Samsung Partners with Square Mining to Create a Next-Generation ASIC Miner

Squire Mining, a Canadian-based company focused on manufacturing and selling mining equipment, has partnered with electronics giant Samsung and Gaonchips. The deal involves creating a next-generation 10nm ASIC chip by the end of this year.

Squire Mining used to be a mineral mining company until it completely changed its business model, moving from physical mining to cryptocurrency mining. Squire Mining explained what the deal involves:

The Company is now engaged in the business of developing, manufacturing and selling data mining infrastructure and system technology (including ASIC chips and mining rigs) to support global blockchain applications in the cryptoasset mining space. Shareholder approval for the Change in Business by a majority of the Company’s disinterested shareholders has also been obtained by way of written consent resolution

Trading in Squire Mining shares was put on hold on July 5, the date when the company announced the change in business, and resumed in mid-August - leading to the company’s stock soaring by roughly 71%.

The growth of Squire Mining stock was partially due to the $19.5 million that was raised in order to develop sophisticated mining equipment. After completing the ASIC chip development, Squire Mining is looking to create its own mining facilities.

Samsung and Crypto Mining

Samsung had already announced back in January, its involvement in manufacturing ASIC chips for mass production. They have also partnered with Halong Mining, formerly known as Dragonmint T1, to deliver chips for ASIC mining rig production.

Samsung has not disclosed detailed information about its crypto mining chips venture. However, the company has revealed that it had a positive contribution to its earnings, as Samsung’s semiconductor division accounted for about 70% of total operating profits in the first quarter of this year:

Demand for the semiconductor division increased due to sales of system LSIs [ASICs] for flagship smartphones and demand for virtual currency mining chips

Squire Mining vs Bitmain Monopoly

For years, crypto-mining giant Bitmain, together with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, have enjoyed near complete control over the Bitcoin mining industry.

Bitmain is the current market leader, as the China-based company holds 80% of the market share of mining equipment. Faced with unseen competition this year, a leaked document purports to show that Bitmain plans to employ a new price strategy. 

If the document is accurate, many will see the company's lowering of profit margins and product prices as evidence of the Bitmain's strong intent to continue its market dominance.


Litecoin’s Mining Difficulty Is Down 28% Since Its Block Halving

Michael LaVere
  • Litecoin's mining difficulty has dropped 28 percent since the halving in Aug. 5
  • Miner profitability has taken a hit following the cut in block reward. 

Recent network data shows that mining hashrate on Litecoin’s network dropped 28% since the block reward halving occurred on Aug. 5, as miners forego the decreased profitability from obtaining LTC.

Litecoin Difficulty Declining

Data form mining pool shows that Litecoin's mining difficulty was of 15.93 million on Aug. 4, one day before the halving, and has gradually fallen to 11.40 million as of Aug. 22. The hashing power for Litecoin’s network has dropped 28%. 

Hash rate and mining difficulty give an indication of the amount of computing resources being contributed to a cryptocurrency’s network, which includes securing transactions on the blockchain. It also provides a snapshot of the competition involved for miners hoping to obtain a block reward. 

However, following the Aug. 5 halving, Litecoin miners only receive 12.5 LTC, compared to the 25 LTC block reward they were previously receiving. In addition, the price of Litecoin has been on the decline since the beginning of August, slipping from $93 at the halving to its current price of $74. 

Most analysts predicted there would be market turmoil for the cryptocurrency in the aftermath of the halving. While the cryptocurrency has a reduced supply in the form of regular block rewards, the uncertainty surrounding mining and profitability has caused the price to take a hit. 

Charlie Lee, Litecoin's founder, said in the build-up to the halving that it would be a shock for miners,

When the mining rewards get cut in half, some miners will not be profitable and they will shut off their machine.

However, Lee predicted that the readjustment in mining difficulty would largely smooth things out for the cryptocurrency.