Investing in the Chip-Tech World
How much of the modern world is powered by chip-tech? From computers and TVs to cars and washing machines, chips (or semiconductor devices) enable almost all of our digital goods.
When the COVID-19 pandemic brought the regular world to a halt, it put a focus on our increasingly digital world and personal electronics. Even as consumption of major purchases like vehicles slowed down, more than 1 trillion chips were shipped globally in 2020.
As economies picked up and demand increased across all goods, a global semiconductor shortage started to impact the largest companies and economies in the world. All of a sudden, the global semiconductor field was front-and-center in the minds of politicians, executives, and investors.
This graphic from eToro breaks down the importance of the semiconductor industry, and where moves are being made in it.
Understanding the Semiconductor Supply Chain
At its core, a chip or integrated circuit (IC) is a small device that contains electronic circuits on a semiconducting material.
Only a few millimeters wide, these chips (usually constructed on silicon) have millions of transistors packed into a tiny device. When designed and utilized together, they power devices and allow them to operate.
It’s a complex device that requires an extremely robust manufacturing system, capable of making millions of precisely designed products. The modern semiconductor supply chain has two primary business models:
- Foundry model: Also known as fabless design, companies like NVidia and Qualcomm outsource production of chips to fabrication foundries like TSMC. They are then assembled and tested by specialty companies (OSATs) before being received by the end consumer.
- Integrated model: Integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) are companies like Intel that design, manufacture, and sell their own chips. This was the traditional model of chip development before foundries took off, and many IDMs now outsource part of their production to foundries and OSATs.
As demand for semiconductor devices grew, a massive and sophisticated global supply chain formed to get chips from concept to consumer.
|Market Share by Region||IDM||Fabless||Foundry||Wafer Production|
|U.S.||51%||65%||0%||13% (North America)|
|Rest of World||0%||0%||13%||9%|
Many of the pioneering companies in the field, like Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung, became some of the world’s largest and most influential companies.
Anticipating the Chip-Tech Powered Future
The global economic impact of the semiconductor field is monumental, and its breadth is quickly becoming better understood.
In the U.S. alone in 2020, the semiconductor industry contributed an estimated $246.4 billion to the country’s GDP and almost 2 million jobs. When measuring direct, indirect, and value-added impacts of semiconductors, global GDP contribution estimates come in at $2.7 trillion.
But more than ever, recent disruptions to the supply chain have raised alarm bells and increased investment. Slashed forecasts from automakers and electronics manufacturers are increasing demand for chip production capacity, and chipmakers have already announced investments for new factories in 2021:
|Company||Announced Fab Investment (2021)||Fab Location|
|Intel||$20B||U.S. (Arizona x2)|
And those six factories are just the beginning. Over the next two years, 29 fabrication factories are projected to be constructed globally, with total investment surpassing $140 billion.
Policymakers are stepping in as well, as countries race to increase market share in case of further disruptions. In June, the U.S. Senate passed a $250 billion tech and manufacturing bill with $52 billion earmarked for the semiconductor field specifically.
The timing is imperative, as an even more chip-dependent future continues to unfold. Driven by advances in 5G, A.I. and IoT in everything from automotive and electronics manufacturing to smart factories, chip-tech and investments in it are becoming more important than ever.
How Can Investors Take Part?
eToro’s Chip-Tech CopyPortfolio* gives investors direct access to the semiconductor technology market.
Curated by experienced and proven investment teams, the thematic portfolio offers exposure to a broad range of chip-makers and innovators in production, with no management fees.
*Your capital is at risk.
CopyPortfolios is a portfolio management product, provided by eToro Europe Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
CopyPortfolios should not be considered as exchange traded funds, nor as hedge funds.
Visualizing the Rise of Cryptocurrency Transactions
As cryptocurrency transactions rise, merchants are looking to position themselves to take advantage of this new wave of crypto spenders.
Visualizing the Rise of Cryptocurrency Transactions
After Bitcoin and cryptocurrency’s wild bull run in late 2020 and early 2021, many holders are now using cryptocurrencies for their intended purpose: payments.
Every day, approximately $12 billion are transferred across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin blockchains, with millions of people using cryptocurrency for payments daily.
This graphic sponsored by CoinPayments looks at the rising transactions of the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin networks.
Cryptocurrency Transactions are Rising in Value and Number
While prices are often the focus when crypto is in the spotlight, transaction counts show how much a network is being used as a medium of exchange. In just over five years, daily transactions across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin networks increased sixfold, from just 250,000 to more than 1.5 million transactions a day.
In mid-2017, Ethereum overtook Bitcoin in daily transactions as ETH was necessary to participate in ICOs (initial coin offerings), which fueled much of the speculation in the 2017 price run. With Ethereum still hosting thousands of ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens on its blockchain today, its transaction counts have grown to be much higher compared to Bitcoin and Litecoin’s.
Along with crypto’s rising transaction numbers, the average USD value per transaction has increased by a minimum of 4x over the past five years.
|Year||Average Value per Bitcoin Transaction||Average Value per Ethereum Transaction||Average Value per Litecoin Transaction|
Source: Coin Metric
2021 figures as of July 13th, 2021
Crypto Spenders are Searching for Merchants
As transaction counts and values rise, merchants play a vital part in pushing forward the adoption of digital currencies for payments.
