Email of the day on companies benefitting from cryptocurrency mining:
Comment of the Day

June 20 2017

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day on companies benefitting from cryptocurrency mining:

Re. your companies associated with Crypto mining - would Softbank come into this after purchasing ARM last year - or were their chip designs of a different application?

Eoin Treacy's view

Thank you for this question. I’ve done quite a bit of digging and I can’t find ARM listed as a manufacturer of chips that can be used to mine cryptocurrencies.  

While the number of cryptocurrencies is proliferating it is important to highlight that not all use the same kind of technology. For example bitcoin mining is largely confined to ASIC machines manufactured in China and sold on Amazon for example. This article contains quite a bit of detail of which are the best machines. 

On the other hand it is possible to use graphics cards to mine Ethereum which is bitcoin’s big competitor. Here is a section from Barron’s highlighting the difference: 

Mining Ethereum, by contrast, can be profitable with NVidia and AMD chips, he writes:
What is the key financial point? With Ethereum trading at ~$260 today using lower end GPUs from NVidia/AMD is largely profitable. This means the demand is likely to sustain (assuming the price of Ethereum does not collapse) given that the return on investment of a mining rig is around ~3 months. Net/ net: GPUs are used to mine Ethereum (ASICs are used to mine Bitcoin) and if the prices remain high for Ethereum then financial incentives will continue to push individuals into more mining.

Steves also responds to some questions by readers of yesterday’s piece about “overclocking” parts. Overclocking plays into price considerations between the two parts, he writes:

Choosing between NVidia and AMD GPUs today is heavily dependent on price. Not just the price of Ethereum but the price of acquiring the GPU as well. If the price of mid-end GPUs such as the NVidia GTX 1070 declines, miners can "overclock" the GPU to create more hashes. This is why there is a constant back and forth between AMD vs. NVDA GPUs being the "best" for small-scale mining rigs (4-6 GPUs).


Back to top

You need to be logged in to comment.

New members registration