WTF?! Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on many businesses, but some have survived by pivoting to generate new sources of income. For one internet café in Vietnam, the answer was to switch to cryptocurrency mining.
As tweeted by @I_Leak_VN (via VideoCardz), Internet Café Computer Star has an impressive setup, including a number of RTX 3080 graphics cards—not surprising as it's owned by a computer store. The location features three floors of gaming fun, but it seems the pandemic has caused a drop in profits.
When COVID attacked my country again and this was the idea of big CafeNet's crazy minds— I_Leak_VN (@I_Leak_VN) February 15, 2021
Hint: There are 3080 graphics cards with very nice RGB (first image)@VideoCardz @death_1125 @TechDeals_16 @9550pro @harukaze5719 @hms1193 @kopite7kimi @3DCenter_org @JokerReview pic.twitter.com/vgh16hRNDF
In a Facebook post, the company says it is switching its business model from an internet café to a mining operation as “Profits are higher.” According to Google’s translation, the post mentions “Transforming business in the pandemic,” so the move appears to have been prompted by Covid-19.
With the price of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin reaching record levels, and many businesses—even those not subject to lockdown restrictions—suffering the economic impact of the pandemic, this looks like a shrewd move, especially as the PCs can constantly be mining.
The other advantage is the café’s supply of RTX 3080 cards. Ampere GPUs are especially efficient at mining, as shown by Ethereum miners purchasing laptops with Nvidia’s latest cards directly from the manufacturers.
The rising price of cryptos and a chip shortage have pushed the GPU market ever closer to the bad old days of late 2017/early 2018 when graphics cards were almost impossible to find, and those that were on the market cost a fortune. The next entry in the Ampere series, the RTX 3060, arrives next week with an MSRP of $329, but even the pre-orders are up to 75 percent higher than that price.