California technology company Nvidia saw stock prices rise 8 percent last week following better-than-expected results from last year’s fourth quarter. Founder and CEO Jensen Huang followed the quarterly earnings call with an interview with the financial and investment magazine, Barron’s, where he discussed the growth of his company and the staying power of cryptocurrency.
Reluctant to attribute Nvidia’s Q4 growth primarily to the use of the company’s products for cryptocurrency mining, Huang initially focused on the growth in other aspects of the company. The sale of chips used to power AI rose by “more than triple-digits” and there was also significant growth in self-driving car technology and in GeForce gaming.
However, for Nvidia, the popularity of cryptocurrency mining is impacting the company and its profits as well. Because the company is a top seller of GPUs, cryptocurrency miners for currencies such as Ethereum and ZCash have been using Nvidia cards in their mining efforts, and many retailers are continually sold out or selling at premium prices.
When pressed about cryptocurrency and the future, Huang expounded, “This year, the world is starting to come to terms with the existence of crypto. It’s based on blockchain, and it’s very secure and very low overhead. I think there’s clearly real utility. It’s a real phenomenon, and so everyone is coming to terms with it. I’m not against the concept of virtual currency—it’s as real as virtual goods, and video games.” And when questioned whether he was happy with the direction the technology was headed, Huang answered that it wasn’t relevant. Regardless of how the products are utilized, in the end, “it’s all just demand for GPUs”.
And with stock prices projected to rise even more this next quarter, it’s clear that the demand for GPUs isn’t slowing down anytime soon.