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Cryptocurrency boom, a problem for gamers, is a bonanza for GPU makers

TechNews

Enlarge / Six graphics cards sit in a mining rig built by Philadelphia miner Matthew Freilich. (credit: Matthew Freilich)

The cryptocurrency boom has created a persistent shortage of high-end graphics cards. That has been a headache for gamers, who have to pay inflated prices for GPUs—if they can find them at all. But it has been a financial windfall to leading graphics card makers Nvidia and AMD.

On Thursday, Nvidia reported soaring profits for the fourth quarter of 2017—a period when rapidly rising prices for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies was driving a boom in amateur cryptocurrency mining with graphics cards.

"Strong demand in the cryptocurrency market exceeded our expectations," Nvidia chief financial officer Colette Kress said in a call with analysts on Thursday.

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