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Gamers vs. Miners: GPU market explodes following crypto frenzy

Yehia El Amine

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GPU market

Not so long ago, Bitcoin had been the talk of the town within the tech circle, mainly due to the level of complexity in understanding its inner workings by the common consumer-base.

Currently, however, Bitcoin has ignited a frenzy among anyone looking to make extra money on the side by either investing or mining the cryptocurrency; many across the world began beefing up their PC rigs to be able to mine at a consistent rate to produce profit.

Crypto mining is the act of gaining cryptocurrencies by solving cryptographic equations using computers. This process involves validating data blocks and adding transaction records to a public record or ledger known as a blockchain.

This isn’t a light task to consider since mining requires powerful processing power to be able to consistently mine the currency, which requires heavy-duty graphic cards, otherwise known as GPUs. Many miners build rigs using several graphics cards at a time to produce a powerful machine dedicated to mining cryptocurrency, rather than gaming.

For this to be economical, the rig must generate more in Bitcoins than the cost of the hardware and the electricity it uses to run.

The rise of crypto mining has brought with it a drought in GPUs across the board, most of whom getting bought up by miners, or being sniped for re-sale on websites such as eBay for astronomical prices.

The current crypto bull-run has caused a skirmish between miners and gamers, who are struggling to get their hands on proper GPUs. This has pushed big players in the semiconductor industry to begin offering cards targeted to crypto miners, with an intent to keep gaming cards in the hands of gamers.

PC Gamer reported earlier on Monday that U.S.-based semiconductor AMD is looking to release a series of cryptocurrency-oriented mining processors, specifically for Ethereum mining.

Nvidia is looking to do the same and has already acted by allowing its software for its GeForce RTX 3060 card to limit how efficiently it can process Ethereum transactions by about 50 percent.

However, it is worth mentioning that the so-called war between miners and gamers has boosted the GPU market significantly.

According to Bangalore-based market research firm, Valuates Reports, the global Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) market was valued at $19.75 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $200.85 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 33.6 percent from 2020 to 2027.

The report highlighted that the major factors driving the growth of the GPU market mainly due to advancements in graphics-based games and growing adoption of gaming laptops and computers.

In parallel, the rise of the market could be attributed to the skyrocketing trends of cryptocurrency mining, popularity of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), as well as the high adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in various industries.

“With hyper-realistic graphics and vast, complicated in-game environments, video games have become more computationally intensive. GPU’s demand is increasing rapidly with the rise of virtual reality gaming and advanced display technology such as 4K displays and high refresh rates,” the report noted.

It later added that a variety of organizations are focusing on augmented reality solutions, all with the intention of radically improving how people communicate with machines. “Companies are designing cutting-edge GPU systems for AR and VR, resulting in a completely interactive environment that appeals to the computer and film industries, developers, and customers alike,” Valuates Reports added.

In addition, GPU enables a feature rich Internet of Things (IoT) interface that is both seamless and pervasive across all industries. 3D graphics for user interface composite processing and dynamic 3D user interfaces are some of the examples of GPU applications in IoT.

“Advances in integrated and hybrid GPUs can help IoT systems meet their ideal requirements of appropriate form factors and low power consumption, making them suitable for battery-powered devices,” the report explained.

According to the Valuates Reports, the smartphone segment dominated the GPU market share in 2019 and is expected to continue this trend during the forecast period.

Based on the region, Asia-Pacific dominated the global graphics processing unit market in 2019 and is projected to remain dominant during the forecast period. This is due to the regional government’s substantial investment in developing high-performance graphic computing systems for defense and intelligence and the growing use of IoT systems, which necessitate powerful graphic computing systems.

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Yehia is an investigative journalist and editor with extensive experience in the news industry as well as digital content creation across the board. He strives to bring the human element to his writing.

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Japan’s Paidy BNPL credit provider announces partnership with global PayPal

Inside Telecom Staff

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credit provider

Paidy, a Japanese “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) solutions provider, which serves 700,000 online merchants in Japan, announced Friday the launch of Paidy Link, a new feature that allows users to instantly link digital wallets with their Paidy accounts.

In parallel, under the launch plan, is Paidy’s partnership with PayPal giving Japanese consumers shopping options through PayPal’s 29 million merchants around the world.

Each purchase will be automatically converted into a Japanese yen purchase with Paidy that can be settled each month with Paidy “Atobarai,” the Buy Now Pay Later service, or 3-Pay. This will allow Paidy users to manage their budgets within the Paidy app.

The 3-Pay service gives customers the option to split charges into three equal, interest-free, monthly installments, which the company said has “been very well received.”

Russell Cummer, Paidy founder and Executive Chairman, said, “I am extremely excited to announce the launch of Paidy Link, offering a great new way for consumers to use their Paidy accounts for online shopping internationally,” adding. “PayPal is an amazing partner for us to launch this functionality with and we are sure that our 5 million account holders will be thrilled to take advantage of the combined power of Paidy and PayPal.”

“We look forward to working closely with PayPal to literally bring the world to our Japanese consumers,” the Paidy founder said.

Paidy’s stated mission is to “take the hassle out of your payment and purchase experiences.” It also aims to create an environment where consumers are shopping within their budget limits.

The app allows customers to shop using their mobile phone number and email address, and then pay the accumulated charges the next month.

Peter Kenevan, VP, Head of PayPal Japan, commented, “We are excited about our partnership with Paidy. This partnership allows Paidy users to have access to PayPal’s 29 million merchants — in fashion, gaming, cosmetics and more — from Japan and around the world.”

