Nvidia CTO blasts crypto for lack of usefulness
Nvidia — Nvidia is among the giants of tech today that has established its name in the gaming world.
However, the company has also been recognized for contributing to the advancement of the crypto world, particularly crypto mining.
One would think that its association with digital coins and assets would have a healthy relationship, but the company seems to hold some resentment towards crypto.
Nvidia’s chief technology officer (CTO) recently slammed the crypto space for its lack of real contribution to society.
In the past few years, computer hardware manufacturer Nvidia raked in some generous revenue thanks to the cryptocurrency mining industry.
People were shocked, however, when the company’s CTO Michael Kagan blasted crypto.
According to The Guardian, Kagan said that crypto in general doesn’t bring anything useful for society.
His goal instead is for Nvidia products to instead be utilized in the development of artificial intelligence, not crypto mining.
“All this crypto stuff, it needed parallel processing, and [Nvidia] is the best so people just programmed it to use for this purpose,” said Kagan.
“They bought a lot of stuff, and then eventually it collapsed, because it doesn’t bring anything useful for society. AI does.”
Resurgence & merit
Kagan argued that the crypto industry collapsed, and it’s hard to blame him.
For most of 2022, cryptocurrency prices had hit new lows that made many believe crypto was finished.
But in recent months, several cryptocurrencies witnessed a revival.
Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the most prominent cryptocurrencies by market cap, finally bounced back.
In the past month, Bitcoin went up by 17%, while Ethereum was also 7% higher.
Furthermore, the emerging Web3 gaming industry has gone in a better direction.
Regardless, Michael Kagan still doesn’t believe crypto has merit.
“I never believe that [crypto] is something that will do something good for humanity,” he explained.
“You know, people do crazy things, but they buy your stuff, you sell them stuff. But you don’t redirect the company to support whatever it is.”
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Nvidia shares a strange relationship with the crypto world.
Before Ethereum decided to switch to a more energy-efficient proof-of-stake model in September 2022, the masses sought graphic cards for their crypto endeavors.
At the time, there was a high demand for powerful graphic cards Ethereum miners needed to mine token rewards from the initial proof-of-work model.
However, a problem arose when the pandemic came and led to a supply chain shortage, which also affected chip supply.
As a result, the cost of GPUs soared, making it nearly impossible for gamers to get their hands on the latest generation of graphic cards.
Crypto miners kept cutting in and getting the cards ahead of Nvidia’s target market: gamers.
Instead, the company attempted to force hashrate limitations on its products, which led to hackers finding a workaround.
In 2022, hackers breached Nvidia’s data and claimed they had a customized driver capable of unlocking the company’s graphics card limitations blocking out the ability to mine cryptocurrencies.
The group claimed its customized driver could remove the hash rate limiter on Nvidia’s RTX 3000 GPUs.
“If someone buys us the LHR, we will provide ways to fuck LHR without flashing anything,” the hackers wrote.
“Without flashing = big money for any miner developer.”
In addition, hackers offered to provide documentation and a buildable source code.
Nvidia later released special products exclusively designed for crypto miners.
They introduced the Nvidia Cmp Hx to sway crypto enthusiasts from hogging the chips away from gamers.
The chip is designed for professional mining operations.
Profit & SEC involvement
While Kagan isn’t crypto’s biggest fan, it’s hard to deny that it has been an integral contributor to Nvidia’s profit for years.
In 2017, the company’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) revenue had a massive boost of 200%.
“Our PC OEM revenue increased by approximately 200% due primarily to strong demand for GPU products targeted for us in cryptocurrency mining,” the company wrote at the time.
In 2022, the SEC fined the company for failing to disclose the impact of crypto mining on the gaming branch.
The agency later released a statement saying:
“Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Nvidia agreed to a cease-and-desist order and to pay a $5.5 million penalty.
Image source: BBC