Hong Kong port authorities seized a cache of more than 300 CMP 30HX graphics cards, released earlier this year by NVIDIA and capable of mining cryptocurrencies.
According to the specialized website MyDrivers, the contraband shipment also included other products and was valued at a total of USD 30 million.
Local TVB News reports that the shipment included some exotic or exclusive items, such as shark fins and alcoholic beverages, as well as technological products, such as telephones and other items for computers. The batch of tech gadgets, including GPUs, is valued in 2 million Hong Kong dollars (HKD), equivalent to USD 257,000.
The contraband lot was seized in the vicinity of the Hong Kong International Airport, in a fishing boat that was unloading the products towards a smaller and faster vessel, in the early hours of April 2, 2021.
Upon noticing the suspicious behavior of these vessels, some of the crew boarded the fastest ship and managed to escape. However, one of the detainees was the owner of the fishing boat from which the merchandise was unloaded.
Authorities speculate that the cards had China as their final destination. There are currently bans on cryptocurrency mining in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, due to the high electricity consumption that this activity generates
These cards were released in February by NVIDIA not to be used in video games, but for cryptocurrency mining, mainly for Ethereum, with the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm.
This is what NVIDIA CMP 30HX GPU video cards seized in Hong Kong look like
NVIDIA graphics processing cards are traditionally in high demand in the gaming industry, but in recent years the cryptocurrency mining industry has also massively required them. This at some point brought friction between the two markets, but the company ultimately opted to create products focused on mining and others focused on gaming.
As we reported in CriptoNoticias, HUT 8, a major Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining company, acquired the equivalent of USD 30 million in NVDIA cards. Presumably, it is the CMP HX, but they did not reveal the number of cards purchased or the model.
We also report how NVIDIA accidentally unlocked cryptocurrency mining limitations on its RTX 3060 card, which would be being used by some users to mine cryptocurrencies with this card that was not designed for this purpose, but apparently has the ability to do so.