The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company posted results of its Q1 2018 earnings, showing a positive trend amid higher demand for ASIC chips from companies like Bitmain.
The mining race is on, and the silicon is flowing freely through factories to produce enough chips to the fuel it.
Giants like Bitmain, who offer ASICs for consumers, do not manufacture their own chips, instead relying on a company known as the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to provide them.
TSMC’s Q1 2018 report is in, and it’s been a very good quarter.
According to the report, TSMC made roughly $4.2 billion in this quarter alone in profit, increasing its revenue by 6.1 percent over the last quarter.
When we look at the whole of 2017, profits were a bit weaker due to having $367 million in expenses, making them only $114.8 million, an increase of 2.8% over the previous year.
The profit margins for this quarter could be attributed to the buzz surrounding new ASICs released by Bitmain, including the Antminer E3, a new Ethereum miner whose release has been postponed to July.
The E3 will mine marginally better than a typical GPU setup, but lowers the bar for initial investment.
TSMC’s profit margins for 2017 were mostly boosted by its performance in the final quarters of the year, with the company making about $4.7 billion in Q4.
It will be interesting to see what demand ASICs would have, however, if Vitalik Buterin goes ahead and pursues a full proof-of-stake model for Ethereum, making the cryptocurrency unable to be mined.
In his initial post on the matter at the beginning of this month, Buterin also pushed for a hard limit, capping Ether at 120 million.
Although other cryptocurrencies continue to be mineable, Bitcoin is not nearly as profitable and the others do not have as much current value.
There is a lot currently hinging on the future of the Ethereum network, and TSMC’s profits could certainly be affected by the changes that come on the road ahead.