AMD Claims ‘Negligible’ Crypto Impact on Revenue Increase

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In Brief
  • Computer processor producer AMD claims cryptocurrencies’ impact on its bottom line has been “negligible.”

  • AMD’s Q1 revenue is $3.45 billion, a 93% increase year-on-year.

  • Despite the claim, AMD is actually unaware how much revenue comes from cryptocurrency mining.

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Computer processor producer AMD claims cryptocurrencies’ impact on its bottom line has been “negligible.”

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The company reported that it had earned a revenue of $3.45 billion in the first quarter of 2021. This is a 93% increase of its first quarter revenue last year. The astronomical rise should come as no surprise in light of the increasing demand for hardware.

Inevitably, someone asked how much of that revenue came from cryptocurrency mining operations. Despite the confidence in her company’s results up to this point, CEO Lisa Su seemed to struggle answering the question. Su hesitated with her response, saying, “we do not — we have negligible crypto in here.”  

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Bad timing for gamers

As it turns out, AMD is apparently unaware how much cryptocurrency mining has affected its earnings. The company does not seem to discriminate whom it sells its GPUs to, whether actually to gamers or cryptocurrency miners. This lack of a distinction likely gives them little idea of the proportionality of their sales.

The surge in cryptocurrencies, and the accompanying profits from mining, have come at an inopportune time for the gaming industry. Computer processor producers had already been struggling with supply shortages to meet the increasing demand for GPUs. The supply-chain strain caused by global coronavirus pandemic over the past year and a half has only compounded this.

Nvidia limits its new graphics cards for crypto mining

Competitor Nvidia has also made claims that cryptocurrency usage has not made their GPUs more scarce for gamers. Despite this, the company announced that it will be artificially limiting its new graphics cards for cryptocurrency mining specifically.

Nvidia designed their GPUs’ driver software to halve their hash rate when they detect an Ethereum (ETH) miner. They have obviously been designed to disincentivize miners from acquiring these limited computing components.

However, Nvidia also announced they are launching a new product lineup marketed directly to cryptocurrency miners. Intended for “professional mining,” the company dubbed the products Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMPs).

Nvidia will also enjoy an added benefit from this line of development. By distinguishing different product classes they will effectively be able to determine how much of their revenue comes from which segments of their customer base.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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