Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining has been to the significant benefit of chip manufacturers like NVidia and AMD, with analysts holding mining for cryptocurrencies responsible for significant growth in share prices across the industry.
The competition looks set to become even more fierce, with reports today that hardware giants Samsung have entered the market, in partnership with an unidentified Chinese commercial partner.
The news, which has been attributed to senior insiders at the company, has been reported in South Korean media. According to their reports, Samsung has already started manufacturing the ASICS at scale, ready for distribution by their Chinese partners as early as next month.
It follows from widespread speculation about Samsung’s plans for the cryptocurrency mining space, after it demonstrated a mining rig constructed from second-hand Android phones at a developer’s conference back in late 2017.
To date, Samsung have remained officially tight-lipped, and some analysts have suggested there may be multiple partnerships and product lines in the pipeline. Earlier announcements have suggested a similar partnership could be in place with a Russian distribution company, following a similar hookup with bitcoin miners Baikal.
Samsung already does a significant proportion of its business in processors like ASICS, accounting for as much as 60% of their total revenue in 2017. The move to service the cryptocurrency mining markets, one of the fastest growing sectors of the market, could present a significant commercial opportunity for the company.
Chinese manufacturer Bitmain is thought to control around 70% of the total market at present, with Samsung likely to be intent on carving their own increasing share of the market. Some on Twitter pointed out the sheer scale of the Samsung manufacturing operation as evidence of its strong position to challenge in the bitcoin mining market.
It remains to be seen when Samsung will confirm the news, and whether the link with the latest distributor is a sign of a broader strategy for international distribution.
According to the reports, manufacturing is already well underway, so it looks a case of ‘when’ the news is confirmed, rather than ‘if’. Analysts will now be looking to see whether Samsung can emerge as a new challenger in the market.