With the rising trend of cryptocurrency, more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon and creating innovative startup ideas. From Cryptokitties to new web browser platforms, it’s all fun and creative until people start abusing the system. Everyone who joins the trend wants to have a chance at becoming a millionaire from investing in cryptocurrency and they want it now. Unfortunately, sometimes this determination negatively affects people in other communities as miners turn to utilizing software and hardware in large quantities.

The longer a user stayed on a page with the ad running, the more time the mining program had to run which made YouTube the perfect platform as users would usually stay for 10 minutes for a video.

YouTube has always had advertisements on the side as a way of generating revenue from their users and that has never been a problem. Most internet users are pretty accustomed to seeing ads in various platforms and don’t bat an eye. However, in late January, a specific YouTube ad did catch users’ eyes. People started getting an anti-virus alert about a cryptocurrency mining program running while they were watching videos on YouTube. With some digging, people found out that there was an ad running JavaScript code to mine cryptocurrency known as Monero and would use up to 80% of a user’s CPU. Not only was this program taking advantage of other people’s resources for free, it was hindering their hardware’s capabilities. People have filed complaints to YouTube and the company has stated that cryptocurrency mining ads violates their policies and thus will be immediately taken down when found.

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Low end graphics cards are not suitable for cryptocurrency so they’re all that’s left on the shelves.

However, software is not the only thing that cryptocurrency mining has affected. If you go to any electronic store and check out their graphics card shelves, you’ll probably notice a surprising lack of stock except for one or two boxes. That’s because the best way to mine cryptocurrencies is with high end graphics cards, which can mine a couple of dollars a day, and so miners have taken all of the best graphics cards off the shelves. But, miners aren’t the only ones needing graphics cards. Other people in the tech community such as gamers have a need for such hardware and with low supply and high demand, the remaining high-end graphics cards such as the GeForce GTX 1080 are at ridiculously high prices. Sure, companies could manufacture more graphics cards and lower the prices to a more reasonable range but with the uncertainty of the cryptocurrency market, it’s too dangerous to do so.  At any moment, the cryptocurrency market could fall or the trend could fall away and suddenly miners have a surplus of graphics cards that they don’t need and sell that away. Thus, the supply of graphics cards rises up and again the demand is no longer as high and companies are left with a huge leftover stock of graphics cards that they can’t make a profit off of.

Photo by Rafael Pol on Unsplash
Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

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