Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum : Square and Samsung Investing in Sector

Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum : Square and Samsung Investing in Sector

Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum : Samsung Investing in Mining Tech

South Korean tech giant Samsung has announced that it’s developing hardware specially designed for cryptocurrency mining. The move is aimed at boosting the firm’s profits.

The disclosure was made in Samsung’s latest earnings report, in which the company also said that it had overtaken Intel to become the world’s biggest chipmaker last year.

“Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips. However, we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers,” the company’s spokesperson was quoted as saying by media.

The chips are known as ASICs, or application-specific integrated circuits. They are custom-designed to carry out a single task – “mining” bitcoin or another specific cryptocurrency, but not general computing operations.

Until 2013, they were more commonly associated with the TV industry.

However, this year, a New York-based entrepreneur started selling processors custom-designed for bitcoin mining. They promise better performance and lower energy use than GPU (graphics processing unit) chips, which are still more commonly associated with the task.

A shortage of high-end GPU cards has recently pushed up their prices, making the rival ASIC technology even more appealing.

Last year, Samsung completed the development of its own bitcoin-related ASIC chip and launched mass production earlier this month. It may rival Beijing-based Bitmain, which claims to supply 70 percent of the world’s bitcoin ASICs.

Square’s (NYSE:SQ) Cash App has been helping people send and receive money without fees for a while. Originally an money-by-email service, Cash App has grown into a more robust offering with its own prepaid Visa card. The company has been testing buying and selling Bitcoin via the app, as well, and has made it official.

While the company won’t add additional fees when you purchase Bitcoin through its app, it calculates the price when buying based on a quoted mid-market price and margin, which could be different when selling.

Buyers will be limited to up to $10,000 in Bitcoin per week, plan accordingly.

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Oil-rich Venezuela is officially joining the cryptocurrency craze. President Nicolas Maduro has announced the date for the pre-sale of a new “petro” cryptocurrency.

The pre-sale date is February 20, and the country plans to replenish its depleted budget.

“This is the moment to accelerate the entry of the petro, to have faith in what we’ve created and in the technological and intellectual capacity of our country,” Maduro said on state TV, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“The petro will have a great impact, in how we access foreign currencies for the country and in how we obtain goods and services that we need from around the world.”

The petro cryptocurrency will be divisible into 100 million units. The units will be called the mene. It will be backed by the country’s vast oil reserves.

As Reuters reports, the Venezuelan government has been recommended to sell $2.3 billion in a private offering, with up to a 60 percent discount, in mid-February.

Critics have said that the petro is a de facto issuance of government bonds, and will face sanctions from the United States like other Venezuelan assets.

The US has already warned that “the petro digital currency would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government.”

By issuing the petro, Venezuela plans to overcome the biggest financial crisis in its history that has lasted for the last four years and resulted in a devaluation of its national currency, the bolivar. Venezuela also wants to become a hub for blockchain technology for emerging economies.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.