Aside from directly getting involved with cryptocurrencies, one venture that you can do to get a piece of the crypto action is by mining. However, it is important to note that there are several factors at play in order to become a successful miner.
In fact, you will need to spend on equipment and pay for electricity bills. In fact, the requirements for cryptocurrency mining are ever changing. Miners need to update their gear in order to adapt to the changing world of cryptocurrency. It has created a ripple effect on the price of mainstream graphics cards that are selling more than their suggested retail price. In fact, GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA are being used for mining. The likes of Radeon RX Vega 64 and GeForce GTX 1070 are some examples of graphics cards that are alternately used for crypto mining.
NVIDIA Has No Interest in Mining
Though there is a demand for NVIDIA graphics card products, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang seems to distance himself from the crypto market. He stated that “We’re not involved in Bitcoin at all. Bitcoin (mining) is done largely by ASICs today”. Though GPUs can adapt to different functions and high level of computing required in crypto mining, ASICs are considered more efficient for this particular task.
According to the numbers, 6% of the GPU sales came from cryptocurrencies. And despite the troubling price of Bitcoin and other altcoins since the start of 2018, the demand for GPUs is expected to increase in the coming months.
Ethereum Using NVIDIA GPU
According to Huang, “what uses our GPU is Ethereum”. Ethereum has been designed to ensure that there is no singular entity that has power over its network. And for this reason, GPUs can get the job done in a distributed system. He added that “The reason why the GPU is so popular with Ethereum is because the GPU is the single largest distributed supercomputer in the world”.
Intel’s Attempt to Create Specialized Bitcoin Mining Hardware
Intel is another company that has been looking closely at the possibility of helping Bitcoin miners. The company filed a patent last September 23, 2016, that is described as a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator. With this technology, the chip will allow low-power general purpose processing core with hardware accelerator that is designed for digital currency.
This would ultimately mean that Bitcoin mining will become less energy extensive and also more profitable in theory.
The current landscape on Bitcoin mining is quite different. It is dominated mainly by Bitmain Technologies Ltd., which is a private company that is based in Beijing. Bitmain manufactures ASIC chips along with the mining hardware that is used for those chips. If you will look at the numbers in 2017, the company generated somewhere from $3 to $4 billion in profits.
It is possible that Intel could pose as a serious competitor to Bitmain. According to the patent filing, Intel was able to reduce “the space utilized and power consumed by Bitcoin mining hardware”. If all goes well, this could mean that small-time miners could still have a chance towards mining.