AMD CEO Recognizes Blockchain Is Important, But “A Bit Of A Distraction”

  • AMD's president and CEO revealed she sees blockchain as important technology, but "a bit of a distraction."
  • Cryptocurrency mining-relatd sales made up 10% of the company's revenues the first quarter of this year.

AMD’s president and chief executive officer, Lisa Su, recently revealed that she sees blockchain technology as important, but added that it’s a “big of a distraction in the short term.” To the CEO, blockchain technology is seemingly part of the future, but the company needs to focus on other things.

During an interview at CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Su addressed concerns brought forth by trading firm Susquehanna, which as covered revealed cryptocurrency hardware manufacturing giant Bitmain developed an Ethereum ASIC miner, a move that could hurt AMD’s revenues.

According to Su, cryptocurrency mining products represented about 10 percent of the company’s revenue the first quarter of this year. To her, while it’s nice cryptocurrencies are a growth factor for the company, they are “not a dominant growth factor.”

Su added that some believe bitcoin’s price influences AMD’s sales, but it doesn’t. While cryptocurrency mining drove up the price of GPUs, it isn’t a core focus right now. As for blockchain technology, she said:

"It's a very important technology. The idea you can do all these peer-to-peer transactions and a decentralized market, but it's a bit of a distraction at this point. We want to focus on the core markets."

Lisa Su

She added that there are numerous cryptocurrencies, and that users buying GPUs for cryptocurrency mining are “actually buying them for multiple use cases.” Per Su, they aren’t just being bought to mine a specific cryptocurrency, as “people who are mining do go from one currency to another depending on what’s happening.”

The company believes cryptocurrency mining will make up less than 10 percent of its revenues this year.  While it admits there are different factors affecting its estimates, AMD feels it has a “good idea of what people are using our products for.”

It’s worth noting AMD topped earnings estimates this quarter, as it reported 11 cents earnings per share. Cryptocurrency mining demand helped its revenues surge 10 percent, according to the company’s chief financial officer Devinder Kumar, who revealed AMD made $1.65 billion this quarter, a 40 percent year-over-year increase.

Su has in the past revealed AMD was very interested in participating in blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency mining market. As covered, Bitmain did launch an Ethereum ASIC miner, which saw the cryptocurrency’s supporters consider a hard fork, although Vitalik Buterin advised against it.