Nvidia chief financial officer Colette Kress credited cryptocurrency mining as one of the new drivers for the company’s graphics chip sales.
Nvidia also saw revenues rise from demand related to gaming, artificial intelligence, the Nintendo Switch game console, and self-driving cars. But cryptocurrency is the sexy driver of the moment, as the popularity of Ethereum and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies has created a spike in demand.
Regarding cryptocurrency, Kress said, “We served a large portion of this specialized market with a dedicated board” for mining cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a way of exchanging currency. It uses cryptography to secure the transactions and control issuance of more currency. By mining for currency, prospectors and investors hope to generate more of it for themselves. It’s kind of like a modern version of the Gold Rush, as the value of cryptocurrency swings wildly.
Kress said that Nvidia continues to “fire on all cylinders,” but it will stay alert to the cryptocurrency trend, and noted that graphics processing units (GPUs) are ideal for mining the currency.
Rival Advanced Micro Devices also cited the possibility of demand for graphics cards from cryptocurrency miners as a demand driver.
In response to a question on Nvidia’s earnings call, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said, “Cryptocurrency and blockchain are here to stay. Over time, it will become quite large. It is very clear that new currencies will come to market. It’s clear the GPU is fantastic at cryptography. The GPU is really quite well positioned. This is a market that is not likely to go away soon. Our strategy is to stay close to the market and offer miners a coin-mining SKU, optimized for mining.”