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Intel launches blockchain chip to harness crypto boom

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The Intel Corporation logo is seen on a display at a store in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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Feb 11 (Reuters) – Intel Corp on Friday launched a new chip for blockchain applications such as Bitcoin mining and NFT minting to take advantage of the growing use of cryptocurrencies.

The chip will ship later this year and early customers include Block Inc (SQ.N), the Jack Dorsey-led company that recently changed its name from Square Inc to highlight its growing interest in blockchain.

Blockchains serve as public ledgers that keep records of transactions on a network of computers and have grown in prominence in recent years. Their rise to prominence has also sparked a buzz around words like “Web.3” and “NFTs” that tout the decentralization of technologies.

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Intel said its chip is an energy-efficient “accelerator” designed to speed up blockchain tasks that require huge amounts of computing power and thus consume a lot of energy.

Chip designer Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), whose graphics cards are widely used for mining, also has a separate chip for Ethereum mining.

As part of strengthening its footprint in the space, Intel has also formed a new segment called the Custom Compute Group within its Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit.

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Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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