Bitcoin and Chip Makers Are Caught in a Bad Romance

Cryptocurrency miners love graphics cards and computer chips. Chip makers aren’t returning the love. Prices of bitcoin and ether have rallied more than 10-fold in the past year. That could potentially translate into big sales for chip companies powering the cryptocurrency mining rigs. But the global chip shortage means semiconductor foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. are already scrambling to fill other orders. They are also cautious about adding new capacity given how finicky crypto demand has proven to be. Bernstein estimates that crypto will only contribute about 1% TSMC’s revenue this year, versus around 10% in the first half of 2018 during the last crypto boom. Makers of graphics cards are also skeptical. Nvidia said last month it would tweak its cards to limit their capacity for crypto mining, and introduce separate hardware for miners. After the last crypto boom fizzled out two years ago, miners flooded the market…

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