Following Samsung’s expansion into producing ASIC chips utilized in Bitcoin mining, the multinational conglomerate has reported a record performance for operating income.

This is the fourth straight quarter of record operating performance for the company, while Samsung has posted an operating profit of USD 14.45 billion in Q1 this year. The vice president of investor relations, Robert Yi, has attributed this to the increased demand for Bitcoin mining hardware.

”In the semiconductor business, earnings increased significantly year-over-year thanks to favorable memory market conditions driven by a strong demand for server and graphics memory as well as earnings improvements in both System LSI and foundry businesses led by increasing demand for chips used in flagship smartphones and cryptocurrency mining” he said.

The senior vice president of Samsung’s semiconductor business for memory, SeWon Chun, also spoke positively of the sales, saying “for graphics … total demand increased thanks to strong demand from graphics cards and cryptocurrency mining.”

Chun noted that for the second half of 2018, the foundry business would put an emphasis on ”diversifying the consumer base”.

Samsung faces stiff competition from Taiwan Semi, who supply ASIC chips to Bitmain and Canaan Creative.

Leading to centralization?

Not everybody in the cryptocurrency community is happy about corporations such as Samsung and Taiwan Semi mass producing ASIC chips. The market is susceptible to manipulation through the dominance of hashing power and holdings of large sums of currency, with organizations capable of making bulk purchases of hardware that increases mining efficiency.

As the number and size of industrial-scale mining operations continue to increase, smaller mining projects face the threat of becoming unprofitable. Some see this as the mining process moving away from the decentralized ethos of cryptocurrencies.

One solution being pushed for, particularly in the case of Ethereum, is for cryptocurrency developers to build a resistance to ASIC’s. There is currently, however, no way to enforce any form of regulation that could make this a requirement.


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