According to a recent report Chinese mining hardware giant Bitmain has had higher profits in 2017 than long-time GPU giant NVIDIA. A report published February 21 from investment research company Bernstein, says that the four-year-old Bitmain reportedly made between $3 and $4 billion in operating profit in 2017, whereas NVIDIA made about $3 billion during the same period.
Bitmain was founded in 2013 and uses Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) cards to mine Bitcoin (BTC). They sell the very popular ASIC-powered AntMiner Bitcoin mining rigs as well as operate mining pools, where cryptocurrency miners share resources and split rewards.
The Bernstein report states that Bitmain holds 70 to 80 percent of the market for Bitcoin miners and ASIC cards, with most of their revenue coming from selling their mining rigs, “and, to a much lesser extent, by collecting management fees from the mining pools it operates and renting out the mining power of its mining farms through cloud services.”
TSMC currently supplies the ASIC chips to Bitmain, but recently signed a deal with Samsung in January to product the chips as well. The report also says that Bitmain’s dealings with TSMC, “contributed 2 to 3 percent of the chipmaker’s total revenue last year.”
So you can see why Samsung got into the ASIC game, and why NVIDIA is going to be making a mining-specific graphics card as well.