American multinational graphics card maker, NVidia, announced they accidentally released its new RTX 3060 GPU without removing Ethereum mining restrictions. The GPU was originally designed for gaming, with the company confirming they will launch a dedicated mining GPU soon.
Launched as a gaming graphics card, NVidia mistakenly lifted the Ethereum mining restrictions on the recently launched RTX 3060 graphics card. According to Verge’s report, the company removed a hash rate limiter on the cards allowing mining of Proof-of-Work (PoW) coins such as Ethereum (ETH).
Having announced that the RTX 3060 graphics card will face up to a 50% reduction in its Ethereum mining hash rate limit earlier in the year, NVidia released the graphics card on February 25, 2021, without putting the restrictions in place.
“A developer driver inadvertently included code used for internal development which removes the hash rate limiter on RTX 3060 in some configurations,” an NVidia spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “The driver has been removed.”
Despite removing the driver, the action seems irreversible, with Nvidia’s latest 470.05 beta driver allows users to unlock the hash rate to start mining Ethereum.
The company planned to lock this driver to chase away crypto miners from purchasing the graphics card, which is specified for gaming. While NVidia released a statement that its restrictions (if put in place) couldn’t be defeated, it seems the company overlooked the fact that the driver could unlock itself.
Bryan Del Rizzo, Nvidia’s head of communications, said the latest mistake “is not just a driver thing” explaining,
“There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter.”