In a recent anti-smuggling operation, Hong Kong customs seized significant amounts of cosmetics and foods as well as dedicated GPUs for crypto mining operations.
Illegal Crypto-Mining Related GPUs Discovered
On the second day of this month, Hong Kong customs officers working along the waters of the country’s port authorities observed some weirdness when some strange people were offloading cartons from a fishing boat to a close speedboat. Even though the officers couldn’t apprehend the offloaders, they seized the boats only to discover varieties of smuggled items in them. Some of the items they found include cosmetic products, dried shark fins, and electronics.
Apart from these goods being worth about $4M (30 million Hong Kong dollars), the most notable among the goods were crypto mining-dedicated GPUs – the newly released Nvidia CMP 30HX graphics cards by Nvidia. The 30HX is the basic model of the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER there were over 300 of these cards in the boats.
The company behind these cards released this version about two months solely for miners so that gamers can keep using their other GPU hardware. Nvidia announced in mid-February that “we’re releasing Nvidia crypto mining processor which will be solely useful ethereum miners and other detailed crypto mining operations.”
This CMP 30HX is made with a 12nm Turing architecture and has as much as 26mh/s hash rate. Nvidia has already affirmed that these CMP GPUs don’t meet GeForce standards (gamers can’t use them). So, these CMP cards can’t be resold if, for one reason or another, there is an end to crypto mining operations. Since it won’t be used for graphic activities, it doesn’t have display outputs. Currently, the CMP is being sold to retailers for $700. But most tech pundits have derided this price saying there are cheaper alternatives that can perform the same mining operations if not better.
Can The Rumors Be True?
There are rumors that China might be the final destination for these smuggled cards since the authorities in that country have prohibited mining activities involving digital currencies. One such prohibition was the closure of all crypto farms in inner Mongolia and regions. Hence, there are possible reasons to link this illegal operation with the closure of mining farms in inner Mongolia.
Also, there are rumors that these series are built based on order which makes them trackable. However, there is no proof to authenticate such rumors. In the meantime, official reports confirm that there has been an arrest of the vessel’s owner. The 43-year-old owner is said to remain behind bars pending the conclusion of the investigation into the failed operation.
Hong Kong’s commerce law states that any smuggler will serve a 7-year jail term and pay a fine of over $2M. The worldwide shortage of dedicated mining cards has contributed to the rising demand for gaming-related graphic cards. Also, the rising prices of virtual currencies have made Chinese miners go to any lengths to purchase ASIC mining equipment and GPUs.