The rise of cryptocurrency is creating a new boon for semiconductor companies such a Samsung Electronics and TSMC of Taiwan, according to industry sources.
They said that earlier this month, Samsung signed a contract with Russian Bitcoin mining company Baikal to supply 14nm ASIC chips. The samples have already been tested, and mass production is set to begin in January 2018. Baikal will be using the chips produced by Samsung Electronics in its newly updated Bitcoin mining hardware.
As the demand for cryptocurrency is rising — especially in Korea, which is cited as one of the world’s top five markets — companies providing both mining software and hardware have been rapidly gaining popularity.
Industry watchers noted that since it’s very rare for Samsung, who usually sticks with the safer and established partners like Apple and Qualcomm, to team up with a lesser-known company based in Russia, the company is making a bet on the future business aspects of cryptocurrency.
Currently, Chinese maker Bitmain leads the global mining hardware business with a market share of up to 70 percent. Daily, the company rings up 44 million won (US$40,696) of electricity bills. From Japan, internet firm GMO is planning to produce 7nm ASIC chips.