Category Archives: News

Global shortage of AMD GPUs due to cryptocurrency mining

If you’re looking to get your hands on an AMD RX 570/580 GPU, you’re probably out of luck—at least for the foreseeable future. News outlets (even mainstream media!) are reporting that AMD GPUs are basically sold out globally due to tremendous demand from cryptocurrency miners. If you’re able to find an AMD RX 470/480/570/580 GPU at all these days, it’ll probably be on the secondary market—where you can expect to pay double or triple retail price.

I initially recommended AMD GPUs in my mining guide because they were much cheaper than nVidia alternatives. But given current market conditions, consider nVidia GPUs if you’re building a mining rig today. A GTX 1070 GPU will roughly match the ETH mining performance of a RX 570/580, and they’re still available to buy at most retailers. Just remember that if you opt for an nVidia GPU and plan to follow my mining guide, you’ll need to install nVidia GPU drivers instead of the AMD ones that I’ve linked!

ASRock to offer motherboard with support for 13 GPUs

ASRock is demoing a new mining-focused motherboard at this year’s Computex show in Taiwan (tomorrow through June 3rd). The new board is designated the H110 Pro BTC+ and features an incredible 13 PCIe slots (!). Click the image to the left for a preview.

ASRock has long been a favorite in the cryptocurrency mining community. Their 970 Extreme4 was a top pick for LTC mining a few years ago, and more recently their H81 Pro BTC is a favorite for ETH mining (if you can find one—they’re more or less sold out).

No word on when to expect retail availability other than “soon”.

Litecoin available to trade on Coinbase

Coinbase, widely regarded as one of the largest and most trustworthy cryptocurrency exchanges, has finally added support for Litecoin as of a few minutes ago. Their LTC price is currently all over the place—immediately rising to nearly $35 before backing down into the low $20s (other exchanges are listing LTC at around $20). It’ll be interesting to watch the price over the next few hours/days.

Bitcoin price hits all-time high

Bitcoin has gained about 15% in value over the past week, putting it at over $1,450 on Coinbase currently. That’s higher than any point since its inception!

Ethereum and Litecoin are both also doing quite well. ETH is up roughly 50% compared to just one week ago, and LTC has nearly quadrupled in value since the start of 2017.

What’s driving the recent spike in cryptocurrency valuation? Other than the imminent SegWit activation for Litecoin, there doesn’t seem to be any big news that should be driving prices up at this pace. Are people reacting to political uncertainty around the world by converting some of their fiat currency into digital cash? I’m honestly not sure—but it’s certainly interesting to follow!

Coinbase CEO confirms Litecoin support coming

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has confirmed via Twitter that Litecoin support is finally on the way. A recent press release hinted that Coinbase might be eyeing LTC, but this is the first time Armstrong has publicly acknowledged implementation plans. No time frame was mentioned, but this is good news for Litecoin regardless!

Charlie Lee jokingly predicts $14 LTC price, market reacts

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, tweeted on Monday that he expected Litecoin to hit $14/coin when SegWit* activates. The prediction was tongue-in-cheek, based on obviously funny math, but that didn’t stop cryptocurrency traders from reacting. Litecoin’s price rose 10% shortly after Lee’s tweet, and it’s been steadily climbing since then—to about $12/coin at the time of this post.

*SegWit is a soft fork of Litecoin’s code base that will potentially bring about many benefits if/when it passes. For the fork to happen, 75% of miners need to signal support for SegWit over a two-week period. As of right now, it appears that roughly 70% of miners are on-board.

Coinbase to finally offer support for Litecoin?

A press release from New York’s Department of Financial Services dated yesterday reveals that Coinbase has been granted approval to offer Litecoin services to its users.

Coinbase is widely regarded as the premier Bitcoin exchange. Last July, they added support for Ethereum, prompting many to wonder when (or if) support for Litecoin was coming. The press release seems to be confirmation that Coinbase is at least laying the groundwork for LTC support.

Newegg begins accepting Bitcoin

This morning, Newegg announced that they’ve started accepting Bitcoin on their website (via BitPay), making them one of the largest and most popular internet retailers to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon to date. Newegg’s homepage is currently prominently featuring Bitcoin, and they’ve created a helpful “about Bitcoin” page on their site to help educate those that want to learn more about it. Bitcoin is even currently appearing at the top of the “payment options” list during Newegg’s checkout process—ahead of credit cards, Paypal, and other methods.

I’m surprised it took Newegg this long, but it’s nice to finally see them embrace cryptocurrency. I’m curious to see what kind of impact this will have on their business—Newegg really seems like an ideal candidate for Bitcoin adoption, given the nature of their products and techno-enthusiast customer base. Hopefully this turns into a major success story for them.

Xapo CEO predicts $1 Million Bitcoin price

The Wall Street Journal posted a short interview with Wences Casares, CEO of bitcoin startup Xapo, regarding his thoughts on the future of bitcoin. Casares predicts that one decade from now, a single bitcoin will be worth somewhere between half a million dollars and a million dollars.

That’s quite the lofty predication, and one that isn’t entirely surprising coming from a guy that runs a business that depends on people buying and holding bitcoins. However, Casares is far from the first person to make such a prediction, and there are fairly rational models that support single bitcoin valuations in the 5 to 6 figure range.

I’ve personally stated many times that I believe the far future (5+ years, in technology) of bitcoin only holds two possibilities: it either fails to catch on and its value drops to zero, or adoption reaches a critical mass and its value skyrockets far beyond where it is today. A scenario where bitcoin simply stagnates and plateaus at a value of several hundred dollars (or a somewhere in the low four figures) is the only unreasonable one to me. I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see a 5- or 6-figure bitcoin price in a decade, just like I wouldn’t be astonished if bitcoin was no longer around. So I suppose a 7-figure valuation isn’t out of the realm of possibility, either.

Regardless of what happens in the future, it’ll probably be interesting to look back at the days of the ~$500 bitcoin.

KNC announces 100 Mh/sec scrypt mining rigs

Yesterday, KnCMiner began accepting pre-orders for their first ASIC scrypt-based mining rigs. Dubbed the “Titan”, KnCMiner claims that each unit will be capable of mining scrypt-based coins (Litecoin, etc) at a rate of at least 100 Mh/sec—far in excess of what GPU-based rigs are capable of today. KnCMiner hasn’t shared power consumption estimates thus far, but each unit will apparently run on a single standard ATX power supply (which is supplied by the customer). The units are scheduled to begin shipping in Q2 or Q3 of 2014, and the pre-order price is set at $9,995 per rig.

There are a handful of other companies that have announced that they’re actively developing ASIC scrypt miners, but KnCMiner is the only one that has a proven track record in this area. KnCMiner’s popular Bitcoin ASIC rigs shipped on time to pre-order customers, and performed in excess of initial estimates—so there is no reason to assume that they won’t be able to deliver on their promises with the Titan.

TechCrunch reported that KnCMiner sold $2 million worth of Titan pre-orders in four hours, so interest in the rigs is apparently quite high.

Edit 3/21: As reader sapientlife points out, ASIC scrypt miners by Gridseed are already available for purchase. The Gridseed miners aren’t very powerful, however—they’re capable of mining scrypt coins about half as fast as a single high-end GPU, for nearly the same up-front cost. However, they’re quite a bit more power efficient than GPU mining (GPUs will use about 10 times as much power at the same hashing speed). Whether or not a Gridseed ASIC beats out GPUs for you depends on electricity costs in your area.