By linking their Paidy accounts to PayPal, consumers can enjoy much greater freedom and more choices from the comfort of their home,” He added.

Paidy is an innovator with its use of BNPL, offering monthly-consolidated credit to consumers by enhancing shopping flexibility through split payment and purchase experiences.

Paidy uses proprietary models and machine learning to underwrite transactions quickly and guarantee payments to merchants.

BNPL solutions are branded as having the potential to increase revenue for merchants by reducing the number of incomplete transactions, increasing conversion rates, boosting average order values, and facilitating repeat purchases from consumers.

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Mastercard, Geidea team up to bring contactless payments to Saudi Arabia

Inside Telecom Staff

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contactless payments

Global financial services company Mastercard, and Geidea, the largest fintech company in Saudi Arabia by market share, announced earlier this week a strategic partnership agreement to accept Mastercard payments using a Tap-on-Phone solution in Saudi Arabia.

Geidea is the first fintech company to roll out contactless payments acceptance technology across the Kingdom, which will enable businesses to use smartphones as payment acceptance devices.

Tap-on-Phone is an innovative, intuitive, and cost-effective app-based solution that allows small businesses to quickly embrace electronic acceptance through their smart mobile or tablet device.

With smart phone penetration of more than 70 percent in the Kingdom, Tap-on-Phone has the potential to reach over 300,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and merchants in the first year alone.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift in consumer behavior towards digital and contactless payments channels, making it imperative for businesses to adapt and shift to a more online based model. We are therefore proud to partner with Mastercard and provide businesses with a relevant solution that offers the ability to accept safe, secure and seamless contactless payments through Tap-on-Phone technology,” said Abdullah Al-Othman, the Founder and Chairman of Geidea.

Presently, the Geidea network provides payment and e-commerce solutions to more than 100,000 merchants – covering 600,000 payment terminals and ATMs within the Kingdom.

As one of the many use cases, Tap-on-Phone enables more SMEs to accept secure card payments on delivery, in lieu of cash-on-delivery (COD) which is often the only on-delivery payment option.

According to Bain.com, around 62 percent of MENA online shoppers choose COD as payment method when buying online, compared with less than five percent in the UK and France. Cash conversion is key to developing a new payment landscape and improve consumer experience.

“Through our partnership with Geidea, we can help small businesses expand their ability to accept digital payments and grow their earning potential. The solution will also help Saudi Arabia to transition safely into a secure digital payment ecosystem, without the risks associated with a large cash pool,” said J.K. Khalil, Country Manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Levant, Mastercard.

Tap-on-Phone makes it easier for SMEs to use their compatible smartphones to accept quick, easy, and secure, payments from their customers for goods or services. It saves businesses money and time, because all they need to receive electronic payments is an NFC-enabled Android device on version 7.0 or newer.

Geidea also recently became the only non-bank institution in Saudi Arabia to be granted an acquiring license from Saudi Central Bank (SAMA). The license enables the fintech company to process secure, fast, and seamless end-to-end payment solutions directly to merchants.

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Facial recognition for payments to reach 1.4 billion users by 2025

Inside Telecom Staff

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Facial recognition for payments

Contactless payments have been one of FinTech’s most prized innovation, silently growing in popularity within all types of commerce and shopping, with the pandemic skyrocketing its adoption across the board.

As such, facial recognition for payments is on track to become the new norm of payment methods as the number of users of software-based facial recognition to secure payments will exceed 1.4 billion globally by 2025, from just 671 million in 2020, a new study by Juniper Research found.

This rapid growth of 120 percent demonstrates how widespread facial recognition has become; fueled by its low barriers to entry, a front-facing camera and appropriate software.

“We identified the implementation of FaceID by Apple as accelerating the growth of the wider facial recognition market, despite the challenges to facial recognition during the pandemic with face mask use,” the research highlighted.

Seeing that technological innovation tend to trickle down toward other uses, all indications point toward the inevitable growth toward facial recognition for payments.

However, researchers at Juniper recommend that facial recognition vendors implement robust and rapidly evolving AI‑based verification checks to ensure the validity of user identity, or risk losing user trust in the authentication method as spoofing attempts increase.

Fingerprint sensors dominant, facial recognition growing

The new research – called ‘Mobile Payment Authentication: Biometrics, Regulation & Market Forecasts 2021-2025’ – found that fingerprint sensors will feature on 93 percent of biometrically equipped smartphones in 2025.

This compares favorably to hardware-based facial recognition, with just 17 percent of biometrically equipped smartphones featuring these capabilities in 2025.

“Hardware-based facial recognition is growing, but the ability to carry out facial recognition via software is limiting its adoption rate. As the need for a secure mobile authentication environment grows, smartphone vendors will need to increasingly turn to more robust hardware-based systems to keep pace with fraudsters’ evolving tactics,” research co-author Susan Morrow explained.

Voice recognition for payments growing, but limited in scope

In parallel, the report also found that the use of voice recognition for payments is increasing, from 111 million users in 2020, to over 704 million in 2025. The research identified that, at present, voice recognition is mostly used in banking, and will struggle to grow beyond this, due to concerns around robustness.

“Juniper Research recommends that vendors adopt a multi-method biometric strategy, which encompasses facial recognition, fingerprints, voice and behavioral indicators to ensure a secure payment environment,” the report authors noted.

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