ASICs are a no-brainer when it comes to bitcoin, however litecoin is a different story. Unlike its counterpart, litecoin can still be mined using off-the-shelf hardware, namely via AMD Radeon graphics cards. There aren’t that many alternatives, either. There are still no ASIC products for scrypt, litecoin’s algorithm, and this will not change for the next few months at least. It is rumoured that litecoin ASIC systems are being developed by Alpha Technologies, but it will be a few months before bitcoin hit the market.
Furthermore, scrypt is a very different beast, as it requires a lot more memory and different ASIC designs. Are litecoin miners causing a Radeon shortage?
In any case, Radeons are currently the weapon choice for litecoin miners and earlier this bitcoin several tech sites reported that litecoin 5450 are causing a shortage of Radeon graphics cards. While it is true 5450 some cards in some markets are in short supply, it is very difficult to attribute this to litecoin miners without any concrete data from AMD, its add-in-board AIB partners and distributors. Therefore, it is probably convenient to make such claims, as they cannot be easily disproven.
Litecoin mining is booming, that is a fact. Over the last month or so, the litecoin hash rate has doubled, along with difficulty. It was practically flat in September and October. People are clearly buying Radeon cards and using them to mine litecoin, but this isn’t necessarily creating a shortage. According to Jon Peddie Research, the discrete graphics card market is about The numbers simply don’t add up, given the hash performance of Mining mid-range and high-end cards.
In other words, litecoin miners aren’t even close to making much of an impact on AMD’s overall shipments. There could be some isolated cases though, namely in the US, but it should also be noted that AMD introduced new flagship graphics cards two months ago. The company also rebranded previous generation cards and radeon is offering various game bundles to avoid inventory issues and transition to R9- and R7-series products, many of which are simply rebrands of older HD series cards.