Cryptocurrency Mining Impact on AIB sales

Written By
Jon Peddie

Supplement to Market Watch 

Cryptocurrency mining accounts for $1.05 billion dollars in AIB revenue since Q1’15, and amounts to 4.6 million AIBs. 

Ethereum and Bitcoin, are among the best known crypto currencies but many more have appeared in the market. Some have already come and gone. Bitcoin arrived in 2009 and set off the first wave of the crytocurrency bubble. In its early days Bitcoin mining was performed by enthusiasts using banks of graphics boards. As the field became more professional, custom FGPAs and ASICs were designed for the task, and the use of graphics boards for Bitcoin mining began to decline in 2011. Ethereum, introduced in July 2015 has once again boosted the sales of GPU AIBs. Ethereum has been optimized for a GPU on an AIB, and it does not appear to be receptive to a customized FPGA or ASIC as Bitcoin was. In all cases, AMD has been an early beneficiary in cryptocurrency mining and Nvidia has quickly joined in. 

 Some of the other currencies (and it seems more are being added every week) are: Expanse, KarvowanerMinerGate, Monero, and Sumokoin, to name a few.  There are more here. 

However, it was difficult to ascertain just how many AIBs were going to cryptocurrency mining and therefore not to gaming and other applications—till now. 


The overall attach rate of midrange and high-end AIBs has been going up due to gamers refreshing their AIBs more often than they refresh their PCs. That is due to an increase in great new performance demanding games, and the influence of eSports. However, in addition to that rise in attach rate there has been a demand for AIBs from Cryptocurrency miners. We think that demand will taper off in Q4’17 and decline to very low percentage during 2018, subject to the ROI based on the value of Ethereum and Bitcoins (see charts below). 

The following chart shows what we think has happened to AIB shipments. 

Figure 1: Crypto-mining’s share of AIB sales

Table of Contents

All about cryptocurrency mining’s use of, and effect on the AIB market .5
Cryptocurrency mining use of AIBs .5
Raw power .5
How many AIBs used in mining? .10
Methodology .10
Consequences of crypto mining .11
Is it all worth it? .11
And now this .12
Epilog .13
The future of GPUs in crypto mining .13
Looking forward .16
What do we think? .17
How many AIBs have been bought for mining? .19
Get ready for a shock—AIB shipments down .23
Macro dynamics .25
Selling shovels .30

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