AMD CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, doesn’t believe there’s any real risk of second-hand graphics cards diluting the market when cryptocurrencies move towards a proof-of-stake model, and away from needing GPUs and ASICs to validate transactions.
It doesn’t matter if your graphics card is ‘da bomb’ if you don’t have the best gaming mouse…
AMD published their Q1 earnings for this year last night, citing a 40% year-on-year revenue growth, with the cash coming in from their computing and graphics segment boosted by 23% compared with Q4 last year.
But amidst an environment where the slowdown in cryptocurrency mining means Taiwanese graphics card manufacturers, such as Gigabyte and MSI, are seeing a 40% drop in graphics card sales to distributors and mining companies, of course AMD were going to be quizzed on that in their earnings call.
As well as new ASICs arriving this year which could potentially render GPU mining far less profitable, Ethereum’s devs have published their proposals for a shift towards an eventual proof-of-stack model for verifying transactions which would render both ASICs and GPUs unnecessary.
When asked if this potential move away from GPUs for commercial mining meant there were going to be a host of second-hand graphics cards flooding the market – as happened the last time there was a big crypto dip – Dr. Lisa Su remained defiant.
“I do think the blockchain infrastructure is here to stay,” says Su. “I think there are numerous currencies, there are numerous applications that are using the blockchain technology. We don’t see a significant risk of secondhand GPUs coming into the market.
“I think what you find is that, one, there are number of different currencies, and, two, a lot of these users that are buying GPUs these days are actually buying them for multiple use cases, both commercial and consumer. So they’re not necessarily buying just for mining.”
Despite believing that GPU mining is going to stick around, with new currencies likely to replace Ethereum and Monero if they pull back from being so hardware-intensive, AMD are still forecasting lower demand in the blockchain market.
“We do see a bit of volatility,” explains Su, “and that’s why we are putting into our forecast for the second quarter, and the second half, a little bit lower blockchain demand.”
But Dr. Lisa Su also reiterated her company’s stance on getting as many graphics cards into the hands of gamers as they can.
“Our first priority when we look at allocation of graphics cards is to gamers,” she explains. “And so that’s through OEMs, that’s through system integrators, that’s also working with key etailers to make sure that they are prioritising the gamers’ segment, and we’re going to continue to do that.”
The GPU goldrush may be starting to run dry then, but if Ethereum can make a speedy transition towards their hybrid and eventual proof-of-stake model, we might see the cryptocurrency movement grow up.