There are a lot of winners and losers in the cryptocurrency world. If you entered the game a bit too late, then perhaps, you have lost a handful of money, especially in the last few days.
Despite all major cryptocurrencies taking a dive in the past few days, there are still businesses out there that have benefited from the recent crypto mania. Regardless if the digital world is an impending bubble or not, the world’s largest chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has been experiencing high demand for their products. There is also a reported spike in their revenue due to the demand by cryptocurrency miners.
Though the exact numbers aren’t specific, TSMC chief financial officer Lorna Ho mentioned “continuing demand for cryptocurrency mining” as one of two growth factors for the quarter. The other is the major mobile product launches that the company launched. In the previous reporting period, Mark Liu, the company’s co-chief executive officer mentioned that the company received around $350 to $4000 million in revenue from cryptocurrency miners alone.
It is clear that Bitmain, which is one of the most dominant players in the cryptocurrency mining market, gets its silicon from TSMC. However, it isn’t clear whether other mining rig manufacturers use the Taiwanese company’s products. It is safe to assume that majority of TSMC’s income from cryptocurrency mining came from Bitmain.
Though TSMC management has downplayed the role of cryptocurrency mining to its business by not giving exact details, it is possible to infer a few things based on their numbers. For instance, in the third quarter, Liu mentioned that miner demand has spiked and the demand has “stayed on” in the following quarter. This means that it is possible that the income from crypto mining falls between the $350 to $400 million range.
Is This Going to Be a Strong 2018?
One question that a lot of people have in mind is if this demand will continue for this year. During the first weeks of 2018, Liu mentioned that the demand has stayed flat. However, it was reported that she still expects strong demand from miners during the first quarter.
However, the company believes that “cryptocurrencies are still in its early stage of development, it is difficult for us to forecast its demand too far into the future with accuracy”. And this is quite true. Though there’s a massive drop in top cryptocurrencies’ value over the last days, it is still a long way to go.
Also, it is true that blockchain technology seems likely to be here to stay. Liu mentioned that “we are quite certain that deep learning and blockchain technologies, which are the core technology of cryptocurrency mining, will lead to new ways of semiconductor innovation and demand for years to come”.