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Tech Company CTO Slams Cryptocurrencies as Useless for Society


  • Nvidia’s CTO criticizes cryptocurrencies for being useless to society.
  • Kagan defends the decision to limit graphics cards used for mining, stating AI processing is more worthwhile.
  • Nvidia’s focus on AI has made it a leader in the tech industry with a preference for supporting tangible benefits to society.

In a recent talk show with Bloomberg, US chip-maker Nvidia’s CTO, Michael Kagan, has criticized cryptocurrencies for not bringing any useful contribution to society. Instead, Kagan believes that processing power used for artificial intelligence (AI), such as chatbots, is more worthwhile than mining cryptocurrencies.

Kagan defended the company’s decision to limit the use of its graphics cards for mining Ethereum in 2021, stating that the limited value of using processing power for mining cryptocurrencies was not justified. Despite the company being a major provider for mining equipment, he championed the development of AI, particularly the chatbot ChatGPT, which allows everyone to create their machine and program by simply telling it what to do.

Kagan went on to compare cryptocurrencies to high-frequency trading and described the latter as an industry that has led to a lot of business for Mellanox (NASDAQ:MLNX) — multinational supplier of computer networking products based on InfiniBand and Ethernet technology — the company he founded before Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) acquired it. However, he further stated that he never believed cryptocurrencies would benefit humanity. Instead, they were more like “crazy things” that people buy, and companies sell to them.

Nvidia, originally known for producing powerful graphics cards for PC gamers, now finds its products at the heart of the AI boom. This is because the computationally intensive work of training a new AI system, which can cost millions of billions of dollars, can be done significantly faster on the processors gamers adopted.

As a result, the company has sold tens of thousands of its AI-focused processors, the A100 GPU, to companies such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for their cloud computing services. Kagan’s comments come as Nvidia CEO, Jensen Huang, describes the company as the engine behind “the iPhone moment of AI.” He believes that the “generative AI” his firm powers will “reinvent nearly every industry.”

Nvidia’s focus on AI and the development of powerful processors has positioned the company as a leader in the tech industry. However, Kagan’s comments show that the company is unwilling to fully embrace the cryptocurrency community despite the sector’s potential for growth. Instead, the company is more interested in supporting technologies that bring tangible benefits to society, such as AI.

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