According to a report by Bloomberg this morning, the cryptocurrency mining industry is dying at a rapid pace. With many of the world's major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, crashing, mining is no longer a sustainable form of income for many people. As a result, miners are selling off the best GPUs in droves, causing GPU prices on the second-hand market to plummet as much as 50% in recent months. (Bloomberg's data starts at the end of May) .
This is great news for PC gamers and means the used GPU market is now a viable solution for buying graphics cards on a budget. Before the crypto crash, used GPU prices were so expensive that buying a brand new card was often a better decision. If you want to see just how absurd eBay prices were just a few months ago, check out our GPU Pricing Index here.
One estimate cited by Bloomberg suggests more than a third of the consumer graphics card market could vanish with the loss of the crypto mining user base, with an estimated 35% of consumer GPUs being bought up by miners before the run-up. For some perspective, used GPUs are selling for 50% less value right now compared to just a few months ago, and with the loss of a third of the GPU market, we can expect prices to drop even further.
Thankfully, the crypto mining market is not expected to rebound anytime soon. Ethereum is planning on shifting to a new "proof of stake" method which will nullify GPU mining entirely on the currency (though it has been delayed multiple times), and with the combination of the cryptocurrency crash, now is the worst time in the history of crypto to enter the GPU mining game.
With the second-hand market now becoming a viable solution, should you buy a used graphics card right now? The market is going to be absolutely flooded with mining GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia spanning multiple generations, which could pose a problem for gamers. Despite prices decreasing, used mining GPUs are a risky gamble if you don't know what to look for.
In most circumstances, these GPUs have been mining for years without a break which can put some serious wear and tear on the GPU's memory and power delivery systems. Be sure to check out the link above to see what to look for so you don't get burned.