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An 800-pound, nearly 11-foot-long steel sculpture of a bent and burned drug spoon was placed Friday in front of the Connecticut headquarters of drugmaker Purdue Pharma as part of an art protest against the opioid crisis. Artist Domenic Esposito and art gallery owner Fernando Alvarez placed the sculpture at the…
Dipping cryptocurrency markets are hurting not only crypto holders but also a number of related businesses and sectors. Manufacturers of hardware that can be used in mining applications, like GPU makers Nvidia, AMD and their OEM partners, are also hit by weak demand in the sector which is pushing inventories up.
Excess Inventory Due to Weak Sales in the Crypto Segment
Recent tech media reports suggest that the leading video card maker, Nvidia, is experiencing excess inventory issues in the GPU channel. The surplus is most likely the main reason for the delay in the launch of Nvidia’s new gaming card based on the Volta architecture, which was expected to replace the Pascal generation. The postponement was confirmed in comments made by Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during Computex 2018. He said the company is not planning to release new graphics processors in the near future.
With crypto markets reacting to a number of negative events in recent weeks, like the hacks of Korean exchanges Coinrail and Bithumb, regulatory actions in Japan, and the exposure of scams and suspected market manipulations, the rumors of a technical issue with the new consumer lineup have been replaced by another explanation – inventory buildup. Observers say it is probably due to overestimated demand in the gaming sector and the underestimated impact of the declining demand in the market for mining equipment.
These suspicions have been increased by rumors that a major Taiwanese OEM partner of Nvidia, ASUS, MSI or Gigabyte, has reportedly returned 300,000 graphics cards to the company. According to reports by Seeking Alpha and Semiaccurate, the giant has been also aggressively buying GDDR5 memory, which indicates an excess stock of lower-end GPUs that need to be made into boards. Quoted sources from the industry claim the return of the chips is related to the decreasing demand from cryptocurrency miners.
Nvidia has previously shared its expectations that the crypto fever would last until at least the third quarter of 2018, but obviously GPU sales have already started to go down. The prices of many altcoins that are mined with video cards decreased along with that of bitcoin. BTC is trading well below $ 7,000 and experts believe the downturn in the demand for graphics processors is largely due to the prices under this threshold.
The crypto market ups and downs and the weak demand from miners have also affected Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia’s main competitor. According to Investopedia, AMD’s shares rose by 25% in February before plunging by 30% in April, then soaring by 50% in May, until reaching around $ 17 on June 18. At the time of writing, their price is $ 15.69, according to data provided by Ycharts.
A Shift Towards Modest Expectations, Results
In April, AMD announced revenues of $ 1.65 billion dollars for the first quarter of 2018, with net income reaching $ 81 million, a 40% year-over-year growth. The company benefited substantially from the increased sales to crypto miners, which allowed it to reduce the gap between its results and those of Nvidia. In the last quarter of 2017, AMD’s share of the GPU market rose from 27.2% to 33.7%. AMD products remain cheaper while offering similar productivity, when it comes to crypto mining.
In May, Nvidia announced its revenues for Q1, noting that the total has increased by 66% year-over-year, and 10% sequentially, to a record $ 3.21 billion. For the first time, its quarterly report mentioned separately the amount generated from sales to the crypto market. The total GPU business revenue was $ 2.77 billion, up 77% from a year earlier and up 12% sequentially. $ 289 million of it is related to sales of GPUs for mining.
The two leading producers of video cards reacted differently to the increased demand for hardware for mining applications. In February, AMD said it was planning to increase production. Nvidia initially took steps to limit GPU sales to crypto miners. Then it was rumored that the company might launch a dedicated mining card called “Turing.” Later reports suggested its launch has been postponed to until at least July. If the current trends persist, however, both companies are likely to announce more modest plans and results in the coming months.
According to sources quoted by Digitimes, Taiwanese suppliers of graphics processing units are also expected to experience dropping shipments and profits in the second half of this year. Companies like Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology, Micro-Star International, and TUL have seen their inventories increase significantly, mostly in result of shrinking demand from the mining sector. Observers expect a shift in the focus towards the gaming and datacenter segments.
What are your expectations for the future of the GPU market and the crypto mining sector? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Crypto Markets, Weak Demand from Miners Hurt GPU Producers appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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South Korean exchange Bithumb has lowered its theft estimate from the original amount after undergoing some of the recovery process. The exchange promises to fully repay customers using its own fund even though its insurance is unlikely to cover the loss.
Theft Amount Reduced
South Korea’s second largest crypto exchange, Bithumb, has clarified its situation after reporting a theft on Wednesday, June 20.
Citing that it “quickly followed the procedure to immediately report the incident to KISA [Korea Internet & Security Agency] announcing that about 35 billion Korean won [~US$ 31.5 million] worth amount of cryptocurrency was stolen,” the exchange wrote:
However, as we undergo a recovery process on each cryptocurrency, the overall scale of damage is getting reduced. Hence we expect that the overall damage will be less than the amount we initially expected.
The exchange is currently collaborating with the authorities investigating the theft. “We are working hand in hand with governmental institutions as well as security professionals including KISA, National Police Agency, and Ahnlab to find out the exact cause and make an improvement,” Bithumb confirmed.
Bithumb to Fully Compensate Customers
The exchange assured customers that all cryptocurrencies and the Korean won “are safely stored in cold wallet and bank respectively.” Bithumb says it “currently has about 500 billion KRW worth in a company fund,” citing the firm’s audit report as of December 31 last year on the website of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) showing 558 billion won (~$ 502 million) in the fund.
The exchange emphasized:
The amount of damage that occurred this time will be fully covered by Bithumb’s own company fund, hence all our customers’ assets are intact and fully secured.
The exchange continued to explain that it is “currently undergoing a total change in our wallet system in order to prevent any similar cyber-attacks as well as for our customers to trade securely and safely.” Furthermore, without giving specific dates, Bithumb revealed that its KRW withdrawal services are also being reviewed.
Insurance Unlikely to Cover Bithumb’s Loss
Bithumb maintains insurance of up to 6 billion won (~$ 5.4 million), according to local media. Its policy is with Heungkuk Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. for “cyber insurance and personal information lease liability insurance,” Inews24 described on Friday. According to the media outlet, both policies cover “system loss or interruption of business due to hacking, but they do not protect the property value of cryptocurrencies.”
“The cryptocurrency loss due to hacking is not covered by insurance coverage,” the publication noted. “The cyber-hacking products of the non-life insurers have focused on leakage of personal information caused by hacking, system damage, and business interruption. If the system of the exchanges is damaged by an attack or if the customers’ personal information is leaked, compensation should be paid.”
An insurance industry official explained:
The fact that the criteria for damages compensation is unclear is that the range of disclaimers that insurance companies can cover is wide…It will take a long time for an insurance company to guarantee the loss [of cryptocurrencies].
What do you think of Bithumb’s theft and repayment plan? Do you think insurance policies should cover cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bithumb.
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The post Bithumb Lowers Theft Estimate – Will Fully Repay Customers Despite Deficient Insurance appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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