Samsung confirms making chips for mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrency

Laverne Mann
February 2, 2018

Samsung Electronics has announced that it is making chips specifically to cash on crypto-currency coins.

Samsung is keen to capitalise on the cryptocurrency boom. These companies specialize in producing ASICs (application-specific integratied circuits) - chips designed specifically to mine Bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies. Its foray into mining-specific hardware, which are much more efficient that GPUs, suggests that it's ready to play a bigger role in the booming cryptocurrency industry.

Cryptocurrency fever has gripped the world this year, with bitcoin now trading roughly at $10,000, almost 10 times its price this time last year. First, it was just Bitcoin that miners used to churn up by performing a series of complex calculations using graphic cards and now it looks like Samsung is going to take advantage of this market as well.

A stock split is a decision by a company's board of directors to increase the number of shares that are outstanding by issuing more shares to current shareholders.

Fourth quarter earnings were driven by the components business, with the largest contribution coming from the memory business that manufactures DRAM and NAND chips, the company said.

Samsung has a division within its semiconductor business called Foundry, building chipsets for other companies.

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Kwon Young Choi, the vice president of Samsung's display unit, brushed off reports that Apple will cut iPhone X production for the first three months of the year amid soft sales, saying the screen business was not dependent on any one client. Currently, China's Bitmain and Canaan Creative dominate this space, with both companies partnering with Taiwanese chip maker TSMC.

However, the outlook for Samsung's smartphones was uncertain amid competition from Chinese rivals in markets like Europe and Asia, said Tom Kang, research director at data provider Counterpoint.

The size of Samsung's semiconductor plant could give the firm an automatic advantage, according to analysts. At the time of writing, Bitcoin trades near $9,300.

Samsung overtook Intel previous year to become the world's biggest chipmaker.

Mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the blockchain, and also the means through which new cryptocurrencies are released.

Reports indicate that in December 2017, Samsung inked a deal with Russian based bitcoin miner, Baikal, to supply ASICs.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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