On April 14th, 2022 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced on their quarterly earnings call that the company was able to hit their target of $7 billion in net profit and explained that there is still a high demand for electronics. However, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining was not mentioned during the call or within the earnings report.

In TSMC’s presentation we can see categories that the company highlighted like: smartphones, high-performance computing (HPC), internet-of-things (IoT), automotive, distributed computing environments (DCE), and others. It is possible that TSMC included their Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining metrics within one or multiple of the listed categories.

TSMC is known to fabricate chips for companies like AMD (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) which are both highly competitive with one another in the semiconductor space. One possible scenario could be that TSMC is required to keep projects involved with AMD and Nvidia private before any announcement is made to the public. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining may be one of the confidential projects that they are not allowed to reveal information for.

However, TSMC did mention in their Q4 2017 earnings call that there was a major increase in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining while demand for mobile phones was declining. Senior Vice President and CFO Lora Ho stated that by Q1 2018 TSMC expects the increasing demand for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining to continue while mobile phones experience seasonal demand.

Unfortunately, as Bitcoin and the overall cryptocurrency market fell into a bear market shortly after, TSMC and other semiconductor companies felt the demand for chips within the space also fall. AMD and Nvidia had a surplus of inventory on hand during 2018 and 2019 that was deemed the “post-crypto hangover.” 

In 2022, TSMC’s stance on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not known but it is possible they are tapering expectations for their shareholders. This approach could provide less volatility in their share price when demand eventually slows down for semiconductors.

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