New Analysis Says Nvidia Lowballed its Crypto Losses

Colin Muller

Graphics chip producer NVIDIA, which dominates the market above rival AMD, may have publically understated its reliance on sales to cryptoasset miners between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018, according to Bank of Canada analyst Mitch Steves.

Speaking to Business Insider, Steves’ internal calculations imply that NVIDIA’s crypto revenue was close to $2 billion rather than the roughly $600 million in crypto revenue that it reported.

Steves based his figures - which are estimates and cannot be verified except by the company itself - on the expended hashpower for cryptoassets like Ethereum, which require graphics processing units (GPUs) to mine. He estimates that NVIDIA chips produces 75% of the hashpower, with AMD, the runner-up in the graphics market, producing the rest.

And speaking to CNBC’s business channel a couple of days ago, Steves commented that the graphics giant “mis-modelled” their dominance in the crypto mining sector.

For reference, NVIDIA had a bumper year regardless of the collapse of the crypto market, taking in $9.71 billion in revenue for 2018 - a 41% jump above the previous year.

NVIDIA’s Legal Troubles

CryptoGlobe recently reported on the legal consequences of what plaintiffs consider NVIDIA’s misdirection.

A class action suit has been filed by Schall Law on behalf of burned investors, who lost money in NVIDIA stock after investing during the crypto boom of 2017. Schall’s complaint claims that NVIDIA “made false and misleading statements to the market,” specifically regarding the durability of demand for GPUs for the purpose of cryptoasset mining.

Only days ago, and in spite of its successful year, the company released Q4 2019 estimates lower than previous ones, citing weakness in the gaming and datacenter sectors of its business. The company is expecting $2.2 billion in revenue versus $2.7 for Q4 2019 - significantly below Q4 2018’s revenue of $2.91 billion.

AMD is not expecting much from the crypto industry, after having found (and having predicted) an “absence of blockchain-related GPU revenue” in the latter half of 2018. AMD garnered $6.48 billion of revenue during all of 2018, and like NVIDIA has a foot in the datacenter market, in additional to the traditional gaming market.