If you need any more evidence that cryptocurrency mining is hitting primetime, look no further than this latest report that Samsung is looking into get in on the action. Samsung has reputedly partnering with a Chinese cryptocurrency mining company to deliver application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for Bitcoin.
The initial report, which comes courtesy of a South Korean publication, cites Samsung officials as the source for this information. The chips allegedly completed the development phase late last year and entered production earlier this month.
Samsung already confirmed today during its Q4 earrings call that it will see "benefit from cryptocurrency demand increase." This coincides with comments from Samsung executives speaking with The Bell, who added [excuse the poor Google translation], "Underway foundry business to be supplied to the local virtual currencies in China mining companies. [It] is related to business start initial income scale saw in the entire foundry is still insignificant."
Our translation: Samsung is making headway into getting its foundry business [for cryptocurrency mining] online for Chinese customers, and that while it is starting off small, it hopes to scale operations.
Samsung's entry into the hardware market for cryptocurrency mining will put it head-to-head with Chinese firm Bitmain. According to reports, Bitmain commands over 70 percent of the market in the space, but Samsung is a massive company with seemingly endless resources. This could allow it to easily dominate the market once it scales operations.
Cryptocurrency like Ethereum and Bitcoin prices have soared over the past few months and miners are looking to cash in on the craze. As we've all recently witnessed, the prices of mainstream- and enthusiast-class graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA have skyrocketed, with some even doubling in price (or more). Supplies are incredibly thin and AMD says that it will strive to increase GPU production to appease both miners and gamers.