NVIDIA GPU cards appeared in the market in January of this year. GPUs are graphic cards that serve as tools to mine cryptocurrencies.

Hong Kong port authorities seized a cache of more than 300 CMP 30HX graphics cards, released earlier this year by NVIDIA and with configurated capabilities of mine cryptocurrencies. According to the specialized website MyDrivers, the contraband shipment also added other items, and its worth was USD 30 million.

Local TVB News reported that the shipment also had some exotic or exclusive items on its stock, such as shark fins and even alcoholic beverages, as well as technological products, such as telephones and other electronic and specialized objects. The batch of tech gadgets, including GPUs, worths around 2 million Hong Kong dollars (HKD), which is equivalent to $ 257,000.

The contraband lot got captured in the vicinity of the Hong Kong International Airport in a fishing boat that was unloading the items towards a smaller and faster vessel in the early morning hours of April 2, 2021.

The Regulations in Some Chinese Regions are Attacking with Fierce

Upon noticing these boats’ suspicious behavior, some of the crew boarded the faster ship and escaped. One of the detainees appeared to be the very owner of the fishing boat that carried the merchandise.

Authorities are handling some theories about the cards going to China. There are currently bans on cryptocurrency mining in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia due to the high electricity consumption that this activity generates.

In February, these cards were released by NVIDIA not to serve as a tool in video games, but for cryptocurrency mining, mainly for Ethereum, with the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm.

NVIDIA graphics processing cards are always a target of high demand in the gaming industry, but the cryptocurrency mining industry has also massively purchased them in recent years. This situation brought friction between the two markets, but the company ultimately created products with a primary focus on mining and others that focus their features on gaming.

China is Facing More Challenges Related to Mining: Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission

According to a study that appeared in Nature Communications, energy consumption and carbon emission from Bitcoin mining will cover in the shadows every China’s climate effort.

The energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in a country like China, which accounts for more than 75% of Bitcoin blockchain operations globally in April 2020, will project its peak in 2024.

These peaks will be around 297 terawatt-hours, generating 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions, according to the study by researchers from the Academy of Sciences of the University of China, Cornell University, and the University of Surrey.

The plans to Internationalize the Digital Yuan

As part of a set of efforts to expand the yuan internationally, China has been leading digital currency tests on diverse platforms worldwide to be free to trade with other fiat currencies. Beijing is also establishing a legal field framework for central bank cryptocurrencies, or CBDCs, with extensive financial regulation.

By: Jenson Nuñez


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