Technology

Samsung is cashing in on bitcoin mining

Samsung is cashing in on bitcoin mining

Samsung's decision to make the chips, known as application-specific integrated circuits - or ASICs - is likely to ramp up pressure on the competition. Samsung's move could affect cryptocurrency, other cryptocurrency miners and China's local players.

Having surpassed California-based Intel, once the leading computer chips manufacturer, the South Korean tech giant is clearly set to cash in to the maximum possible extent on the world going insane about blockchain-based technologies.

Its shares have more than doubled in the past two years on the back of its results, reaching levels of more than 2.5 million won apiece, putting them out of reach of many small investors.

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.

As well as an overall boost to its chipmaking reputation, it now appears Samsung is diversifying its options by manufacturing ASIC chips used to mine cryptocurrencies like ether, bitcoin and ripple.

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.

Right now, it's unclear how exactly Samsung will be going about this, but reports from Korean media suggests that the company will be working with Taiwanese firm TSMC.

Samsung reported a record profit of US$32.9 billion in 2017, after more than doubling its profit on-year in the fourth quarter alone.

The company recently took over Intel as being the world's biggest chipmaker. We do wonder whether Samsung will leverage the size of its foundry to manufacture an abundance of ASIC specific chips in a bid to lower the cost of these miners.

However, the downside to using Samsung's chipsets for cryptocurrency is that users might not be able to get the most out of mining.

New Bitcoins are created through the process of mining, in which networked computers solve a tough math problem while at the same time powering Bitcoin's payment network.