Intel Corporation, a major semiconductor chip manufacturer based in California, announced on Tuesday it would cease production of its Bitcoin mining-specific chip, Blockscale ASIC, tech-focused publication Tom’s Hardware reported.

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Fast facts

  • Blockscale ASIC, or application-specific integrated circuit, is a customized chip designed to efficiently mine Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. These chips enable miners to solve complex mathematical problems to validate transactions and secure the Bitcoin network.
  • The last of Intel’s chips will reportedly be shipped out in April 2024, two years after they were launched in 2022.
  • As energy consumption and environmental concerns surrounding cryptocurrency mining have become increasingly prominent over the years, several major players, including China, have taken steps to regulate or ban cryptocurrency mining activities.
  • However, Bitcoin miners and supporters have argued against the environmental harm caused by the industry.
  • The Bitcoin Mining Council, an industry lobbyist backed by MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor and Block’s Jack Dorsey, estimates that in the fourth quarter of 2022, a sustainable energy mix of about 59% powered global Bitcoin mining.
  • With fewer manufacturers producing specialized chips, competition in the market could become even more intense, potentially raising prices for mining hardware.

See related article: China fines crypto mining rig giant Bitmain US$3.6 million for tax violations