The fever of crypto mining is cooling down, as graphics card makers recently pointed out that the mining profits are declining following the slump of cryptocurrencies, and the big three GPU manufacturers including TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), Bitmain and NVIDIA are shifting their business layout. Graphics cards for mining which used to be quickly snapped up are the first to be affected. Next comes ASIC mining machines, its overwhelming orders will come back to normal quarter by quarter. The performance of GPU mining suppliers in the second half year will be significantly lower than that of the corresponding period of last year.
Bitcoin soared all the way from the beginning of 2017 and climbed a high of 20,000 dollars in early December, continually fueling the global mining boom. Both ASIC and GPU miners are in short supply with swarming orders, which spurred global suppliers related rushing in. Among them, the GPU suppliers such as NVIDIA and AMD not only write them a record high for the shipment of graphics cards and profitability, but also ignite the speculative market ambitions.
However, the recent sluggish crypto market, abnormal transactions and frequent scams in multinational markets, and news that China is blocking all cryptocurrency trading platforms and containing crypto mining by limiting power supply, which directly resulted in stock price plummet of Taiwan-based GPU manufacturers.
Taiwan-based graphics card manufacturers said,
GPU seems to be in very short supply and suppliers’ output can hardly match up with flocking orders, whereas these days mining fever begins to cool down. Along with the sluggish crypto market, crypto mining is not as profitable as it was earlier (according to a veteran miner, his mining profit was around $10/card/day four months ago, since then it has gone down to $2/card/day) and mining demand is gradually going down.
GPU-powered mining rigs are the first to be affected. Though Zhang Zhongmou, chairman of TSMC, previously stated that cryptocurrency would be the key drive for their performance in 2018, and help increase the revenue of the first half year by 10% to 15%, the fact is that most of TSMC’s revenue growth comes from Bitmain’s ASIC orders and orders for its coming Ethereum ASIC miners. The latter may have a crowding-out effect on orders of GPU miners. The drop in GPU price is already foreseeable.
Apart from that, NVIDIA, which dominates GPU market, has recently imposed a number of reminders to its partners such as DO NOT openly publicizing the mining profit, or actively selling general graphics card to crypto miners. On the other hand, NVIDIA and AMD continue to postpone the launch of their new mining-related products and extend the durability of old products. This shows that both companies are fairly aware of the fact that, they should seize the chance to make profit from this mining boom, while mining-related graphics cards are a sudden boom and will be less profitable in the future.
Though ASIC mining machines pose an overwhelming threat to GPU miners, and ASIC mining machine suppliers led by TSMC are optimistic about the market outlook, however, its client Bitmain is shifting its focus on AI to spread business risks, and Zhang also stressed,
Virtual currency prices are very unstable. TSMC will not particularly invest in new production capacity for it. The demand and endurance of ASIC mining machines remains to be seen.
Written by Lylian