Samsung is a South Korean mega-corporation known internationally as a manufacturer of electronics like big-screen TVs, headphones and tablets. You know, things you’ll find in any neighbor’s home. But as the cryptocurrency craze continues to grow, it appears Samsung wants in, and the company has a new deal supplying Bitcoin mining hardware firm Bitmain with “essential semiconductors”.
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The deal is relatively simple – Samsung Electronics will manufacture the necessary ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) semiconductors for cryptocurrency mining and sell it to Bitmain to install in its mining machines. Samsung will begin building the chip hardware by the end of January.
The story was first reported in South Korean publication The Bell. Samsung is allegedly joining the “blockchain train” to compete with Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC, which also currently supplies ASIC chips to Bitmain. That company is on thin ice after its own hardware received negative reviews from crypto-critics in September of last year — which may have prompted Samsung’s entry.
Two Companies Go Head to Head
Samsung Securities analyst Hwang Min-seong explained that, while the move is expected to generate income and move the company in a positive direction, executives are relatively unclear as to how far they can really go:
“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.”
Samsung has also announced that it plans to offer mining equipment to Japan and the rest of South Korea, where the demand for cryptocurrency is stronger than ever. In addition, the company is also examining the possibilities of manufacturing GPU miners for those “targeting small cryptocurrencies.”
This is not the first time the multinational has ventured into blockchain territory. October of 2017 saw Samsung release its new concept for “an experimental upcycling mining rig” built from the technology of past Galaxy S5 phones.
This was eventually followed by a partnership with Russian bitcoin mining hardware firm Baikal, in which Samsung would begin providing the company’s ASIC mining chips.
Can Samsung Save South Korean Crypto?
For the past several weeks, South Korea has ultimately been unsure about where it stands on bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The nation’s new legislation designed to crack down on trading anonymity on cryptocurrency exchanges caused bitcoin’s price to fall below $10,000 USD – the lowest it’s been since “Red Tuesday”.
Samsung may be the soldier South Korea needs to pave a solid path for digital assets in the country — at least on the manufacturing side.
Is Samsung about to become the ultimate crypto-pioneer? Post your comments below.
Images via Samsung, Wikipedia