What’s Going On?
Samsung Electronics said it is mass-producing computer microchips used specifically for crypto-currency mining.
Why Does It Matter?
Prices for crypto-mining chips may fall, creating even more competition among miners.
Samsung is the largest chipmaker in the world by revenue. Its chips can be found in almost every kind of computing device. Until now, the chips that crypto-miners use – known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) – have been made by specialist firms. With Samsung now manufacturing them at scale, prices may fall, making them more readily available to miners currently using other types of chips (such as GPUs, or graphics processing units). This is an interesting bet by Samsung on the long term future of crypto-currencies and the blockchain.
What Is Crypto-Mining?
Crypto-mining is where a computer that verifies and timestamps transactions on a crypto-currency network is rewarded for providing this service with new units of the currency – known as tokens or coins. Transactions are verified by solving complex mathematical problems. These take up a lot of computing power, so while anyone with a computer can become a miner, those with the most advanced hardware tend to make the most money.