PC enthusiasts are suffering as digital currency miners drive up graphics card prices and cause big shortages again. The two chipmakers must do more to protect the needs of their most important market or risk building their businesses on cryptocurrency quick sand.
Digital currency miners use graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia to "mine" new coins, which can then be sold or held for future appreciation. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said ethereum is currently one of the popular alternative coins to mine with PC graphics cards.
"We single out ethereum as the overwhelming driving force for GPU demand given its larger size (market cap) and higher mind share relative to other coins," analyst Vivek Arya wrote in a note to clients Thursday.
The price of ethereum cryptocurrency spiked more than 400 percent in the second quarter of 2017, resulting is card shortages during the summer. The digital currency then more than doubled during the last two months last year. It is now up over 8,800 percent over the past 12 months, according to data from industry website CoinMarketCap.
Ethereum one-year chart