Nvidia won that billion-dollar crypto mining lawsuit

An image of a fake Bitcoin with a laptop in the background displaying financial data
(Image credit: Roy Buri, Pixabay)

In 2017, Nvidia investors set in motion a class-action lawsuit against the chipmaker, accusing it of misleading them about how many of its sales were down to cryptocurrency miners rather than, you know, people who wanted Geralt's hair to look nice or whatever—information that would have allowed said investors to better prepare for the effects of the inevitable cryptocurrency crash. The lawsuit, when it was eventually filed in 2020, alleged that roughly 60 to 70 percent of Nvidia's sales in China were to crypto miners in 2017 and 2018, and that Nvidia kept this information from investors.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California granted Nvidia's request that the lawsuit be dismissed due to a lack of evidence that the company misled anyone. Though Nvidia didn't warn investors that it expected a decline in sales when the bottom fell out of Bitcoin until the first quarter of 2018, it's not like it was secret information. A drop of eight percent in Nvidia's stock price in August 2017 was attributed to fears of the crypto bubble bursting, over a year before the first Bitcoin crash finally came in November of 2018.

These days Nvidia's GPUs are designed to reduce their value to crypto miners, with the RTX 3060 12GB coming with an Ethereum mining limiter, which could come as standard on future GeForce GPUs.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.