Cryptocurrencies are not “useful for society” claims Nvidia

Cryptocurrencies are not

Nvidia’s CTO claims that cryptocurrencies do not  “bring anything useful for society”

In an interview with The Guardian, Nvidia’s Chief Technology Officer, Michael Kagan, has stated that cryptocurrencies do not “bring anything useful for society”, despite the fact that crypto had lead Nvidia to record profits in recent years. 

During the interview, Kegan simply stated that the computational power that goes into cryptocurrency mining operations is better spent on AI and other tasks, citing the AI chatbot Chat GPT as an example. Now that demand for Nvidia’s hardware from cryptocurrency miners has vanished, Nvidia’s CTO can safely thrown mining under the bus as a poor use of computational power. 

    All this crypto stuff, it needed parallel processing, and [Nvidia] is the best, so people just programmed it to use for this purpose. They bought a lot of stuff, and then eventually it collapsed, because it doesn’t bring anything useful for society. AI does,

In 2021 and most of 2022, GPU demand related to cryptocurrency mining had a huge impact on the availability and pricing of graphics cards, which were commonly used to mine cryptocurrencies. While Nvidia did attempt to lower demand from cryptocurrency miners by releasing RTX 30 series GPUs with “Lite Hash Rate” firmware, it is also worth noting that Nvidia had also released their CMP HX series of dedicated mining GPUs at the same time to continue profiting from cryptocurrency mining operations. Later, cryptocurrency miners circumvented Nvidia’s Lite Hash Rate technology (first partially and later fully) to unlock the full mining performance of Nvidia’s gaming GPUs once again.

AI is the new hotness for Nvidia, Crypto is a thing of the past

It is clear that AI is the new cash cow for Nvidia. There’s a reason why most of Nvidia’s GTC 2023 keynote was about the potential of AI and its current applications. Right now, cryptocurrency miners do not buy a larger number of graphics cards from Nvidia, but AI customers can utilise thousands of GPUs. 

The first version of ChatGPT was trained using a supercomputer that contained 10,000 Nvidia GPUs. Nvidia knows that AI is where the money is, and while Nvidia has been targeting this market for many years, it is clear that now is the time for Nvidia to push its AI marketing harder than it ever has before. Nvidia wants to be known as the AI hardware company, not as a simple GPU company. 

Cryptocurrencies are not

(Nvidia’s GPUs are hugely popular amongst cryptocurrency miners)

The cryptocurrency boom and crash had had a huge impact on the GPU market, inflating the prices of graphics cards to obscene levels while leaving many PC gaming enthusiasts unable to upgrade their gaming systems for years. Even now, GPU prices can be considered inflated when compared to their historic norms, with high-end GPU pricing rising with every GPU generation with value for money improving at a snails pace in the lower-end of the PC market.

While I am glad to see Nvidia stating that cryptocurrencies did not “bring anything useful for society”, it is sad to see the price of gaming hardware remain as high as it is. Let’s hope that “value” returns to the PC gaming market soon, as it looks like crypto is not set to ruin the PC gaming market again, at least anytime soon, and many PC gamers are fed up with high hardware prices.

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