It appears that at least someone is sold on Nvidia's Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) offerings. Hut 8 Mining Corp., one of the world's largest and oldest Bitcoin mining companies, has put in an order worth $30 million for Nvidia's CMP graphics cards. Nvidia will start delivering the order starting May 2021, and Hut 8 Mining Corp. plans to get everything up and running by the summer.
With the purchase, Hut 8 Mining Corp. hopes to increase its mining operations substantially. The company estimates a collective performance up to 1,600 Gigahash. The incorporation of Nvidia's CMP devices will also allow Hut 8 Mining Corp. to venture into alternative blockchain networks as well as extending its current mining business.
The details of the deal are kept under wraps so it's unknown which CMP models Hut 8 Mining Corp. purchased. Currently, Nvidia offers four different CMP devices in the shape of the 30HX, 40HX, 50HX and 90HX. The first two models are available now, while the remaining models are scheduled for the second quarter of this year. Given the time frame of the order and estimated delivery date, it's anyone's guess which SKUs are part of the deal.
“The adoption and the development of applications interacting with various blockchain networks have never been stronger, opening many possibilities across a variety of industries,” said Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8. “We are incredibly excited to have these high performance CMPs in our fleet. We believe mining with CMPs will open up new opportunities for Hut 8 and will allow us to continue to execute on our long- and short-term plans for increased and diversified revenue streams.”
Nvidia actively markets its CMP devices toward mining Ethereum, so it's plausible that Hut 8 Mining Corp. may be taking a crack at Ethereum. Even in its official announcement, the chipmaker didn't go into pricing so it's something of a mystery just to how many units can be bought for $30 milllion.
The CMP 90HX is the highest performer out of the CMP stack with a Ethereum hash rate up to 86 MH/s. However, there are rumors going around that Nvidia may repurpose its A100 data center GPU into a mining card. The rumored CMP 220HX could put up a hash rate of 210 MH/s, up to 144% faster than the CMP 90HX. If the CMP 220HX comes to life, it'll probably be the desire of big mining corporations.
With a budget of $30 million and a target performance of 1,600 Gigahash (for Ethash), that could be around 7600 CMP 220HX GPUs, priced at around $4,000 each. Alternatively, it might be 18,600 CMP 90HX GPUs at around $1,600 each, or 35,000 50HX GPUs at $850 each. Considering it can be difficult to get more than eight GPUs running off of a single PC, there's a desire to keep the total number of PCs down by using higher performance GPUs. Regardless of which GPUs Hut 8 purchased, there's a lot of infrastructure required to get that many systems up and running.
Non-corporate miners who just want to make a few extra bucks find that the best mining GPUs are gaming models such as the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 though older cards like the GTX 1060 can pay for themselves more quickly.