The conflicting link between crypto mining and Nvidia

The conflicting link between crypto mining and Nvidia

When OpenAI’s revolutionary big language chatbot ChatGPT first became popular, there was a joke going around that after only two weeks, it had more use cases that had been validated than blockchain and cryptocurrencies combined.

It’s challenging to disagree. Like mice, it’s stated that ChatGPT users—whether they’re journalists, programmers, or Nick Cave impersonators—are never more than six feet away from you.

On the other side, because they all follow the same 50 Twitter accounts, blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts frequently find themselves trapped in a self-reinforcing feedback cycle.

Sam Bankman-Fried or Do Kwon may sometimes appear in the press to remind people that cryptocurrencies are still important, but for the most part, it is still a mysterious market filled with enchanted online money beans.

But, if there is one use case for cryptocurrency that is readily apparent, it is the fact that certain businesses and people have made a tonne of money with it.

The conflicting link between crypto mining and Nvidia
The conflicting link between crypto mining and Nvidia

Consider the American technology giant Nvidia, whose high-end graphics processing units have become the standard for cryptocurrency mining operations that do not include bitcoin.

It is hard to determine exactly how much profit Nvidia made from GPU sales to cryptocurrency miners since the company never included mining as a separate line on its balance sheet, instead grouping it with gaming.

Yet, rest assured that it wasn’t a trifle; the big GPU shortage of 2021 was largely caused by a jump in demand for mining equipment during a rise in cryptocurrency values.

The cryptocurrency-hating, anti-crypto business

Despite this buying frenzy, Nvidia aimed to decrease the number of people using its GPUs for cryptocurrency mining by including “Lite Hash Rate” (LHR) technology, which limited the cards’ capacity for mining ether and other non-Bitcoin cryptos (Bitcoin requires a specific computer called an ASIC to mine).

Being the resourceful group that they are, miners rapidly discovered a solution that restored the GPUs’ full mining capacity.

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