Nvidia Exempts Cryptocurrency Mining from Its Ban of Cards Software in Data Centers


Graphics card maker Nvidia has recently updated its terms of service that will make data centers fork over more funds for expensive cards. However, digital currency miners are off the hook.

On Sunday, Nvidia, a leading provider of graphics cards commonly used for mining cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether altered its terms of service to prohibit the use of GeForce and Titan graphics cards software in large-scale research sectors and data centers.

But cryptocurrency miners are exempted from the ban as the company added a special provision to allow the use of cards for blockchain platforms, including mining operations. While miners will not feel the heat from the update, those that are now banned from using the specified cards are forced to use expensive modules from Nvidia such as the Tesla V100 that can go as much as $10,000 per card.  

The update on Nvidia’s terms of service specifically reads “No Datacenter Deployment. The SOFTWARE is not licensed for data center deployment, except that blockchain processing in a data center is permitted.”

However, projects that cannot afford or don’t require the power of high-end processors but fall under the prohibited terms could face some difficulties. A spokesperson from the company clarified that many academic and research projects are too small to meet the company’s parameters for a data center, but insisted they will work with these users who might be affected by the changes.

The decision to exempt cryptocurrency mining from the prohibition is not surprising as the popularity of mining, especially Ether has led to an increase in demand for the company’s processors.

The emergence of cryptocurrency and other technological breakthroughs like the invention of self-driving cars have started to shape a diversification interest within the company.

It is not yet clear how Nvidia will enforce the changes in the terms of service, and what will be the consequences for those who will break the licensing agreement.