Mining Players Nvidia And Samsung Still In Record Profit Despite Crypto Weakness

Tech giant Samsung expects overall profits to continue into Q4 despite a noted glut on the market for memory components used in cryptocurrency mining, among other uses. This comes after a collapse in demand for crypto-specific mining gear earlier this year, as prices for crypto-assets plunged.

Prices for Dynamic Random Access Memory, or DRAM, a key component in the production of graphics cards, have probably peaked, says a source quoted by the Financial Times (FT) of London. Prices for DRAM have already risen 48% from the start of the year and may rise further in Q3, but are expected to fall starting in Q4.

Samsung is expected to cut production of the chips to stabilize any fall in price. Micron, the large US manufacturer of DRAM chips, faced a “plunge” in its stock price in Q3 as it struggled to move its DRAM stock.

Nvidia, known for manufacturing graphics cards, has seen record profits despite declining demand for cryptocurrency miners. A fifth of Nvidia’s revenue now comes from producing “modified graphics chips” for data centers, which support the use of AI to process voice and facial recognition data, according to Bloomberg.

“China imports more semiconductors than crude oil”

It is not perfectly clear how much this general decline in DRAM prices has to do with the overall weak demand for graphics card. A Chinese official recently intimated that the DRAM market, which is “highly concentrated” between two Korean companies (Samsung and SK Hynix) and one American company (Micron), could be suffering from “price fixing”.

China, aspiring in future to be DRAM self-sufficient, is now heavily dependant upon imports to satisfy its DRAM need. Although Chinese production of the chips has started to pick up, “their production capacities are not high, they are not expected to become viable competitors for [foreign companies] in terms of volumes, production efficiencies, or performance any time soon.”

 

Mining Pool BTC.Top Briefly Controls Over 51% of Bitcoin Cash's Hashrate

BTC.Top, a popular cryptocurrency mining pool, has recently hit a high of 54% of Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate, before seeing it recede. According to some users the mining pool has just been going after profitability, although any pool having over 51% of the hashrate could be cause for concern.

According to data from Coin.Dance, BTC.Top managed to mine over 54% of the blocks on the Bitcoin Cash network for a brief period of time, before seeing its hashrate go down. At press time, data shows in the last 24-hour period it mined 47% of blocks on the network.

Having over 51% of a network’s hashrate is seen as negative by many, as it could allow the entity controlling the majority of, in this case Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate, to pull an attack on the blockchain and double-spend coins.

This essentially means every network participant is forced to trust the mining pool not to attack Bitcoin Cash. Notably, BTC.Top is believed to have recently thwarted an attack on the network that sought to steal coins someone sent to a Segregated Witness (SegWit) address on the Bitcoin blockchain.

As such, network participants seemingly trust the mining pool was only mining the most profitable cryptocurrency on the SHA-256 algorithm, and wasn’t trying to act maliciously. This, however, doesn’t mean it couldn’t.

Various cryptocurrencies have suffered 51% attacks in the crypto space’s short history, including Verge (XVG), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Ethereum Classic (ETC). ETC suffered one of the most notable attacks, as hackers compromised one of the most popular networks in the space to double-spend coins worth over $1.1 million.

While BTC.Top heavily mines Bitcoin Cash, it revealed back in November of last year, before the hard fork that created Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) occurred, that it was apolitical and would support the blockchain with the most hahspower.

At the time Jiang Zhouer, the Chinese cryptocurrency mining pool’s founder, revealed BTC.Top’s goal was to recover stability for Bitcoin Cash, which at the time was engaged in a “war” between two sides.

On BSV’s side there are also concerns about a potential 51% attack. As covered, CoinGeek has reached the necessary hashrate to attack the network more than once, but hasn’t done anything malicious.