Tech 31 January 2018Vince Dioquino
Samsung begins manufacturing cryptocurrency mining hardware
South Korea’s electronics and tech behemoth is now officially a player in the cryptocurrency space.
In a report published by Korean capital market news site The Bell, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has begun the production phase for ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) miners and other cryptocurrency mining peripherals.
Confirming the news in a tweet, cryptocurrency analyst Joseph Young opined that Samsung’s move to create and sustain their own foundry dedicated to cryptocurrency mining is “unprecedented,” adding that it would most likely “provide Bitmain its first real competitor.”
In the report by The Bell, however, a long-term plan was revealed in which Samsung has partnered up with a Chinese bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer, a partnership that began in 2017. It was only this year that the design and development of Samsung’s own ASIC chips were finished. This is related to news of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) taking mass orders for ASIC miners from Bitmain.
With suppliers like TSMC and now Samsung both providing for major mining companies like Bitmain, the revenues for the foundry business is expected to rise. Samsung Securities analyst Hwang Min-seong, however, said that “[While] Samsung Electronics could increase its revenues through ASIC chip manufacturing but because the foundry only accounts for a small portion of the company’s semi-conductor manufacturing plant, it is difficult to predict that the firm’s mining venture will have a significant impact on the company’s revenues.”
The new foundry is expected to expand its operation in coming years, with Samsung planning ventures from China to other Asian regions like South Korea and Japan which both have strong demand for cryptocurrencies despite government regulation. The foundry’s operation is aligned with the demand from the Chinese bitcoin mining firm that Samsung has partnered with.
As a new player in the foundry business, Samsung’s position isn’t one poised at targeting revenues, rather, it is merely opening and laying out foundations for future ventures. After its brief showcase of upcycled old smartphones repurposed as crypto mining rigs last year, Samsung also has GPU-based mining development in its roadmap for the newly-opened foundry. With its well-established portfolio for large-scale and sophisticated semi-conductor manufacturing, Samsung is stable enough to provide for and match the demand by major mining companies like Bitmain.
With the rising demand for prominent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, ASIC mining rigs have also experienced increased orders. Mining ventures have attracted strong investments from global players and continue to expand as more people are enlightened about the benefits of cryptocurrencies for a future filled with unrestricted growth, global adoption, permissionless innovation, and decentralized development.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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