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Samsung Joins Bitcoin Mining Fray

Samsung Joins Bitcoin Mining Fray

"Samsung's foundry business is now engaged in the manufacturing of crypto-currency mining chips", Samsung told the BBC.

Samsung mentioned in its latest financial report this week that rising sales of these chips are expected to help its earnings this year.

The South Korean company said it's ramping up production of computer chips used to mine digital currencies like bitcoin, cashing in on growing demand. In 2013, the first ASICs specifically for cryptocurrency mining were released. Companies engaged in large scale mining frequently use ASIC chips to create separate mining setups.

Demand for these sorts of chips has constantly gone up as the valuation of cryptocurrencies continues to rise.

People "mine" bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by using computers to solve complex math puzzles. But as Bitcoin became more popular, the mining difficulty automatically increased, and has now reached such levels that one can only seriously mine with ASICs. GPU's speed up the mining process but are inefficient as they consume a lot of power. The move comes as part of a collaboration with a Chinese distribution partner.

Samsung Electronics said operating profits in semiconductor businesses came to 35.2 trillion won in the fourth quarter, accounting for 65.6 percent of its total operating profit in the cited period.

This year, processors, which are designed for bitcoin mining, were put on the market.

Samsung is also getting in on the cryptocurrency business just like everyone else.

It's too early to tell what sort of impact this could have on Samsung's bottom line.

The iPhone X is the first smartphone from Apple to feature an OLED display and since Samsung has a near monopoly in the smartphone OLED panel market, it's the only supplier that can produce OLED displays at a volume not only for itself but for customers like Apple.

And whilst Samsung said that its display panel business, which makes OLED and LCD screens, saw increased shipments of OLED panels for premium smartphones, it LCD panels profitability took a hit due to weak seasonality, which dampened sales and average selling prices.

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