Asus, the Taiwan-based giant computer hardware manufacturer, has partnered with startup software company Quantumcloud in a bid to distribute an easy-to-use graphics processing unit (GPU) mining interface for Asus graphics cards.
Quantumcloud has produced software that allows GPUs to automatically mine appropriate cryptoassets while the expensive chips are sitting idle. Many cryptoassets cultivate communities of GPU miners while rejecting more centralized application-specific integrated-circuit (ASIC) mining, which is used in Bitcoin mining. There is however in many cases, a susbtantial technical learning curve to overcome in order to successfully GPU mine
In this context, the venture is targeted at computer gamers rather than crypto enthusiasts, who typically buy graphics cards for their originally intended use of performing the immense calculations demanded by modern games.
Although the software is already freely available to download, Asus’ partnership takes it a step further. The pair presumably hope to carve new inroads and take more market share of the flagging GPU market, which experienced its own boom-and-bust cycle along with the cryptoasset markets during 2017-18.
No Fuss GPU Mining
Quantumcloud give the rough estimate that an idle GTX1070, a reasonably modern and powerful chipset, could earn $10 per month, which is almost certainly less than a more savvy speculative miner could get from the same kit.
However, all of the hard work of mining - of choosing a coin to mine, of handling the exchanges and payments, of actually mining - is done by Quantumcloud, under the hood. Quantumcloud even have their own in-house currency - so-called “Quantum Dots” - to keep track of the mining power offered to the network. Rewards can be paid out daily, directly to PayPal or WeChat.
This latter point is another main feature, as Quantumcloud are keen to point out that their mining has no know-your-customer requirements, and does not violate the 2016 GDPR EU data protection laws.
Careening GPU Sales
As mentioned above, GPU sales have tanked in recent months, deflating lofty expectations of a new windfall market after impressive sales. Toward the beginning of the year, miners had bought up so much stock and driven up GPU prices so much that gamers had been priced out of the market.
Time will tell whether Asus, one of the biggest GPU manufacturers, will make headway in a tough market. The company already has one critic in PCGamer, who commented that “Simplifying the business of mining digital currencies [...] and tapping into spare GPU cycles would be great ideas...if this was 2017.”