Nvidia was fined $5.5 million for failing to sufficiently communicate to its shareholders that the growth of its gaming segment was largely explained by cryptocurrency mining.
Since the release of the new generation of GeForces RTX cards from Nvidia, it is still difficult for consumers to find graphics cards at a reasonable price. The reason is well known, between cryptocurrency miners and scalpers who arrogate graphics cards to resell them at a high price.
On the miner side, however, Nvidia had tried to reassure its investors a few years ago by indicating that its division “gaming” had seen strong growth in its 2018 financial results. Nevertheless, Nvidia is now accused of not having given enough information to its shareholders on the reasons for this growth.
This Friday, the SEC, the authority in charge of financial regulation in the United States, thus sentenced Nvidia to a fine of 5.5 million dollars (5.2 million euros). A fairly anecdotal sum for the American manufacturer since it represents only 0.02% of its turnover for the year 2021.
A lack of information communicated to shareholders
In detail, the SEC criticizes Nvidia for not having indicated to its shareholders that the sale of graphics cards to cryptocurrency miners represented a major element of its growth in the 2018 fiscal year:
In consecutive quarters of fiscal 2018, the company did not report cryptocurrency mining as a significant component of its growth in sales of graphics cards designed and sold for gaming […]. As demand and interest in cryptocurrencies grew in 2017, Nvidia customers increasingly used its gaming graphics cards for mining.
Since then, remember that Nvidia has however launched several graphics cards designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining. This is the case of the Nvidia CMP 30HX, 40HX, 50HX and 90HX. For example, these are not equipped with ports allowing a screen to be connected to them and benefit from specific tools for mining. In addition, Nvidia has tried to restrict the use of some of its gaming GPUs in the field of mining with software tools preventing this type of use such as on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060.
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