In a Thursday-afternoon interview with CNBC, Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, affirmed that block-chains are “positive foundational technologies” that have the potential to “change the way we interact on a daily basis.” Despite her praise, she cautioned against viewing miners of cryptocurrency as being significant members of AMD’s overall market, emphasizing instead the company’s role in providing chips to data-centers, game consoles, and other high-performance applications.
Su Says Cryptocurrency is Small-Time
This, of course, comes at a time where bitcoin’s value continues to remain high ($16,702 at the time of writing),and has spurned large-scale investment from the financial community in general. While bitcoin’s meteoric rise has been the subject of many recent headlines, the GPU market (of which AMD is a member through its subdivision RTG, or Radeon Technologies Group) has long felt the effects of of cryptocurrencies in general, most notably, ethereum.
Su’s interview comes a day after a report by Mizuho, a Japanese holding company, which expects to see cyrpytocurrency mining take a reduced role for both AMD and their competitor, Nvidia. They estimate that mining accounts for nearly 6% to 7% of both companies’ revenue, and that each should seek growth in other areas.
Although these elements suggest nothing conclusive, they do provide a degree of insight into both the influence and danger that cryptocurrencies may wield upon some of the largest players within consumer tech. In her interview, Su gestures at a similar percentage provided by Mizuho, saying that cyrptocurrency miners make up but a percentage within the “single digits” of AMD’s overall market. Yet, as recent GPU prices can attest, regardless of how small the number of cryptocurrency miners are relative to the entirety of AMD’s market, they can produce disproportionately large effects.
Demonstrable Market Share
Reporting a net income of $110 million for the third quarter, even small percentages carry significant weight. Nowhere has this proven to be more true than in the GPU market, where an increase in demand and shortages of supply can have long-term impacts both on cost as well as consumer behavior.
Ultimately, with the superlativity of bitcoin and the current interest in cryptocurrencies at large, it is uncertain as to how large companies like AMD will be effected in the long-term. Perhaps it is this uncertainty which drives Su’s affirmation of AMD’s traditional markets:
“We love gaming, we are in the game consoles, we sell a lot of add-in board graphics cards, we actually sell quite a few graphics systems and what we’ve seen is that this is going to continue to grow.”
At the end of the day, AMD is but one beneficiary of the increased interest in cryptocurrencies, and it will be interesting to see whether or not the growth referred to by Su proves to be long-lasting.
Image Credit VR-Zone