Many cryptocurrency users consider merchant adoption as a key barometer of success for crypto adoption. While companies like AT&T, Namecheap, and Overstock already accept crypto payments, there are still many businesses around the world which don’t offer cryptocurrency as a method of payment.
In a survey of over 8,000 U.S. consumers, 66.7% of crypto owners and 54.2% of non-owners said that not enough merchants accept cryptocurrency. Along with this, 47% of crypto owners said they seek out merchants that accept crypto for purchases, indicating clear demand for more crypto-accepting businesses.
How Can Merchants Make the Most of the Crypto Boom?
As the world embraces crypto, merchants need the in-store and online tools to be part of this next wave of commerce. Accepting crypto opens merchants up to an untapped audience of new consumers, eager to spend their crypto.
CoinPayments makes it easy to start accepting crypto payments at online checkout and with POS systems, with features like auto-coin conversion and over 2,000 coins supported.
Find out more about how the crypto market is growing, adapting to consumer needs, and the opportunity it presents to merchants around the world.
Visualizing the Economic Impact of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle
British Columbia’s Golden Triangle generates massive revenue and investments for the province, but where did it all begin?
The Economic Impact of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle
At the heart of British Columbia’s mining industry lies the Golden Triangle. This region has helped transform the province’s mining industry into a significant source of revenue and investment.
In 2020, the Golden Triangle accounted for roughly 44% of the $422 million in mineral exploration expenditures in British Columbia. In 2019, the Red Chris and Brucejack mines contributed around $1 billion to the province’s estimated annual gross mining revenues.
This infographic is sponsored by the B.C. Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA) which brings the best of this region to the world through a partnership between indigenous groups, industry, and provincial government representatives.
Here is how the Golden Triangle began.
The Golden Triangle’s Unique Geology
Between 220 and 175 million years ago, the Golden Triangle’s wealth was forming deep in the Earth for the world to discover. Most metal deposits form from superheated water that cycle over many kilometers, collecting metal atoms as they rise to the surface of the Earth’s crust and settle into deposits.
Industry, government, and university geologists have worked for over a century to understand the Golden Triangle’s unique geology to uncover its mineral wealth. This unique geology cradles the world-class deposits that define the legendary “Golden Triangle” of British Columbia.
A History of Discovery and Mining in the Golden Triangle
Historical gold rushes brought mining to the area, but the region’s vast copper deposits will deliver the key mineral for B.C.’s green future. More than 150 mines have operated in the area since prospectors first arrived at the end of the 19th century.
- 1861: Alexander Choquette kicked off the Stikine Gold Rush after finding gold at the confluence of the Stikine and Anuk Rivers.
- 1918 – 1952: The first big discovery in the Golden Triangle was at the Premier Gold Mine, which started operations in 1918. It produced 2 million ounces of gold and 45 million ounces of silver. Today, Ascot Resources is re-starting processing from this gold mine.
- 1964: The Snip Mine was discovered by Cominco but the deposit stayed dormant until 1986. The mine produced approximately 1 million ounces of gold from 1991 until 1999. Today, Skeena Resources is advancing the Snip Project.
- 1994: Eskay became Canada’s highest-grade gold mine and the world’s fifth largest silver producer, with production above 3 million ounces of gold and 160 million ounces of silver. Skeena Resources is also bringing the Eskay mining back into production.
- 2009: The discovery of the Brucejack gold and silver deposit led to the development of an underground mine. The mine has produced 1,230,644 ounces of gold since it began operations in 2017.
- 2013: The KSM Project is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in the world. A Preliminary Feasibility Study estimates proven and probable reserves total 38.8 million ounces of gold and 10.2 billion pounds of copper.
- 2015: The Red Chris shipped its first load of copper concentrate. In 2020 metals production was 88.3 million pounds copper and 73,787 ounces gold. Imperial Metals and Newcrest jointly operate the mine.
This long tradition of discovery and mining is laying the foundations for the next generation of investment.
Today’s Golden Age for Exploration and Development
Continued exploration is necessary for new discoveries and advancing projects to new mines. More importantly, the minerals discovered today will be needed in the low carbon economy and British Columbia—in particular, the Golden Triangle will play its part in delivering metals for renewable technology.
|British Columbia||Northwest Mining Region||The Golden Triangle|
|Average Expenditure Per Project||$1.6M||$3.4M||$7.09M|
Source: Based on data collected for the EY LLP, 2020 British Columbia Mineral and Coal Exploration Survey
Gold and copper account for most of the exploration in the Golden Triangle, but other commodities for the low-carbon economy such as silver, nickel, and zinc also attract interest. A strong exploration industry is the beginning for future investment, new jobs, and community development.
A Bright Future: Investing in Community
The Golden Triangle continues to attract exploration activity as infrastructure and community development lays the success for future generations and industries.
- Agreements with First Nations (Tahltan and Nisga’a Nations)
- 38% of expenditures stays in the region
- 97% stays in British Columbia
- 150+ communities benefit
- The paving of the Stewart-Cassiar highway
- The opening of ocean port facilities for concentrate export at Stewart
- The completion of a $700-million high-voltage transmission line bringing power into the region
This is a new beginning for the continued economic impact of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.
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