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| March 22, 2018

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State fines lenders for pushing borrowers into high-cost loans

March 13, 2018 |

High-cost lender Advance America will pay refunds to hundreds of California customers after a state regulator accused the firm of charging illegally high interest rates topping 100%.

The action, announced Monday, comes a few months after the Department of Business Oversight took actions against…

L.A. Times – Business

Why Businesses Are Pushing for Better Child Care in America

February 11, 2018 |

Historically low unemployment is forcing headway on an issue that has been around since women entered the workforce: child care. Businesses increasingly see it as an issue vital to their operations and communities. US Business

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits

February 6, 2018 |

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining has become a growing industry, and mining operations continue to compete by making faster chips and purchasing large quantities of land to host data facilities all over the world. Data recorded from around the globe shows the mining economy is booming and the venture has become very profitable for many mining operations and chip manufacturers. For instance, this week it was revealed by regional reports that the Chinese firm, Bitmain Technologies, raked in 14.3 billion yuan ($ 2.3billion USD) in revenue last year from sales.

Also read: Dead again? In Reality Bitcoin Is Up 729% Since Last February

Mining Proves to Be One of Cryptocurrency’s Most Profitable Sectors

Mining cryptocurrencies like bitcoin has become very profitable for those who know how to obtain cheap electricity and operate a sound business. The ecosystem has spread as Graphics processing unit (GPU), and Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip manufacturers are making lots of money from the mining industry.

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits
AMD, Nvidia, TSMC public shares on October 23, 2017

Public shares from companies like AMD, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), and many others have spiked considerably this past year. It turns out, that still to this day, churning out complicated math problems to find blocks is one of the hottest sectors in the cryptocurrency space, and this phenomenon will likely continue. One example is the 16-nanometer mining chip that has been an industry standard for quite some time, but now 12nm, 10nm, and 7nm chips are coming in the near future.   

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits
According to reports, digital currency mining represents a good slice of TSMC’s revenue and the “Chip Boom” bolstered TSMC’s Q4 profits in 2017.

China’s Two Dominant Mining Manufacturing Businesses

One firm, Bitmain Technologies, has been a top mining chip manufacturer for a very long time delivering mass-produced ASIC rigs featuring 28nm, 16nm semiconductors. A recent disclosure from China’s Digitimes details that Bitmain had reportedly ordered 100,000 12nm chips from TSMC and the order was marked “urgent.” Alongside the order, according to the publications 8BTC and Applancer, the Chinese mining firm Bitmain Technologies revenue in 2017 was 14.3 billion yuan ($ 2.3billion USD). The report says that “Bitmain has become China’s second largest IC design company, ranked only second to Hisilicon.” With many companies entering the industry, Bitmain is relentlessly holding its top position in the cryptocurrency mining economy.

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits
Bitmain’s Sophon series semiconductors.

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and ProfitsAnother company that’s done very well last year is China’s Canaan Creative a firm that also creates digital currency miners. The Avalon bitcoin mining chip manufacturer attracted investors in May of last year raising 300m yuan ($ 43Mn USD). A week later Canaan acquired the first document timestamping service for the bitcoin core blockchain called Proof of Existence. According to the reports, Canaan has been developing 7nm semiconductor chip designs and has plans to enter the Artificial Intelligence (AI) market. Coincidently Bitmain is also attempting to enter the AI market with its custom-designed semiconductor hardware.

Bitfury Is Still Dabbling In the Mining Industry  

The blockchain firm Bitfury created in 2011 has said it has been making a lot of money this year as the company claims to be generating $ 100Mn USD annually. Although, it’s also been reported that the company doesn’t like to be referred to as a ‘mining company’ anymore, but still seems to dabble in the industry.

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits
Bitfury’s Blockbox AC – an air-cooled mobile datacenter.

Nevertheless, the company still has a mining pool, but it doesn’t command the hashrate it used to years ago, capturing only 1.7 percent of the network’s processing power. Further, the company’s website sells a mobile bitcoin mining unit called the ‘Blockbox,’ and it still sells custom 16nm semiconductor chips. The company hasn’t shown any signs of designing a new semiconductor smaller than the 16nm. Bitfury has also pivoted its business in many different directions with ideas like lightbulbs that mine bitcoin, and blockchain surveillance services. At the same time, the firm has recently claimed to be building the biggest mining operation in North America.

