Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of graphics card maker Nvidia, recently stated that cryptocurrencies are a real thing, and that they are “not going to go away.” Huang’s words come a day after the company revealed its fourth-quarter results for 2017, which show it’s done extremely well, partly because of the cryptocurrency ecosystem growth.
Demand for the company’s GPUs came from cryptocurrency miners looking to cash in on the recent cryptocurrency ‘craze’ that saw most cryptocurrencies reach new all-time highs. During an earnings call, Nvidia revealed that demand from the cryptocurrency space beat expectations, but added the segment was a small one in its business.
Last year, Nvidia’s shares surged from little over $100 to about $215, partly thanks to cryptocurrency miners whose demand even created graphics card shortages, the share price has been strongly correlated with the price of Ethereum over the past year.
During the interview, the CEO touted bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain, stating there is “clearly real utility” for it. He added that to him cryptocurrencies are as real as any other virtual good or video game.
"It’s as real as virtual goods, and video games. And as you know, tens of millions of virtual goods are created and shared and sold in virtual reality, and people invest thousands of hours to create space ships in space that they battle against each other.”
At the end of the day, however, Huang noted that to Nvidia, graphics card sales to miners only represent demand for their product, and presumably not outright support for cryptocurrencies.
The company’s chief financial officer (CFO) Colette Kress also downplayed the importance crypto miners have for the company’s business, saying it was hard to quantify how much revenue they made the company.
Cryptocurrency miners are buying up graphics cards from companies like Nvidia and AMD leaving many online retailers consistently out of stock over 2017. As long as hashrates and mining profitability on all the top cryptocurrencies rise Nvidia and AMD will likely see high growth and revenue in 2018.