Nvidia just had an earnings call this month, and the company had posted better than expected results, due to which the stock prices shot up above $240. Goldman Sachs had predicted a successful quarter for Nvidia last month. GPU mining has been the driving force for Nvidia lately because of the popularity of their cards among miners.
Last year, when the cryptocurrency market exploded, it became extremely lucrative to set up GPU-Based mining for currencies like Ethereum and ZCash. With the increase in price for Ethereum and it’s general difficulty, the ROI is usually less than six months. There’s so much demand for GPUs that there’s usually a hefty premium when being sold by retailers.
Though GPUs have been selling like hot cakes, Nvidia has not been happy with their consumer products being used by miners. Their gaming customers have not been able to get their hands on GPUs either due to the premium pricing or due to the general unavailability for months. Nvidia’s spokesperson Boris Böhles previously stated that gamers will always be their priority and not miners.
Nvidia had previously asked their retailers to control the sales and look for ways to bring down the price of cards in the market. But no such thing has happened yet since retailers are not going to turn down extra income.
Nvidia's Founder and CEO Jensen Huang spoke to Barron’s right after the earnings call, and when asked about cryptocurrencies, he said it was a real part of their business last quarter, but a very small part. He stressed the rise of Nvidia's powerful chips in Data centers, A.I. and Self-Driving Cars to be the real factor behind their growth.
When questioned further on if he was satisfied with the demand for Nvidia cards due to miners, he answered: “Crypto is a real thing - it’s not going away”. When pushed further, he replied that it's not relevant since its all just demand for GPUs. The company is more focused on attracting A.I. and A.R. applications for their GPUs since they showcase the real possibility of their cards.
When asked about his views on cryptocurrencies, he said:
"This year, the world is starting to come to terms with the existence of crypto. It’s based on blockchain, and it's very secure and very low overhead. I think there’s clearly real utility. It’s a real phenomenon, and so everyone is coming to terms with it. I’m not against the concept of virtual currency — it’s as real as virtual goods, and video games. And as you know, tens of millions of virtual goods are created and shared and sold in virtual reality, and people invest thousands of hours to create space ships in space that they battle against each other. So, the concept of virtual goods and virtual worlds and virtual currency all ties together."
From the interview, it’s not clear if the company is going to do anything about the demand for their GPUs in the market. Average gaming consumers are not happy since the cards are never in stock, and when they are, there’s a significant premium on it. Miners are always looking for latest cards to make profits. Last year, Ethereum Miners leased Boeing 747s to ship Nvidia & AMD cards so that they could be plugged into their network as quickly as possible.
Featured image from Flickr/NVIDIA Corporation.