As crypto heats up markets and draws the attention of all possibly touched parties, technology companies are seeking to explore new income avenues, one of which is cryptocurrency mining chips. Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone chip maker, has started producing cryptocurrency mining chips, heating up the competition with big Chinese names.
Pick #1. Samsung Confirms It Is Making ASIC Chips for Cryptocurrency Mining
Samsung has begun manufacturing ASIC chips, which are used to mine Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies.
“Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips,” – A Samsung spokesperson said.
The news brings big-name competition to the ASIC space, which is dominated by China’s Bitmain and Canaan Creative, both of which work with Taiwanese giant TSMC. The crypto explosion is said to have added $350-$400 million to TSMC’s (already impressive) quarterly revenues.
Production of ASIC chips for cryptocurrency mining will have a noticeable impact on Samsung’s bottom line. The Korean firm booked $69 billion in chip sales in 2017, thanks mainly to the smartphone industry.
Pick #2. WeChat Flourishes at Home While Tencent Invests Abroad
Tencent will continue to focus WeChat’s efforts on further satisfying the needs of its Chinese mobile internet user base and keeping Alibaba at bay. On the global end, it will be interesting to see if Tencent’s influence through messaging platforms abroad, like Hike, will give WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger a run for their money. The WeChat of the West may not actually be WeChat, but it may well end up being a China-backed messaging underdog.
Pick #3. eBay to Intermediate Payments on Its Marketplace Platform
PayPal has played an integral role in processing payments on EBay for 15 years and offers credit products that help eBay shoppers buy more goods.
“The planned evolution of our relationship with eBay is consistent with our strategic direction and growth opportunities and does not alter our financial guidance,” PayPal spokeswoman Amanda Miller said.
eBay has signed an agreement with Adyen to be its primary partner for payments processing globally, including in North America. Additionally, eBay and PayPal have aligned on terms to offer PayPal as a way to pay at checkout on the eBay intermediated model until July 2023. PayPal will remain an important partner to eBay.
Over the past three years, eBay has transformed its business to become the most relevant and the most powerful selling platform. Building out eBay’s payments capabilities is the next step in the company’s strategy, with the goal of driving significant benefits and efficiencies for its buyers and sellers globally.
eBay will begin payments intermediation on its Marketplace platform on a small scale in North America starting in the second half of 2018, expanding further in 2019 under the terms of the Operating Agreement with PayPal. In 2021, eBay expects to have transitioned a majority of its Marketplace customers to its new payments experience.
The way that sellers engage with eBay in an intermediated landscape will, for the most part, be very similar as they do today. Sellers will not need to change their accounts with eBay and will continue to log into eBay and manage their listings as they do today. As eBay begins to intermediate payments, sellers can expect to see new, streamlined dashboards and reports inclusive of payments – all within eBay.
Pick #4. House of Representatives Passes the Making Online Banking Initiation Legal & Easy (MOBILE) Act
On January 29, 2018, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 1457, the Making Online Banking Initiation Legal & Easy (MOBILE) Act of 2017. The bipartisan legislation provides opportunities for consumers to open bank accounts without having to visit a physical branch.
Currently, banks face difficulty implementing verification processes for online and mobile banking accounts due to inconsistent state laws on swiping or copying state-issued identification cards. While most states permit mobile banking applications to copy licenses for verifying a customer’s identification, a small number do not and the House bill would preempt the conflicting state laws.
The MOBILE Act would streamline the process for consumers wishing to open bank accounts electronically and ensure consumers are protected by the participating bank’s identity theft and financial fraud policies. The bill would permit financial institutions to use electronic copies of identification for purpose of identity verification.
Specifically, the MOBILE Act would allow financial institutions, with an individual’s consent, to record personal information from a scan, copy or image of a driver’s license or other personal identification cards. It would also allow the institution to store the information electronically when an individual initiates an online request to open an account or obtain a financial product.
The financial institution would be permitted to use the information for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of the driver’s license or identification card, verifying the identity of the individual, or complying with legal requirements.
The financial institution would be required to delete any copy or image of an individual’s driver’s license or personal identification card after use.