The Chinese government has always been strict when it comes to cryptocurrency, to the point where any associations with the digital assets have been banned altogether. Nonetheless, the use of blockchain technology, especially by companies from varying industries, has supposedly been growing. A Chinese company to have benefited from this respective technology is Bitmain.
Bitmain Technologies Ltd., is a company that is based in Beijing, China that produces and sells the necessary chips for cryptocurrency mining. The success reached is said to have been outrageous, as the company reported its revenues for 2017 as $3.5 billion.
Co-founder, Jihan Wu expressed incredible joy in a Bloomberg interview, especially given the fact that his company achieved sales equivalent to one of its growing competitors, Nvidia. While the positive news is something to be happy about, Wu went on to say that “As a China Company, we have to be prepared.”
His fear of a potential ban in regard to the activity the company does in China led him to turn to another business venture: Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Bitmain team strongly believes that transitioning from a crypto-related service to that of AI should be of ease, as the two are related in many ways. In particular, both require a lot of computing and are believed to use application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips.
The company has taken its first steps in transitioning since October 2017, with the sale of its ‘Sophon BM1680’, which are ASIC chips that speed up machine learning processes. According to Bloomberg, the chips aren’t as effective and widely compatible compared to that of Nvidia, however, they are useful in different levels of deep learning and can get the job done at a much lower cost. If Bitmain manages to succeed once again, then the decision to transition could be the most profitable move made.