Samsung's chip-making division decided to dive into the lucrative space of cryptocurrency mining. The Korean news outlet, The Bell, broke the news on Tuesday and Samsung confirmed to TechCrunch on Wednesday that the company is indeed making crypto-mining chips.
"Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips," the company told TechCrunch without disclosing any further details.
This could make Samsung a very serious competitor to Chinese companies such as Bitmain, Canaan and the U.S-based Bitfury. These companies specialise in producing ASICs – application-specific integrated circuits – chips designed to specifically mine Bitcoin and or other cryptocurrencies.
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. The details of this may differ but many other cryptocurrencies employ a similar process of creating new coins. Nearly anyone could mine Bitcoin just using their home computer but, as bitcoin has become more popular, the mining difficulty has increased and has now reached such a level that one can only seriously mine with ASICs.
Cryptocurrency mining is a profitable business, and it is no wonder that Samsung, the world's largest chip maker as of January 31, 2018, is looking to enter the mining space. TSMC, which is a Taiwanese company that makes chips for Bitmain and Creative, added $350-400 million in revenue in the last quarter from the crypto-mining business alone.