Samsung is breaking into the bitcoin world.

The Korean company has reportedly begun production of bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining equipment and ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) mining chips, according to Korean news site The Bell.

The news comes as the use of cryptocurrency rises, with more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies in the world right now.

Samsung reportedly concluded a foundry contract with a Chinese bitcoin mining hardware maker. The mass production phase began this month after Samsung finished up the development process of semiconductor ASIC for bitcoin mining last year.

The South Korean company told the Bell: “We are in the middle of a foundry business that is being supplied to a virtual money mining company in China.”

Japan Bitcoin A man walks past a poster that informs customers bitcoin can be used in this shop in Tokyo, Jan. 6, 2018. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

ASIC is a chip that is designed for a special application, in this case the semiconductor would be optimized for bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining, which is a verification process for transactions, requires high-speed and energy-efficient hardware. Because of that, companies that mine in large batches have resorted to ASIC chips that are customized to their needs.

Samsung has also been working on DRAM for graphics cards, which are useful for cryptocurrency mining. The company announced in December it had begun mass production of second-generation 10-nanometer class, 8GB DDR4 DRAM. At the same time, Samsung announced it was “accelerating its plans for much faster introductions of next-generation DRAM chips and systems, including DDR5, HBM3, LPDDR5 and GDDR6, for use in enterprise servers, mobile devices, supercomputers, HPC systems and high-speed graphics cards.”

The GDDR6 DRAM improves power efficiency and can boost GPU performance for mining.

bitcoin An Israeli holds a visual representation of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, at the 'Bitcoin Change' shop in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on January 17, 2018. Photo: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has picked up large orders from Bitmain for production of mining chips, according to a Tuesday DigiTimes report. Bitmain is China’s leading bitcoin miner and designer of ASIC chips. Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Global Unichip are reportedly sharing the backend packaging and testing orders.

TSMC recently said it expects demand for cryptocurrency mining to continue to increase this year, which will lead to a larger demand for chips.

“Our fourth quarter business was supported by major mobile product launches and continuing demand for cryptocurrency mining,” TSMC Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho said this month. “Moving into first quarter 2018, we expect the strong demand for cryptocurrency mining will continue while mobile product seasonality will dampen our business in this quarter.”