Bear Market and Declining Hashrates Mean Mining ETH No Longer Profitable, Analysis Finds


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Mining Ethereum (ETH) using a graphics processing unit (GPU) is no longer profitable, according to an analysis from U.S.-based global trading and technology firm Susquehanna. CNBC reported Nov. 13 on Susquehanna’s findings, which point to the protracted slump in crypto markets and declining network hashrates as reasons for the profit decrease.

In Susquehanna’s analysis, profit per month for ETH miners using GPU-based setups hit a round $0 as of Nov. 1 this year, down from almost $150 in July 2017. Susquehanna notes the decline in Ethereum’s price as a major factor, with the altcoin currently trading at $204, down almost 85 percent from its record-high of around $1,350 in mid-January 2018.

Notably, however, on July 17, 2017, when Susquehanna’s figures indicate a $147 profit for GPU-reliant miners, the asset was trading at around $175, just slightly lower than today’s valuation.

To explain this pattern, Susquehanna analyzed a second factor: the Ethereum network’s hashrate, which fell substantially in 2018. A higher hashrate is more advantageous for miners, as it increases their opportunity of computing the next block and being remunerated in ETH.


Susquehanna’s graph showing decline in ETH mining profits. Source: CNBC

Susquehanna semiconductor analyst Christopher Rolland told CNBC that in this context, using chipmaker Nvidia’s flagship GPU card “is no longer profitable,” noting that the company’s crypto-derived revenue is down around $100 million quarter over quarter. He forecast this revenue would likely be “close to zero” in the forthcoming Nvidia 3Q report, set to be released this week:

“We estimate very little revenue from crypto-related GPU sales in the quarter, consistent with management’s prior commentary that they were including no contribution from crypto in their C3Q18 outlook.”

As reported just yesterday, experts from analytics firm Trefis have in fact forecast that Nvidia’s overall Q3 revenue will rise, yet like Susquehanna, they projected that sales from cryptocurrency-related activities will remain in a downtrend.

In August, Nvidia stocks fell amidst a decrease in digital currency mining as the crypto markets saw a downturn.


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