Nvidia Limits RTX 3060 Hash Rate, Unveils New ‘Cryptocurrency Mining Processor’ Line of GPUs

Nvidia today announced its new Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) line of GPUs to “address the specific needs of Ethereum mining” and, hopefully, improve the availability of the best graphics cards in the GeForce product line in the process. The company also limited the mining performance of the soon-to-be-launched RTX 3060 cards to roughly 50% of the normal performance. It sounds like a good move, but there’s a lot going on.

Cryptocurrency miners previously had to purchase graphics cards originally intended for PC gaming if they wanted to maximize their operation’s profitability. This can lead to—or exacerbate—GPU shortages whenever a particular coin’s value skyrockets. Right now that coin is Ethereum. CoinDesk’s figures put the cryptocurrency’s price at $281 in February 2020, but at time of writing it’s priced at $1,920. The scramble to join this digital gold rush has worsened the GPU shortage caused by COVID-19.