Bitcoin-Equipment Boom Benefits TSMC, AMD Sales, Report Says

bitcoinequip03 Jan 2014 / Bloomberg – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330), Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and other companies have seen more than $200 million in sales in 2013 for computing components used to create Bitcoins, Wedbush Securities Inc. said.

The virtual currency, which exists as software, is created by solving complex tasks embedded in the program through a process called mining.

Bitcoins currently trade for about $875 each on the Mt.Gox exchange, up from about $13 a year ago. As their value surged, digital prospectors have rushed to create more of the digital money, boosting the market for high-powered machines, some of which cost more than $20,000 apiece. Taiwan Semiconductor, AMD and GlobalFoundries make many of the chips in these machines, according to Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush in Los Angeles.

“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,” Luria said in a report. “We believe the majority of these ASIC chips are fabricated at Taiwan Semiconductor and GlobalFoundries.”

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…. Read more

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