Sapphire may have gotten the memo that cryptocurrency mining with GPUs is no longer profitable, but it's taking that memo and crumpling it into a ball, lighting it on fire, and throwing it out the window. Or to put it another way, Sapphire plans to launch a Radeon RX 570 graphics card with 16GB of GDDR5 memory, which is twice as much as a regular Radeon RX 570. Why? Because GPU mining is making a comeback, apparently.
Only it probably isn't, just don't tell that to Sapphire. Adrian Thompson, the company's vice president of global marketing, wrote a bunch of paragraphs on Medium talking about blockchain technology, and a privacy coin called Grin. This is the reason why Sapphire is plopping gobs of memory on a special Radeon RX 570 variant.
As with many other cryptocurrencies, Grin will be friendly to ASIC hardware. However, Thompson says there's a second proof-of-work algorithm that is ASIC resistant, called Cuckaroo, which can be mined with CPUs and GPUs.
"Although GPU mining will eventually tail off, there is a tremendous opportunity for first-movers to take advantage of the high rewards from early mining. Just as long as you have the right hardware," Thompson says.
According to Thompson, the upcoming 16GB card has enough memory to mine both algorithms at the same time. "This will allow miners to see-saw between each one as the difficulty swings from back and forth, a process also known as ‘Dual Mining’," Thompson explains.
"Sapphire will have access to a Grin miner that will port the CUDA miner. Factor in the affordable cost of the Sapphire 16GB RX 570 itself, which is a third of the price of competing 16GB cards designed for professional applications, and Sapphire seems to have produced a veritable money printing machine," Thompson claims.
It's not clear how much the card will cost or exactly when it will be available, only that its release is imminent.
As for Grin, along with a similar cryptocoin called Beam, both are too new to make any meaningful judgement possible. There's often (always) a lot of hype at the launch of a new coin, particularly a coin that brings a new mining algorithm into play. Our advice: don't get burned (again) trying to chase down the cryptocurrency train.