In contrasting reports, South Korea cut down on the import of mining chips citing possible energy hazards for the economy; while Taiwan showed how the export of mining chips could be beneficial to the economy.
The Korean Custom Services (KCS) has published a report on April 18 which placed mining hardware on a list of items which must meet strict import requirements – such as safety certifications. The report also mentions that between the last two months of 2017, 454 mining chips valued at 1.3 billion South Korean won ($1.2 million) were imported, as noted by the KCS.
Kyunghyang, a media outlet in South Korea, reported that the main reason behind the development is the rapidly rising number of crypto miners imported into the country, as noted by the border control agency.
According to the KCS, miners raise the concerns of a possible fire incident owing to the high electricity consumption and as a result, increased heating. For the safety norms, KCS shall adhere to the electronics standards as issued by a governmental organizatoin that deals with regulatory standards, the National Radio Research Agency.
Due to the fire risk and high electricity usage, individuals and businesses from the public and private sector have ceased mining activities. Surprisingly, the import regulations have been introduced at a time marked with a standstill in mining activities.
Korea’s law enforcement agencies have been particularly strict on the sector. Early on April 2, fourteen people from a dozen different companies – who made use of cheap electric energy at industrial factories – were arrested by the Korean police for illegal crypto mining.
Bitmain Chips Supplier TSMC Posts Billion Dollar Q1 Profits
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) reported a strong Q1 result, attributing to the increase in demand of cryptocurrency mining chips.
On April 19 at the company’s shareholder meet, the semiconductor giant reported sales revenues of $8.5 billion, indicating a 6.1 percent revenue growth since last year, and 60 percent growth from February 2018.
Based on a financial statement dated April 10, the company’s revenues for March total at $3.5 billion, accounting for 41 percent of the Q1 sales. The statement further noted March 2018 as the “largest single monthly sales income for the firm.”
According to TSMC’s President, C. C. Wei:
“These results were mainly driven by strong demand from high performance computing such as cryptocurrency mining.”
In accordance with Wei’s statement, co-founder Mark Liu said:
“We see very strong demand in the first quarter from cryptocurrencies. During the second quarter, while we do see some weakness in the 28mm chip, the [demand for] the rest of the technology is still very strong on cryptocurrency.”
Earlier in April, BTCManager reported about Bitmain’s massive demand for electronic wafers from their supplier – TSMC – for use in the Antminer E3, a dedicated ASIC mining machine for Ethereum. As per TSMC’s accounts, Bitmain orders 100,000 wafers per month from the manufacturer.
This goes to show that while crypto mining can deem to be hazardous, the manufacture and importation of mining hardware is highly advantageous.