- PriceSpy reveals 83% increase in clicks for cryptocurrency mining equipment
- Interest in PCI Express increasing rapidly; 525% Y-o-Y
- Trends not exclusive to UK, with popularity also witnessed in Europe, Scandinavia and New Zealand
Since Bitcoin was created in 2009, its value has reached a peak of $20,000. Bitcoin was the first mainstream cryptocurrency and remains the most popular. With the value of a single Bitcoin currently averaging at around $8,000, it’s no wonder people are looking at alternatives to buying the virtual currency. This includes mining their own cryptocurrency.
Certain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can now only be mined profitably by using specialist equipment. The mining process involves compiling recent transactions into ‘blocks’ and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle. In order to successfully create a block, it must be accompanied by a cryptographic hash that fulfills certain requirements. The only feasible way to arrive at a hash matching the correct criteria is to simply calculate as many as possible and wait for a matching hash. When the right hash is found, a new block is formed and the miner that found it is awarded with units of cryptocurrency.
This means that miners are competing against each other to calculate as many hashes as possible, in the hopes of being the first to hit the correct one. Around 17 million, out of a potential 21 million, Bitcoins have been mined to-date. This means four million Bitcoins are still left, equating to around $32 billion USD dollars today.
Mining equipment popularity in the UK
PriceSpy, the fully impartial price and product comparison service, has looked at the increase in people using computer components to mine and extract their own currency. Components used for cryptocurrency mining include motherboards, PCI Express and CPUs.
On 28th November 2017, the value of a single Bitcoin rose to $11,000, less than 24 hours after surpassing the $10,000 mark for the first time. PriceSpy’s data revealed that the number of clicks on motherboards between November 2017 and January 2018 rose by over a quarter (27%) year-on-year. Furthermore, clicks for PCI Express increased by 57%.
So far, the record price for one Bitcoin reached $20,000 on 7th December 2017. Shortly after, PriceSpy recorded its biggest surge of users clicking on components to build their own cryptocurrency mining machines. Throughout January 2018, PriceSpy witnessed an 83% increase in clicks on its ‘computer components’ category. More specifically, during January 2018, clicks on PCI Express increased by a staggering 525% year-on-year.
Mining equipment popularity across the globe
Whilst cryptocurrency mining is popular in the UK, similar trends are emerging worldwide. In Finland, for example, the popularity of motherboards has been up by 418% year-on-year. With demand for processors and hard drives also on a steep rise with some of the models out of stock.
Last year, Asus released the Asus B250 Mining Expert motherboard shortly after Bitcoin reached the $5,000 mark for the first time. By January 2018, it had sold out in both Finland and Norway.
Ireland also witnessed a 12% surge in clicks on its ‘computer components’ category throughout January. More specifically, a 56% increase in clicks on PCI Express parts and 21% increase in clicks on CPUs. In fact, the trend continued throughout February to April 2018 where clicks on PCI Express parts rose a staggering 132%.
In New Zealand, from November 2017 to January 2018, CPUs clicks were up by 61%. Furthermore, PCI Express clicks had risen by almost half (49%) compared to the previous year.
Olof Karp, country manager of UK & Ireland at PriceSpy comments: “Cryptocurrency mining has become a new hobby for tech-enthusiasts. And has made some people very rich! Many have clocked on to the financial rewards available and have started buying their own electrical components in an attempt to mine their own cryptocurrency.”
“With the argument around regulation of cryptocurrency continuing, tech-savvy miners will be keen to continue mining whilst they still can. Our data reveals that CPUs and PCI Express components are the most sought after on a global scale. PriceSpy lists a wide range of specialist equipment which miners can compare to find the best equipment for their individual needs.”