miners make way for gamers
you may have noticed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies languishing of late. one main reason behind their downfall is China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency mining. a cue that many other countries followed, some using a steamroller.
mining here refers to the use of computer graphics cards and similar hardware to process operations which keep the blockchain network running. a lot of it was being done using cheap i.e. coal-based electricity. and that’s terrible for the environment.
it is no doubt a big blow to the crypto community, but there is a community that is elated: gamers. well, makers of devices that power the stunning graphics of games today, to be more precise. graphics card makers such as Nvidia were desperate to stop their devices being hoarded by crypto miners. that, along with the global semiconductor chip shortage, meant that genuine users such as gamers and designers weren’t able to get their hands on one. the company had reached out to the mining community multiple times, but to no avail. now the market is flooded with devices at steep discounts from ex-miners. this could create a whole new market for casual gamers.
the industry has mushroomed to a $300 billion valuation under the cloak of the pandemic. many bored people, mostly stuck indoors, turned to games for entertainment. this, alongside the mining ban, resulted in Nvidia clocking record earnings in the first quarter of this year.
now, big tech companies are rushing in and they mean business. Netflix, Facebook and Amazon are just three of the biggest names among the countless ones making a play for gaming. so there’s plenty more to come.
Nvidia’s current ~$370 billion and AMD’s ~$100 billion fortunes have largely been built on the shoulders of gamers. it’s nice to see them remain faithful. that doesn’t mean the former isn’t creating chips specifically for crypto miners. gaming appears to be a bigger priority as it pushes into the mobile market.