Blockchain/ Distributed Ledger

NVIDIA Limits crypto currency mining on GPUS

  • 1.  NVIDIA Limits crypto currency mining on GPUS

    Posted Feb 18, 2021 09:12:00 PM
    "GeForce Is Made for Gaming, CMP Is Made to Mine"
    GeForce Is Made for Gaming, CMP Is Made to Mine | The Official NVIDIA Blog

    TL;DR: If you want to cryptocurrency mine go buy the NVIDIA CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) Crypto Mining GPU for Professional Miners because the RTX series is meant to be for gamers. NVIDIA points out that the CMP will have lower power consumption, no display ports (so cooling and density are easier) and so on.

    What's really fascinating is some of the comments and feedback on HackerNews (Nvidia announces mining GPUs, cuts the hash rate of RTX-3060 in half | Hacker News), a few notable quotes:

    "The amount of electricity being burned through for what is essentially a skeuomorphism of gold mining, pretty much primarily for speculation now, is beyond belief."

    I fear this person is not wrong. Another interesting comment is:

    " Approximately 0.5% of the value of all financial assets is burned every year (and potentially an order of magnitude more, depending on what asset and packaging you're talking about)."

    There is some further discussion of these numbers but the reality is (as someone points out) that companies, banks, clearinghouses, lawyers, etc. in the finance industry don't work for free, as such some friction is expected. 

    Then there's the usual discussion about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies ("bad" would be an understatement for most PoW networks), the ethics, comparisons to the existing banking system ("apples to oranges") and the usual backlash (anytime a company does anything new some subset of users will be unhappy about it, especially it takes away perceived "freedom", although an argument can be made for first sale doctrine and getting to use the product how you want to without artificial limitations). 

    I guess the good news is that Ethereum is moving to Proof-of-Stake (any day now...), at which point some of these major problems (environmental impact, miners buying all the good video cards, etc.) will become drastically better.

    Kurt Seifried
    Chief Blockchain Officer and Director of Special Projects
    Cloud Security Alliance
    [email protected]