Regardless of how niche or mainstream you believe video games to be, the world of professional gaming and game streaming has proven to be lucrative for those skilled enough to succeed (or for those players just interesting enough to watch come in eighth place in their twentieth round of Fortnite). Last year, the top 10 professional gamers in the world all made over $1 million, with the highest earner making well over $2 million. Ninja, the most subscribed Twitch streamer, who regularly streams rounds of Fortnite, estimated his yearly revenue to be $5,417,447.
But the ability to 360-no-scope a noob while maintaining enough momentum to wall-run across the map isn't necessarily natural for all gamers, and not everyone wants to "git gud." For those gamers who just want to wind down with a couple of friends in a Destiny 2 raid, Taiwan-based tech company ASUS announced yesterday that its graphics cards (GPUs) can be used for cryptocurrency mining in partnership with mining app provider Quantum Cloud, giving the casual gamer a chance to maybe (and that can't be stressed enough) make some money.
The announcement explains that, by using the Quantum Cloud mining app, a gamer whose rig contains an ASUS GPU will be able to "potentially earn a passive income" when the GPU is not being used for other PC tasks. Quantum Cloud's website explains that its app uses a gamer's GPU to collectively power cloud-based applications, noting, "These applications generate profit for the platform, and you'll earn a cut based on the amount of GPU power provided."
ASUS' announcement and Quantum Cloud's website also stress the privacy concerns users may have when using their GPUs in cloud-based mining systems. "Quantumcloud launched with GDPR compliance in place and does not require customers to create a unique login," the ASUS release notes. "Instead, customers use their existing PayPal or WeChat account to log in and collect their earnings."
Dollar, Dollar Bill, Y'all
ETHNews has covered the general lack of profit when it comes to at-home GPU-powered mining, with CNBC reporting profits went from $150 per month in the summer to $0 this November.
ASUS isn't guaranteeing profit either. According to the announcement, "Earning rates may change based on the performance of the cryptocurrency market and cannot be guaranteed or influenced in any way by Quantumcloud." Quantum Cloud's website, on the other hand, does offer up:
"An example of a typical scenario would be a gaming PC with a GTX 1070. This system could generate more than 20000 Quantum dots every day, which would result in approximately USD$10 deposited in your account over the course of a month. You won't get rich quick, but you can earn some easy money with your idle GPUs. So, what are you waiting for?"
Gaming – whether you're a professional or a streamer, or you use a PC or a console – can just be fun, for crying out loud. You don't have to make money to legitimize your hobbies, and ASUS' GPU mining plan reads like a 2018-chic move to attach "blockchain" or "crypto" to a product that doesn't really need it.