Graphics cards, the new contraband: a fisherman is caught with 300 cards that he sold in his fishing boat | Technology

They’re almost impossible to find in legal shops, cost a lot of money, and are in high demand – graphics cards are the smugglers’ new object of desire.

At we have spent a few weeks dedicating news and reports to a very serious problem: the shortage of powerful graphics cards, which prevents users from renewing their PC because the little stock that exists is overwhelmed cryptocurrency miners and speculators.

As has happened for thousands of years, when a product is scarce and in high demand … it appears the contraband.

According to Chinese television TVB News, a few days ago the Hong Kong police arrested a fisherman carrying 300 smuggled NVIDIA graphics cards in his fishing boat, destined for the black market.

As you can see in the photo the cards have no video output, which indicates that these are the new CMP cards from NVIDIA, intended for the cryptocurrency market.

You also don’t have the brand’s stamps or labels, so they could have come straight from the factories.

Various problems, including the pandemic, have caused a low stock of powerful graphics cards. This has coincided with the rise of cryptocurrencies, so miners buy all the ones that go on sale using bots and other techniques, and paying up to three times their value. You have more information on this card:

The hardware world is going through a time of great uncertainty, for reasons beyond its own market. Without stock of consoles or gaming graphics cards, gamers cannot make the leap to the next generation.

To try to fix the problem, NVIDIA has released some graphics cards that only serve to mine cryptocurrencies, cheaper and just as powerful as gaming cards for this task, with the goal of miners freeing up the PC graphics card market.

Although they were released a few weeks ago, the cards NVIDIA CMP They have also disappeared from stores in seconds, so it is not surprising that smuggling mafias have seen sure business in this new product.

According to the Chinese authorities, The 300 smuggled graphics cards seized from this Chinese fisherman have a market value of 250,000 euros.

At the moment it is impossible to buy state-of-the-art gaming graphics cards anywhere in the world. The few that exist are monopolized by miners or speculators who sell them at triple their price. Right now, as I write this news, the NVIDIA RTX 3060 card, which is officially priced at 329 euros, is sold on Amazon, by third-party stores, with prices between 3,100 and 5,300 euros for the Ti version:

The manufacturers themselves have recognized that the problem has a difficult solution, and it will take months to return to normal prices.