Prices for graphics processors in China have plummeted following the nation's crackdown on cryptocurrency mining, ownership, and trading.
The Middle Kingdom's authoritarian rulers are not keen on the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum, saying the currencies have no inherent value and can be manipulated, making them a poor investment. And now with mining frowned upon – or outright banned in Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang – there's less demand for the number-crunching hardware, driving down prices. We imagine mining farms are selling off their kit, too. Funnily enough, Bitcoin and the gang were pulled down in value by China's edict.
Both old and new models of GPUs have declined in price. The Nvidia Quadro P1000 model, a 14nm part launched in 2017, is going for 2,429 yuan ($376) on JD.com, a popular Chinese e-commerce biz, down from 3,000 yuan ($464). The Asus GeForce RTX3060, announced earlier this year, has dropped from 13,499 yuan ($2087) to 4,699 yuan ($763), on Tmall, another Chinese online vendor.
The trend seems to be making its way over to America as some Reddit users noticed.
That spells good news for gamers and PC builders looking for parts. Nvidia recently announced it had crippled the cryptomining ability on its latest GeForce RTX GPUs in an effort to shoo miners away after players complained they had to compete with miners for graphics chips.
Chinese crackdown hits Bitcoin price hard
Meanwhile, Middle Kingdom mandarins are showing no sign of letup on their battle against cryptocurrencies.
In a statement on Monday, The People's Bank of China said that it had "interviewed" representatives of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Construction Bank, Postal Savings Bank, Industrial Bank and Alipay (China) Network Technology, to remind them not to promote such currencies, or provide account services.
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"The People's Bank of China pointed out that virtual currency trading activities disrupt the normal economic and financial order, breed the risks of illegal cross-border transfer of assets, money laundering and other illegal and criminal activities, and seriously infringe the people's property safety," it said.
The Chinese moves have had a deleterious effect on the price for cyryptocurrency poster child Bitcoin. Prices rise slightly to over $40,000 a coin in mid-June (thanks in part to an Elon Musk tweet) but have been heading south ever since and are now standing at around $31,713. That's down from over $63,000 per coin at its peak price in April.
The Chinese government isn’t a fan of anything it can’t quite control, and in a bid to prevent the crypto market from growing it ordered multiple Bitcoin mines across Sichuan Xinjiang to close down. Up to 90 per cent of mining capacity has been slashed, according to Global Times, a CCP mouthpiece news site.
Winding down the mines also means that China is reducing overall energy consumption too, as it promises to be carbon neutral by 2060. ®