lempres, chief legal and risk officer at Coinbase. And it's coming from all sides: regulatory bodies, general services, John Oliver shows, mainstream media, and even investors' own risk-assessment. It was bound to happen - the frenzy was getting quite old, really - and is an expected development. Let's hope this is just the beginning of a renewal of sorts for the cryptocurrency and blockchain world.

NVIDIA Turing GPU to Start Mass Production in Q3 2018

Despite not being backed by an official statement, NVIDIA's next-generation crypto-mining Turing graphics cards are expected to be revealed at GTC 2018 between March 26 to 29. According to DigiTimes's latest report, NVIDIA is expecting a drop in demand for graphics card later this year. In an effort to prolong the lifecycle of their current graphics cards, mass production for Turing won't start until the third quarter of 2018. Sources around the industry have also revealed that NVIDIA had a sit-down with AIB partners to address the current situation. In short, NVIDIA partners are now forbidden to promote activities related to cryptocurrency mining and to sell bulks of consumer graphics cards to cryptominers.

NVIDIA Bracing for a Cryptocurrency Demand Drop

In what could bring cheers to PC gamers, and tears to miners, NVIDIA is reportedly wary of a possible drop in cryptocurrencies through 2018. This directly affects the company, since GPUs are used in mining various cryptocurrencies, which triggered inflation in prices of graphics cards from Q2-2017 to Q1-2018. Over the past couple of weeks, prices of popular high-end GPUs such as the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti have cooled, although not back to their original levels. NVIDIA's manufacturing division, which sub-contracts silicon fabrication to TSMC, is calculating the impact a cryptocurrency slump could have on its supply-chain, and are being conservative with their orders to the foundry. A drop in demand could leave the company with vast amounts of unsold inventories based on an old-generation architecture (Pascal, in the wake of Volta/Ampere), which could result in multi-billion-dollar inventory write-offs. According to a Digitimes report, NVIDIA has placed restrictions on its add-in card (AIC) partners on marketing cryptocurrency mining abilities of their graphics cards, and selling directly to large miners.

In addition to a slump in demand for cryptocurrencies, 2018 could see introduction of purpose-built crypto-mining ASICs that are tailored for popular cryptocurrencies. Purpose-built ASICs tend to be extremely economical for medium-thru-large scale miners, in comparison to GPUs. The third horseman is policy. While several governments around the world have developed an appreciation for blockchain technology for its resilience to tampering, fraud, and data-theft (which could be implemented in safekeeping government- and bank-records); governments are, understandably, anti-cryptocurrency, as it undermines sovereign legal tender issued by central banks, and aids tax-evasion. Several governments through 2017-18 have announced measures to crack down on cryptocurrency mining and use as tender. This has led to a further drop in public interest in cryptocurrencies, as large ICO investors are weary of losing money in a highly volatile market. Close to half the ICOs have failed.

Grand Theft PC: Thieves Made Away with 600 Cryptomining Computers

So, what's cheaper than building your own cryptomining rig? Stealing one, of course. With the humor aside, the Associated Press reported that around 600 cryptomining computers were stolen from multiple data centers in Iceland over the last three months. The first three thefts occurred in December, and the fourth took place recently in January. So far, the Icelandic authorities have apprehended 11 individuals, including a security guard, in connection with the series of heists. According to the publication, the stolen computers are estimated to worth almost $2 million. Unfortunately, the police haven't had any lucky locating the whereabouts of the stolen goods. However, they are actively monitoring electric consumption in the country, since cryptomining tends to require high power usage. They've also contacted local internet service providers, electricians, and storage space rentals to ask for their cooperation in reporting any abnormal requests for more power.

"Where Are My Graphics Cards?" - 3 Million Sold to Cryptocurrency Miners in 2017

The title of this piece is both question and answer, though users that keep up with PC-related news knew the answer already. Jon Peddie Research, in a new report, pegs the number of total graphics cards sold to miners at a pretty respectable 3 million units (worth some $776 million). That's some 3 million gamers that could be enjoying video games on their PCs right now, or which would be able to enjoy them at a much lower price that they had to recently pay to have the privilege.

AMD has been the primary benefactor here - its GPU market share went up by 8.1%, while NVIDIA's dropped by 6% and Intel's by 1.9% (the fact that Intel's graphics processing units come embedded in the company's processors helps keep that number stable). As it is, attachment rates of GPUs to systems was over 100% at 136%, the result of miners buying more cards per system in an effort to maximize profits. Jon Peddie thinks that gaming will still be the key player to drive GPU sales, though "augmented by the demand from cryptocurrency miners." The firm also expects demand for GPUs to slacken, coeteris paribus, due to "increasing utilities costs and supply and demand forces that drive up AIB prices." However, for those looking for prices to drop before upgrading their system, the news aren't rosy: the article states that pricing will not drop in the foreseeable future, so owners of GPUs that can actually mine already are being encouraged to mine while not gaming, so as to try and offset the markups in the current GPU offerings.
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