One internet café in Vietnam has reportedly switched to cryptocurrency mining to turn over a healthy profit, while its usual clientele are stuck indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The LẮP ĐẶT PHÒNG NET cafe, run by Star Gaming, is showing off its new mining setup on its Facebook page, as spotted by I_Leak_VN, and not too long after it celebrated switching to the latest GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards.
"Transforming business in the pandemic," the post reads (translated by Facebook). "Profits are higher than net business, net room owners who want to do it, please contact me to do it for free."
Pictured are rows and rows of monitors and PCs with tens of graphics cards sat underneath. If you scroll a little further down on the page, you can see the impressive gear that the internet café was offering gamers, plenty of which could moonlight as cryptocurrency mining rigs, and very capable ones at that.
Despite the likely increase in electrical costs, the owners say they are making a healthy profit.
Such a business strategy may be becoming popular elsewhere as cafes look to offset losses. Twitter leaker harukaze5719 comments that cryptocurrency mining is a popular move for cafes in South Korea.
When COVID attacked my country again and this was the idea of big CafeNet's crazy mindsHint: There are 3080 graphics cards with very nice RGB (first image)@VideoCardz @death_1125 @TechDeals_16 @9550pro @harukaze5719 @hms1193 @kopite7kimi @3DCenter_org @JokerReview pic.twitter.com/vgh16hRNDFFebruary 15, 2021
All of which is made possible by the recent rise in many value for many cryptocurrencies. The most reliable signifier is Bitcoin, which currently sits at $50,000 USD a piece, although most GPU mining rigs will instead be looking to Ethereum to turn a quick buck.
For internet cafe owners, many of which focus heavily on gaming gear, they could be sitting on a goldmine of hard working hardware, at a time when it might not find much use elsewhere due to the pandemic. Cryptocurrency mining will wear these cards pretty thin, however, so some of the profits may end up being required to buy in new equipment once gamers eventually start walking back through the doors.