Due to the Chinese government’s recent hard-line stance against crypto, ASIC manufacturer Bitmain announced that they would turn to AI development as an alternate revenue source, Bloomberg reports May 17th.
Chinese regulations have included bans on ICOs, a blanket ban on “exchange-like services” and another ban on foreign crypto exchanges.
Bitmain is known for manufacturing the processing chips and miners used to mine for a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero. The release of Antminer last March led Monero to upgrade so as to preserve their ASIC-resistant nature.
Jihan Wu, Bitmain co-chief exec, told Bloomberg in an interview that because “artificial intelligence requires lots of computations,” it would be a good fit for the company.
“As a China company, we have to be prepared.”
The executive continues.
Bitmain’s recently launched BM1680 chip, released October of last year, is a more cost-efficient alternative to those made by NVidia and Advanced Micro Devices, albeit less powerful.
Wu – predicting that AI chips would in the future account for 40 percent of the company’s revenue – told Bloomberg that Bitmain is “just trying to do something that they cannot take care of well enough.”
Reports show that four-year-old Bitmain made somewhere between #3 and $4 million last year in operating profits, compared to 27-year-old rival, which made around $3 billion last year.