Taiwan-based tech giant Asus is now letting gamers use the number crunching power of their graphics cards to earn a share of profits from cryptocurrency mining.
The company announced Thursday that it has partnered with mining app provider Quantumcloud to allow gamers to earn "passive income" by allowing access to their Asus graphics cards (or GPUs) when not being used for other PC tasks. Earnings will be paid out via PayPal or WeChat.
The app uses gamers’ GPUs to collectively power cloud-based miners to – in theory, at least – generate profit, giving card owners a percentage based on the amount of power provided, Quantumcloud’s website says.
The privacy of customers' financial data on the app is protected under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Asus stressed.
“As part of its pledge to protect user data, Quantumcloud launched with GDPR compliance in place and does not require customers to create a unique login. Instead, customers use their existing PayPal or WeChat account to log in and collect their earnings,” the firm said.
Quantumcloud, however, does not guarantee that users of its software will make a profit. “Earning rates may change based on the performance of the cryptocurrency market and cannot be guaranteed or influenced in any way by Quantumcloud,” according to the announcement.
More commonly, crypto miners use their GPUs to mine cryptos individually or collectively in pools, using dedicated software downloaded onto their PCs. Some cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, however, can't effectively be mined with GPUs, requiring dedicated processors called ASICs to mine due to the high levels of difficulty.
Crypto miners are going through tough times currently, though, with prices low and mining difficulty high. Hundreds of thousands are estimated to have left the industry in recent weeks. And just yesterday, China-based mining giant Canaan Creative temporarily slashed prices of its all crypto mining devices to $200 each.
Demand for GPUs from crypto miners has also dropped in recent months. In August, U.S.-based chip maker Nvidia issued a financial report indicating a "substantial decline" in sales, largely due to a drop-off in miner demand.
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