Congress could stop Grinch bots snatching RTX 4000 GPUs next Christmas

Congress is trying to pass a "Stopping Grinch Bots Act" that could curb graphic card automated buying and reselling practices

2021 is coming to a close, and it looks like graphics card shortages could persist into the new year. While TSMC Alliance is seemingly trying to resolve manufacturing issues, resellers and stock snatching algorithms also contribute to the situation. Thankfully, these shifty practices haven’t gone unnoticed, and Congress is trying to implement a bill to stop “Grinch bots” in their tracks, which could help sustain future Nvidia RTX 4000 series stock.

According to a recent press release, the “Stopping Grinch Bots Act” aims to tackle “online algorithms that hoard high-demand toys and goods”. While the bill doesn’t explicitly mention gaming PC components, it will apply to all internet storefronts, including graphics card and CPU retailers.

It’s worth noting that despite the support of three non-profit consumer advocacy groups, the Stopping Grinch Bots Act failed in 2018 and 2019 to move forward in Congress. The finer details of the preventative act also still need to be fleshed out, but it will outlaw the use of automated bots and storefront scraping algorithms under the Federal Trade Commission Act if passed.

Reseller practices are only one piece of the GPU shortage puzzle, so even if the new bill is approved, component stocks could remain scarce. In addition, both Intel and Nvidia say supply and demand issues could continue until 2023, which suggests manufacturing is more of an issue than fair retail distribution.

That said, 2022 could be abundant with graphics card options, as rumours claim Nvidia’s RTX 3000 GPU refresh will arrive in January, followed by a new RTX 4000 Lovelace lineup soon after. Intel’s Arc Alchemist desktop graphics solution could also show up next year, but whether or not any of the new products will be readily available remains to be seen.