In brief: More potentially good news for those of us wishing to upgrade to a new graphics card without paying a small fortune on eBay: it appears the crypto mining crackdown in China is leading to miners selling their GPUs—and for non-exorbitant prices—which could lead to improved global availability.
PC Gamer reports that a screenshot posted to Taiwanese bulletin board PTT shows miners in China are selling large numbers of Nvidia and AMD GPUs, from the latest RTX 3000 and Radeon RX 6000 series to older products, including the GTX 10xx line and Radeon RX 400 series.
HKEPC reports that the cards aren't selling for scalper prices, either. An RTX 3070, hard to find under $900 on eBay, is $3,120 HKD (Hong Kong Dollar), which is around $400 USD. The RTX 3060 Ti is around $309, and the RTX 3060 is ~$244.
There are caveats to go with those low prices: the cards are being sold in bulk and they'll likely have been running 24/7 at full throttle for a long time.
The news is another reflection of the lowering demand for graphics cards in China, which recently saw GPU prices fall sharply in the wake of Sichuan authorities shutting down crypto mining operations. It comes after a Chinese State Council committee led by Vice Premier Liu He announced the crackdown on virtual currencies as part of efforts to curb financial risks.
China accounts for up to 70% of the world's crypto supply, and with 700,000 graphics cards (around 25%) that shipped globally in the first quarter ending up in the hands of miners, the crackdown is affecting supply and demand. ASRock said the situation has led to lower card prices.
We're seeing more indications that the graphics card market is finally starting to recover, albeit slightly. The prices of Nvidia's and AMD's latest GPUs are falling in Germany while availability is improving; retailers are taking more steps to fight scalpers; Nvidia is reportedly increasing the supply of the RTX 3060 this month; and the average eBay selling price of Ampere/RDNA 2 cards fell -8% from May to June, while the Nvidia RTX 2000-series was down -14%. We've still a long way to go, but the signs are encouraging.