Will the Plunge in Bitcoin Crush AMD and Nvidia?

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A crackdown in cryptocurrencies in China and ICOs (initial coin offerings) has been weighing on bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets. After nearing the $5,000 mark, bitcoin prices have been plunging, now trading near $3,875. Currently, it’s down 7% or almost $300 per bitcoin thanks to recent comments from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon. He called it a “fraud” and said he would fire any trader at the bank who touched it.

“You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,” Dimon said at the Delivering Alpha conference Tuesday.

The fall in bitcoin has some wondering what other implications the drop could have. Specifically, could it hurt Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) going forward?

In a note earlier this week, Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis laid out just how much exposure NVDA stock and AMD stock have to cryptocurrencies. The stocks aren’t directly correlated, but because their graphics products are used to mine cryptocurrencies like ethereum, demand for the products are tied to demand for the currencies. The higher demand for crypto, the higher demand for the tools necessary to mine it. That’s good news for AMD and NVDA.

In the second quarter, Lipacis says about 3% of Advanced Micro Devices’ sales came from cryptocurrencies, while accounting for about 10% of Nvidia’s revenue. There are reasons to believe that risks are limited in the near term, Lipacis says, and that cryptocurrencies are not a fad.

But do price drops like the current one in bitcoin hurt AMD and Nvidia? The algorithms may say yes. AMD stock is down about 1% near the open Wednesday, while NVDA stock is down about 75 basis points. Both are underperforming the PowerShares Nasdaq ETF (QQQ) .

Even large near-term price fluctuations in bitcoin are unlikely to cause demand to drop significantly though, which should pad AMD and Nvidia’s cryptocurrency business. However, should demand taper off significantly in the future, it would have a negative impact on these two stocks.

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