If you’ve been trying to get your hands on AMD's newer Radeon RX 580 or RX 570 cards recently and finding it virtually impossible, you’re not alone: and you can put the blame squarely on Ethereum.
Mirroring the worldwide shortage of AMD cards back at the end of 2013, the newly resurgent cryptocurrency mining market has driven the demand for AMD GPUs through the roof. Unfortunately, if Bitcoin continues to appreciate at the same rate (its value has already jumped to 160% this year alone) it means the shortage is likely to continue. Which isn’t great news for AMD, who insist that the gaming market remains their priority. With the overwhelming demand for the Polaris chipped mid-tier Radeon RX cards from cryptocurrency miners, it might be quite awhile until AMD’s target demographic get a look in at all – which may open the door for Nvidia.
Interestingly enough, in the past Nvidia hardware was considered inferior for the task of mining, to the point where it was mostly ignored. That's potentially no longer the case, with new crypto hashing algorithms bringing Nvidia much closer to AMD in terms of lucrativeness.
Unfortunately, this also means that 3rd parties selling the Polaris AMD cards at overinflated prices, to take advantage of the non-gaming community, is also a real issue. Unfortunately, with the current trend, the shortage is likely to last for the next few months at the very least, so for those itching to get their hands on one of the coveted cards, battling over unreasonably priced online auctions might be one of the few options left.