Tech giant Samsung is branching out into the field of cryptocurrency mining.
On announcing its fourth quarter revenue, the South Korean company confirmed a long-suspected rumour that it is starting to produce chips designed for the sector.
"In the first quarter, earnings are expected to rise on the ramp-up of 2nd generation 10nm process products for this year’s flagship smartphones and growing demand for cryptocurrency mining chips", the company statement read.
Samsung’s decision to make the chips, known as application-specific integrated circuits – or ASICs - is likely to ramp up pressure on the competition. Existing industry leader Beijing-based Bitmain currently claims to supply 70 percent of the world’s bitcoin ASICs and controls some 30 percent of the processing power of the global bitcoin network through two mining pools.