Major eTailer Tells Affiliates To Stop Promoting Graphics Cards Because It Can't Keep Up With Bitcoin Demand

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The side effects of the recent price gouging on GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA is now filtering down to sites that use affiliate links to generate additional revenue. One retailer in particular, Newegg, is cutting off the Video Card category for affiliate linking. Newegg attributes this change in policy to the fact that "Bitcoin has gone mainstream."

"The limited nature of these cards have caused a shortage in which supply can never meet demand and thus many users are actively buying these cards as soon as they go in stock," writes Newegg. "So, this means effective in 7 days from now all VGA cards will be marked non-commissionable for the foreseeable future on all Business Units.”

Under this new policy, Newegg will "slow active promotion" of all graphics cards, probably in an effort to starve traffic to its VGA category. Enthusiast sites like HotHardware are definitely gamer-centric, and Newegg can't handle anymore demand. The entire category will be marked as non-commissionable for affiliates "for the foreseeable future." This also means that regular consumers that take advantage of cashback sites like eBates for Newegg purchases will also be affected by the VGA category blackout. So, "No Cashback For You!"

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"We apologize for the inconvenience this causes and are hopeful we can resume normal business on VGA cards in the near future," the company adds in closing. Given the current hype and money being funneled into the cryptocurrency market, and the inability of companies like AMD and NVIDIA to meet the crushing demand, there's no telling when Newegg will restore its affiliates program.

NVIDIA and AMD can't magically flip a switch and double or triple output, and even if they could, who knows if the cryptocurrency rush could crash, leaving the companies with an overabundance of legacy chips. In NVIDIA's case, consumer-centric Volta GPUs are right around the corner.

The cryptocurrency mining craze is having serious implications for those of us in the gaming community. Current and previous generation graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD have proven popular with miners as the prices of cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed over the past few months. For example, Ethereum -- a frequent target for GPU miners -- has soared from just over $300 in late October to its current price of just under $1,100.

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Miners are so enamored with these GPUs and gobbling them up so quickly that the GeForce GTX 1080, which typically retails for around $500, now commands prices of nearly $1,000. Want an even faster GeForce GTX 1080 Ti -- that will set you back $1,250 at Newegg.

Even "lowly" cards like the GeForce GTX 1060 aren't immune to these price jumps. The MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 6GB could be had for as little as $229.99 in February 2017 via Amazon, but was priced as high as $648.88 just last week. The card is currently selling for $590 via third-party sellers on Amazon.

Newegg and other retailers in recent weeks have resorted to bundling in motherboards and monitors with graphics cards to help mask the price increases.