New Fish or Sharks Will Swim Among the Whales

All of these current mining conglomerates have some competition coming soon as there are a few companies aiming to join the mining industry with superior technology. For instance, the Japanese firm, GMO Internet Inc, just recently announced the successful completion of 12nm Fin FET Compact (FFC) semiconductor chips. After completing this task, GMO says the feat has brought them closer “towards realizing a […] 7 NM process technology for mining chips.”

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits
GMO developed its 12nm chips on January 23, stating that it continues to research 7nm, 5nm, and 3.5nm mining chips. According to Masatoshi Kumagai, GMO Group’s president, “Each card will be able to mine at a projected 8 terahashes per second or more with a power consumption of only 300 watts.”

Another Japanese firm that is making waves in the mining industry is the e-commerce and internet conglomerate DMM Group. The firm has started its own mining operations and a “crypto mining lab” that plans to research and develop “the highest per unit hash power” in custom DMM machines.

Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits
DMM Group’s crypto mining lab.

According to reports last week, the well known Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung is entering the bitcoin hardware and semiconductor market. Allegedly Samsung’s foundry is manufacturing 10-nanometer chips for both GPU and ASIC devices.

It’s safe to say the mining industry will continue to be a very lucrative business, but there have been many failed operations along the way like Butterfly Labs, Black Arrow Software, Hashfast, Vmc, and Cointerra. Some of the older companies like Canaan and Bitmain still have to keep their guard up as new entrants come into the market with faster processors. However, the revenues and funding these existing companies received this year continues to give them a competitive edge until the newcomers prove their devices and semiconductors are what they claim.

What do you think about the competitive mining industry and how lucrative these businesses are? Do you think the new companies claiming to have faster chips will change the mining industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Pixabay, DMM, GMO, Atlas data, PwC, McLean Reports, Bitfury, Canaan Creative, and Bitmain Technologies. 

Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoina podcast updated each Friday.

The post Cryptocurrencies Are Pushing Semiconductor Innovation and Profits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Goop Pushing ‘Fake Medicine’ With $135 Coffee Enema: Doc

January 8, 2018 |

Each January, Goop “[gets] back to business,” meaning it’s “detox month” at Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand. But 2018’s version is promoting a concept Ars Technica calls a “stupid and dangerous idea.” As part of the site’s “Beauty & Wellness Detox Guide” , Goop encourages readers to buy a $ 135 contraption known…

Trump Pushing Hard to Keep Romney Out of Senate

December 4, 2017 |

After almost 41 years in office, Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch is the longest-serving Republican senator in US history—and President Trump apparently wants the 83-year-old Senate Finance Committee chairman to seek another term in 2018. Sources tell Politico that Trump, who will appear with Hatch at an event in Salt…

Marriott CEO says Trump policies may be pushing business travelers to Canada

November 4, 2017 |

Another travel industry leader is criticizing President Trump, saying his policies and speeches may be pushing organizers of business meetings and conferences to consider going to Canada over the U.S.

Marriott International Chief Executive Arne Sorenson told Bloomberg News that organizers of large…

L.A. Times – Business

L.A.’s Capital Group accused of bilking employees — by pushing its own mutual funds

June 22, 2017 |

Los Angeles finance giant Capital Group manages dozens of mutual funds, all of them run by human beings who pick individual stocks and bonds to buy or sell.

And the vast majority of the assets of the company’s employee retirement savings plan is invested in those same funds.

Now, a former Capital…

L.A. Times – Business

Elizabeth Echols has made a career of pushing for equal access to services

March 31, 2017 |

The gig: Elizabeth Echols, 56, is director of the state Office of Ratepayer Advocates, the agency that represents consumers before the California Public Utilities Commission. She oversees 147 engineers, economists and financial experts who work for low utility rates for consumers. The Virginia…

L.A. Times – Business

Malaysia Pushing for Release of Citizens Trapped in North Korea

March 12, 2017 |

Malaysia’s foreign minister said North Korea confirmed the nine Malaysians trapped there by a travel ban linked to the killing of Kim Jong Nam were safe and that Pyongyang was ready to talk. What’s News Asia

Japan to Keep Pushing Free Trade as Trump Exits Pacific Pact

January 24, 2017 |

Japanese leaders haven’t given up on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw. What’s News Asia