Nvidia plans to ship out its RTX 3060 graphics cards with software restrictions on crypto mining. The RTX 3060 is the latest graphics card from Nvidia.
Constraints On Crypto Mining
Nvidia plans to place artificial constraints on crypto mining in its new graphics card. Consequently, crypto miners will have little reason to leverage the new cards. The company made the move in a bid to manage a months-long inability to meet the demand for its products. The RTX 3060 is a powerful graphics card that offers gamers an excellent gaming experience. However, when crypto miners try to use it to mine crypto, it will throttle the computing power to half.
According to Matt Wuebbling, the global head of GeForce marketing at Nvidia, their GeForce GPUs were designed for gamers, who were clamoring for more. However, Nvidia’s GPUs are programmable. Consequently, users were constantly finding new uses for them that included robotics, gene sequencing, weather simulation, deep learning, and crypto mining.
An Alternative GPU
However, Nvidia is not completely locking out crypto miners. The company is working on a separate line of products that will be marketed specifically at crypto miners. This line of GPUs will not have support for video output. Consequently, gamers will find no use for them. Doing so could help lower the cost of entry for crypto miners. Currently, the resale market of Nvidia GPUs has been quite hot. Unscrupulous individuals have been hoarding the GPUs and reselling at twice or thrice their value.
While the RTX 3080 GPUs initially shipped out for $699, scalpers on eBay have been selling them for as much as $2500 per GPU. Within just a few hours of their release, the GPUs had been sold out on all major online stores. Since then, Nvidia has been struggling to roll out enough GPUs for gamers globally. Even with the restrictions in place, the price of the Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU has already risen by 50% before its launch.
Electricity markets have also been experiencing problems due to crypto mining. For instance, Iran recently blamed crypto mining for rolling blackouts in the nation. Miners were attracted to Iran, especially since power is subsidized and extremely cheap. When a crypto miner can find cheap power, their profit margins become more attractive. However, the huge demand that crypto mining places on the grid means that it can sometimes suffer problems. In some cases, mining farms can consume the same amount of power as a small town.
Will Nvidia’s Plan Work?
Nvidia has a highly ambitious plan to deal with the supply issues around its GPUs. However, it is unlikely to work. Scalpers will just take advantage of the opportunity to hoard more mining equipment. Besides that, with the price of BTC now squarely resting above $50K, the demand for mining equipment will remain relatively high. The only solution would be to expand production capacity. However, since the prices in the crypto market are so volatile, making such a long-term decision might not be so easy to implement.
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