Squire Mining, a Canadian manufacturer of ASIC mining chips, has revealed that its most recent partnership was with South Korean giant conglomerate Samsung Electronics.
The deal was signed on the 1st of August, 2018. Under the terms of the partnership, the company will design the microchips in collaboration with South Korean design firm Gaonchips, which is based in the city of Seongnam. Samsung, the largest conglomerate in South Korea, will be the manufacturer of the end product.
According to the announcement, the first round of microchips will be designed to mine Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, “and other related cryptocurrencies.” The firm expects the first field-programmable gate array prototype to be ready by the end of September.
ASICs, or application-specific integrated circuits, are custom microchips designed for a specific use. When the acronym appears in the news nowadays, the topic is usually cryptocurrency mining.
The chips are used in mining devices, which are loud, hot, and heavy guzzlers of electricity. As Bitcoin mining has become more difficult for computers and less profitable for their owners, the field has contracted to a relatively small number of giant companies and mining pools.
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As such, Squire Mining is entering a tough race.
Last week, Hangzhou-based EBang, which claims to account for 11 percent of the ASIC sale market, announced the upcoming release of a new generation of mining devices. And yet, EBang is a small-fry next to its compatriot Bitmain, which controls well over half of this market and is estimated to be worth $18 billion.
Based in Vancouver, Squire Mining is a public company listed on several exchanges, including that of Frankfurt. It has a market capitalisation of 71.6 million CAD, or 54.8 million USD.
Samsung itself first entered the world of ASIC production in January 2018. The corporation said at the time that all of the chips were intended for an un-named Chinese distributor.
Mining in Canada
Because of its characteristically cold climate, Canada has become something of a hotbed of cryptocurrency mining operations. In fact, the province of Québec was forced to temporarily ban Bitcoin mining in June of 2018, because the operations were eating up all of the region’s electricity.
In the end, it proposed a compromise whereby operations could continue within a set limit, as long as the relevant companies committed to employing locals and paid a higher rate for their electricity.