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Crypto miners finding something better to do with their time

by on06 July 2023

Huge GPU resources get new jobs

Crypto miners are getting out of the business and using their huge GPU resources to make money in other ways.

Toms’ Hardware cites Hive Blockchain as a case study of an outfit which changed the use of its GPU resources (about 38,000 graphics cards) from Ethereum mining to creating and run AI workloads for customers.

It retains some GPU horsepower to mine alt-coins and run other services, just in case. Hive execs note several reasons why people and organisations might favour its services over the likes of OpenAI, or traditional tech titans with AI and cloud offerings like Microsoft, Google, or Amazon.

Hive's reasons for choosing services instead of established tech titans:

Access to a fleet of up to 38,000 GPUs for machine learning, AI compute workloads etc

Service agreement promising to keep customer data private and away of public LLMs (large language models)

Choice of rent as a service or a cloud business model

Proven track record of six years as a data centre builder and operator

Hive Blockchain is only part way through its business transformation. The company's net loss during fiscal 2023 was $236.4 million compared to a net income of $79.6 million, or $1.02 per share, in fiscal 2022.

However, the drop in Bitcoin valuation was a major contributor to this swing (minus $182m), as was depreciation on equipment values. Hive still has ASICs dedicated to Bitcoin and has nearly $66m on the balance sheet.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Satoshi Spain, which used to sell and lease mining rigs, and now helps its customer base find new opportunities.

Satoshi Spain's founder Alejandro Ibáñez de Pedro said the AI compute business was "mining 2.0." The rest of the report indicates that smaller AI compute providers like ex-crypto mining companies can find a niche by offering services to universities, start-ups, and small developers who might want more privacy, or be too small for doing business with the big players.

They can manage all this because outfits like OpenAI, Microsoft and Amazon are "sometimes near full capacity and not interested in the smaller/niche users.

Last modified on 06 July 2023
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