AMD, TSMC Sales Swell On Bitcoin Mining Equipment Boom

The growing demand for Bitcoin, coupled with the need for solving more complex mining techniques has fueled sales at Taiwan

The growing demand for Bitcoin, coupled with the need for solving more complex mining techniques has fueled sales at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), according to a report from Wedbush Securities.

Indeed, 2013 witnessed a spike in sales for computing components used to mine Bitcoins, a figure which is surely tabbed to grow as the need for ever-increasing computing power is needed. With Bitcoin recently touching the $1200 threshold, digital prospectors have seen the potential in equipment manufacturing – no easy feat given the robust nature of actually mining Bitcoins. According to Gil Luria an analyst at Wedbush, “the mining machines can fetch in excess of $20,000 each, placing chip manufactures such as Taiwan Semiconductor, AMD, and GlobalFoundries in prime position to take advantage.”

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Furthermore, “Due to the growth of the Bitcoin network, mining machines now require powerful application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) that are designed specifically to mine Bitcoins. We believe the majority of these ASIC chips are fabricated at Taiwan Semiconductor and GlobalFoundries.” Luria noted in the report

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Components manufacturers are not the only ones positioned to reap the rewards of a more lucrative Bitcoin boom; the report also hinted that select EBay Inc. and its PayPal division could utilize Bitcoin as one of its payment options as recently as this year. “This would make the digital currency available to millions of new users.

The report also flagged some potential beneficiaries of the digital boom, such as EBay Inc. (EBAY)’s PayPal unit and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) PayPal could make Bitcoin one of its payment options, along with credit cards, this year, and benefit from an influx of millions of new users, Luria said in an interview. IBM could provide software and hardware powering Bitcoin and other new digital currencies, he said. Moreover, as more consumers adopt Bitcoin and other digital currencies for purchases and money transfers, that could adversely impact established financial companies such as Western Union Co. (WU).”

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Bitcoin’s seemingly enigmatic beginnings are also the source of its greatest asset – the ability to fluidly transfer payments without the traditional plethora of wiring fees and hassles. “It’s incredibly easy now to send money with Bitcoin from one country to another. However, now you need to know how to do it. I expect a flurry of money transmitters to emerge in the next one to three years, and they’ll be able to do this for everybody at a fraction of the cost of Western Union and others.” Luria added.

In an increasingly globalized context, the advent of simplistic Bitcoin transfers seems a tantalizing option, especially considering the currency’s growth in popularity and utilization around the world. Moreover, as Bitcoin remains outside the realm of central banking or governmental influence, users can expect to pay far lower or in many cases no fee for money transfers. “Clearly, we’re watching digital currencies like Bitcoin closely,” noted Jennifer Hakes, a spokesperson for PayPal in a recent email.

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