A key supplier for Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia, TSMC has also benefited from steady growth in demand for chips used in newer technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and self-driving cars that require chips with more processing power. "Mid-to-low-end smartphones will increase by several percentage points". It should be noted that as cryptocurrency usage increases regardless of the relative price that the need for mining will also increase.
Analysts also note that the heavy use of chips needed for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency mining has also proven to be a boon for TSMC, which has seen its market value grow 38 per cent over the past year to US$212 billion.
The strong revenue forecast "is a hint that, given its technological lead, TSMC can continue to gain market share this year", Jinyuan Lv and Simon Lu, analysts for JihSun Securities, wrote on Friday.
With governments in South Korea, China and Europe expected to crack down on cryptocurrency, bitcoin plunged below $10,000 on Wednesday, falling from a peak of $19,497 in December.
"In terms of shipment units, high-end smartphones are decreasing for this year". Year-over-year, fourth quarter revenue increased 5.9% while net income and diluted EPS both slightly decreased 0.9%.
Crypto-mining could account for as much as 10% of the Taiwanese company's revenue in 2018, some analysts say, becoming its fastest-growing segment. "However, we don't know how sustainable will that be".
Shares of TSMC, the largest company by market capitalization in Taiwan, closed 2.69% higher at NT$248.50 ahead of the earnings briefing on Thursday.