Nvidia Corp. Chief Executive Jensen Huang summed up the chip maker’s view of cryptocurrencies in a single phrase Thursday: “rock ’n’ roll.”
That’s how Huang described his company’s ability to ride out what he sees as a blossoming market for his company’s graphics cards in mining the digital currency.
“Crypto is here to stay, and the market will grow to be quite large,” Huang said Thursday on the company’s second-quarter call with analysts. “It’s not likely to go away any time soon. There will be more currencies to come, they will come from different nations…We stay very close to the market, and understand the dynamics very well.”
Don’t miss: Intel earnings have message for Nvidia and AMD: ‘Bring it on’
detailed quarterly results Thursday that beat expectations handily for sales and earnings, but the stock plunged more than 6.5% in after-hours trading following an already punishing day during the regular session. The company’s shares are still up more than 50% this year, against the S&P 500 index’s
gains of 8.9%, as investors bet on Nvidia’s artificial-intelligence efforts to pay off in server and autonomous-driving sales.
Huang seemed to think crytpocurrency mining could add another long-term growth area to Nvidia’s bull case Thursday, and hinted at products developed specifically for those efforts, telling analysts on the call that the company offers “the coin miners a special coin-mining SKU” that is “optimized for mining.”
When asked whether the CEO’s comment confirmed the rumored development of specific cryptocurrency products, an Nvidia spokesman declined to comment.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy told MarketWatch that he didn’t believe that Huang was suggesting new cryptocurrency products, but rather offerings that partners in the sales channel were developing with Nvidia chips. Moorhead pointed out that there is at least one card based on Nvidia’s Pascal architecture that is manufactured by Asustek Computer Inc.
and marketed to cryptocurrency miners.
That is a similar approach to how Nvidia rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
is approaching crypto mining, but Nvidia sounds much more optimistic on the long-term prospects for customers seeking to mine digital currencies.
“Some of our partners are also offering mining-specific cards that have a different feature set, such that we’re really segmenting the market between gaming and mining,” AMD Chief Executive Lisa Su said on her company’s earnings call last month. “But it’s important to say we didn’t have cryptocurrency in our forecast, and we’re not looking at it as a long-term growth driver.”
AMD also beat earnings expectations thanks to a boom in cryptocurrency mining that uses graphics-processing units. The development of new digital currencies beyond Bitcoin over the past few months, particularly on the Ethereum blockchain, have seemed to drive sales of the two companies’ GPUs.