Crypto Companies Repurpose GPUs for AI

GPU Mining Rig from HP

Amidst the volatility in the cryptocurrency market and the decline in coin prices, crypto companies are exploring new opportunities to repurpose their idle hardware. In particular, they are investigating whether to sell or repurpose their graphics processing units (GPUs), previously used for coin mining, for the rapidly growing artificial intelligence (AI) market.

GPU Mining Rig from HP
Source: HP

According to HPC, Hive Blockchain, one such company, has made the decision to repurpose its 38,000 Nvidia GPUs. Recognizing the potential profitability of running AI or cloud operations with GPUs, Hive ran a successful pilot program generating $230,000 in revenue this quarter.

The shift in focus comes as the cryptocurrency market experiences significant challenges. Bitcoin prices have averaged 49% lower than the previous year, and changes in software have reduced the reliance on GPUs for mining. Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake model further impacted mining companies by reducing the need for high-speed chips to mine coins.

Sysorex, a government services company, is also facing the dilemma of what to do with its 12,000 GPUs following the exit of its subsidiary, TTM, from the mining business. Sysorex is currently exploring alternative uses and sales opportunities for its GPU assets and data center in Lockport, NY.

The AI industry is witnessing a shift towards large-language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s BingGPT, which require GPU-laden clusters. Simultaneously, open-source developers and companies like MosaicML have introduced models that can run on local devices for inference computing. Intel has also incorporated AI accelerators in its new CPUs to enhance inference processing.