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Crypto Miners Get a Break with Data Use

The GPU manufacturer Nvidia has changed its licensing agreement for software, restricting use of most of its products when requested by data center. But the company announced it will not include cryptocurrency miners in their new sweeping restrictions. Their new agreement, which takes effect this month, holds back data mining with Titan and GeForce unless they are being used exclusively for blockchaining process tasks.

According to Ben Hortman, CEO of cloud mining company BET Capital LLC, “In other words, the company is now dedicated exclusively to servicing blockchain process and development.”

And that’s just another way for saying ‘mining.’ The energy-gobbling process whereby additional transactions are created for a specific blockchain is something that data centers per se are not in the habit of doing. The company’s card graphics, as well as those from competing AMD chip maker, are currently in great demand by crypto miners. The skyrocketing demand has been a boon to chip makers like Nvidia — they posted over two billion dollars in revenue coming into the third quarter of 2017. That represents more than a fifty percent leap from their previous year. Stockholders were surprised, and very pleased, to learn that that jump in earnings was over two hundred million dollars more than was initially predicted for the year.

Without express Nvidia permission, data centers are required to purchase Nvidia’s pricier enterprise grade programs for data application, such as the running of AI testing procedures. And it is a wide price gap — a GeForce card runs around seven hundred dollars, while the enterprise grade Tesla V100 is just under a cool ten thousand dollars. According to blockchain industry newsletters, Nvidia is intent on making sure that Titan and GeForce products stayed in use by individual consumers, and out of the hands of large 24/7 data centers.