Will Nvidia ( NVDA -2.10% ) see any business dropoff if fewer of its chips are being used in the crypto space? In this video clip from “The Crypto Show” on Motley Fool Live, recorded on March 23, Fool.com contributors Jon Quast, Travis Hoium, and Chris MacDonald answer a member’s question about whether there would be any impact on Nvidia if Ethereum ( ETH 3.57% ) 2.0 requires less GPU power.
Jon Quast: Am I correct that Ethereum 2.0 and other proof of stake crypto require much less GPU power? What impact do you think this will have on Nvidia? My understanding, Mike, and we can look into this more. I know that I said we’re going to talk about the merge in future episodes here, maybe next week. Yes, it’s a completely different system of running the blockchain and so yeah, you don’t have miners anymore, you have stakers.
What impact will it have on Nvidia? I know that Nvidia has tried very hard [laughs] to not have its GPUs for cryptocurrency miners as much as it can. Honestly, I don’t think it’s going to have that outsize of an impact on Nvidia. Not to say it won’t have any impact, but I don’t see it having much of an impact.
Travis Hoium: Yeah. A lot of the Bitcoin ( BTC 3.18% ) mining is going to custom-made chipsets as well. There are publicly traded companies that design these. Incrementally, it may have a negative impact on Nvidia, but it’s not something that I would worry about as an investor. The other way to think about this too is that the theory is that this will make the Ethereum network more efficient. But you’re also going to have, again, theoretically more people using it.
If you’re a company like Nvidia or you’re any of these blockchain developers, you want to have those lower costs so that you have more transactions and more people in the ecosystem. It may be a little bit like this is what the chip business has been forever. The cost per chip is coming down, but the number of chips is going up faster than the cost is coming down, so your revenue grows.
Chris MacDonald: Yeah. That’s my understanding as well is that whether you’re talking about Bitmain or Antminers or what have you, the various machines that are used for crypto mining, those are produced by various companies. I do believe Nvidia chips are used for some of that, but it’s a small portion, so I wouldn’t necessarily be worried about that.
Maybe another interesting angle too, is there’s a number of projects such as Livepeer that I’ve been looking at, that are video platforms on top of crypto that require additional GPU. My understanding is some of those are Nvidia chips. There’s some growth potential as well for projects built on top of the blockchain, and the extent to which that’s negative for the environment remains to be seen.
It seems like Ethereum and a lot of projects are shifting toward proof of stake for the environmental benefit. Ethereum’s merge is going to be a big deal. That’s going be something that I think Jon, you mentioned we’re going to cover that in the future show, but I think that is a big thing, so we should definitely focus on that.
Hoium: Another thing I want to add to that is that if you’re a believer in the utility of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in building things like the metaverse, that’s going to be probably a lot of 3D graphics, who runs 3D graphics? Nvidia chips. One thing that may be a negative for Nvidia on an incremental basis, may actually be an indication that there’s going to be a flood of demand coming long-term.
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