Why it matters: Crypto is no longer part of Nvidia's world domination plans. This could mean great news for the PC Master Race, as stocks refresh and we are left with an abundance of 10-series cards, and the upcoming, unconstrained release of Nvidia's next GPU architecture.
Nvidia held an earnings call last night. As you can imagine, its leadership and investors had a lot to be happy about. However, amid the rave revenues of $1.8 billion in Gaming alone, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang admitted that crypto revenue, last quarter, was overestimated to the tune of $100 million when it ended up generating just $18 million in revenues. A red flag, by any other name.
This was was actually a miscalculation on Nvidia's side, which left it holding onto a number of 10-series GPUs that it had hoped to sell to crypto miners ($86 million's worth, apparently). It has since been discretely re-injecting these into the channel through partners and OEMs at discounted prices or with added trimmings, as was the case of the SSD giveaway with the GTX 1060 and GTX 1050 models, in hopes of emptying warehouses before we get to the holiday season, by which time the midrange versions of Nvidia's upcoming consumer graphics cards will hit the market.
The unsuccessful crypto run did prompt a decisive reaction from Jen-Hsun Huang, stating Nvidia "expect a negligible contribution going forward", effectively writing off any further pursuits by the company in the cryptomining arena. A kind of statement that just a few months ago would've made many CEO cringe, for fear of investor backlash, but now appears like common sense and wholly justified.
Unfortunately, while GPU makers raked in the profits, to most us, cryptomining was a curse which made us painfully aware of a massive supply constraint and major price hikes on both sides of the GPU aisle.
Still, there is hope. With Nvidia effectively giving up on cryptomining it can focus on its eSports strategy to its fullest. In fact, eSports seemed to be the stand-in replacement subject for crypto at Nvidia. During the call the company took the time to state that eSports is going strong, with a current following of around 400 million viewers, representing an 18% growth year-on-year. To put these numbers in context, if you rated the catch-all "eSports" moniker as a single sport, that is nearing the popularity of Baseball, on a global scale.
That is also the kind of thing you only mention in an earnings call if you're going to do something about it.
So, goodbye GPU crypto shortage, you will not be missed. We'll be here to welcome the shiny, power drink-driven eSports future.