It looks like Samsung is set to be the latest major technology company to get involved with the world of bitcoin, the blockchain, and digital currencies.
It has been reported by South Korean news agency The Bell that they have already begun the development of certain application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) hardware that is specialized for cryptocurrency mining, such as that of bitcoin.
This supposed deal means that Samsung will enter into an agreement with an unnamed provider of mining equipment in China whereby they will develop the required hardware for Samsung beginning in January 2018. This partner in China will then have the chips distributed once they have been manufactured.
It is also said that Samsung is readying itself for the mass production of these chips starting in January. This is not a small trial program; they have already given the green light for this large-scale operation. Their role in the relationship with the Chinese partner is to be a foundry operator.
Currently, the only significant player in the ASIC mining industry is that of Bitmain, who hold approximately 70 percent of the market at the moment, so Samsung will provide some significant competition in this market. This can only be a good thing for those people who will be purchasing these products.
Some may think that this move has come out of nowhere, but this is not the first time there have been rumors about Samsung’s interest in the space of blockchain hardware.
It was in October 2017 that they had demonstrated one of their concepts for an experimental mining rig that is upcycling and had been built using 40 previously used Galaxy S5 mobile devices.
This demonstration took place at the United States developer’s conference. It was at the end of 2017 that Samsung also was reported to have entered into an agreement with a bitcoin mining hardware firm based in Russia called Bakai that meant Samsung would be their supplier for ASIC chips.
While a lot of these agreements are still rumors, usually there is no smoke without fire. It appears that Samsung has gauged the demand for an alternative to the mining hardware that is currently on the market and has seen an opportunity that can be exploited. South Korea has gone cryptocurrency mad since mid-2017, so it is no surprise to see one of the country’s largest companies getting involved in the space.
They have the expertise when it comes to the development of chips as their current line of chip products were responsible for over 60 percent of their operating revenue in 2017.
It is an exciting time for the mining hardware sector, and there surely will be a response from the main competitors in the market, namely Bitmain and Canaan Creative, with both of these parties having their chips manufactured in Taiwan by TSMC.
Other companies are getting involved in mining hardware in what is a departure from their usual offerings. Kodak announced in January 2018 that they had developed their own mining device, but a warm reaction from industry experts was not observed.