Nvidia’s Cryptocurrency Mining Restriction Won’t Be Coming to Other RTX Cards For Now

(Credit: Nvidia)

For now, Nvidia plans to only restrict the cryptocurrency mining capabilities on the RTX 3060 — not for any other graphics cards in the 3000 series. 

“We are focused on RTX 3060 currently. And we are not limiting the performance of GPUs already sold,” a company spokesperson told PCMag. 

That’s bad news for PC gamers still trying to snag an RTX 3060 Ti, 3070 or 3080, which continue to sell out in minutes — even six months after the initial release. Not only are PC gamers trying to buy the in-demand products, but also cryptocurrency miners in need of powerful GPUs. 

The most affordable entry in the series, the RTX 3060, will go on sale next Thursday. So to try and free up the supplies, Nvidia is handicapping the card’s ability to mine the cryptocurrency Ethereum through the GPU’s software driver. No cost to the product’s gaming performance should occur.

The company isn’t explaining why it won’t bring the cryptocurrency mining capping to the rest of the RTX 3000 series. However, Nvidia is pushing back against doubts that the RTX 3060’s anti-cryptocurrency mining restrictions can be easily reversed. 

No details were given, but the company says it has essentially locked access to the “hash rate limiter” that deliberately halves the RTX 3060’s mining efficiency by 50 percent. “There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter,” Nvidia’s spokesperson said.  

Still, you can bet many in the cryptocurrency community will try to hack the cards. In the meantime, Nvidia is working another way to dissuade miners from buying up the RTX 3000 stock — It’s preparing to introduce graphics cards specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining.

The Nvidia CMP cards are slated to start arriving this quarter, but they won’t take away any existing manufacturing capacity for the RTX 3000 GPUs, the company said.

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