Just after beating Intel to become the world’s largest chipmaker, Samsung confirms that it is manufacturing cryptocurrency mining chips, after rumors about the company building such chips surfaced this week. Samsung’s ASIC chips will mine Bitcoin, Ether and some other major cryptocurrencies.
“Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips. However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers,” a Samsung spokesperson told TechCrunch.
The company refused to reveal further information regarding its crypto mining chips.
The news was first reported by a South Korean news outlet, The Bell, which claimed that Samsung collaborated with an unknown Chinese distributor partner.
Samsung is already manufacturing high-capacity memory chips for GPUs that are traditionally meant to handle computer graphics but can also be used for mining.
By stepping into the ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) space, Samsung is offering a serious competition to the Chinese Bitmain and Canaan Creative, both of which use ASIC from Taiwanese giant TSMC.
It is still unclear how Samsung will make its place in the new environment. The South Korean conglomerate will basically rival TSMC (which it already competes on other business segments) to attract companies that produce finished mining products. If the firm successfully finds new partners or if it makes the hardware itself, it will be a big threat to Bitmain and co.
Indeed the crypto boom caused major gains in the earnings of TSMC (Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company). The Taiwanese chipmaker reported this month that it received $350 to $400 million in revenue just from crypto miners.
Although the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile, it would take a long, long time to have an impact on a company like Samsung. The firm incredibly grossed $69 billion in chip sales in 2017.