BitFury Adds Samsung Strategy Chief to Advisor Board

Pete Rizzo
Nov 24, 2014 at 19:00 UTC
NEWS

Young Sohn, BitFuryBitFury has announced that president and chief strategy officer for Samsung Electronics Young Sohn has joined the company as an advisor.

Formed in September, BitFury's advisory board aims to assist the management and corporate development of the industrial bitcoin mining company. The board now includes Sohn, as well as semiconductor industry veteran Jackson Hu and former General Catalyst managing director Jonathan Teo.

In a statement, Sohn praised BitFury's team for its ability to deliver results in the difficult bitcoin mining market, but also suggested he sees that the company could soon expand its presence into other verticals where data centre expertise is in demand.

Sohn said:

"The company’s commitment to delivering results through strong and consistent execution of its business and growth strategy has not only allowed BitFury to become a highly respected global bitcoin company, but to also see new opportunities."

BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov echoed a similarly ambitious tone in his statements, choosing to emphasize the broad reach the company aims to achieve. In particular, he noted Sohn's "extensive experience" in semiconductors and consumer electronics as attributes that may allow BitFury to pursue development in these markets.

"Young has served as CEO of four public companies. His experience in building and capitalizing companies will be invaluable to BitFury," the company said in a statement.

BitFury has raised $40m in VC funding to date this year, garnering $20m in separate rounds completed in May and October.

Fighting against Apple

Sohn adds a high-profile technology veteran to the BitFury team, one who is also no stranger to the world of startups and Silicon Valley.

Joining Samsung in August 2012, Sohn received the mandate to bolster Samsung's research and development (R&D) in response to increased competition from other smartphone makers, as well as the emphasis on innovation Apple was then bringing to market.

In particular, Sohn headed two Samsung R&D buildings in Silicon Valley and a startup accelerator. Though he carries the title of president, the company has at least three additional presidents listed on its website below its CEO.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and MIT, Sohn would go on to serve for 10 years at PC chipmaker Intel before working for Agilent Technologies and Quantum, among other companies.

Attracting expertise

Notably, Sohn is not the first major name that BitFury has added to its operations this year. The San Francisco-based company added Bob Dykes, who previously served as the CFO for Verifone, to its board of directors in September.

A payments industry veteran, Dykes has been outspoken about the potential he sees for BitFury to emerge as one of the bitcoin industry's major transaction processing companies.

2014 has so far been a year of impressive growth for the company, which manufacturers bitcoin mining equipment for the business-to-business (B2B) market and mines bitcoin for its own use through three data centres.

BitFury has promised to increase its foothold in the bitcoin market, even as it hints that it may soon diversify its operations. The company is expected to complete development of its 28nm ASIC chip, capable of achieving energy efficiency of 0.2 joules-per-gigahash, next year, while growing the capacity of its data centers to 100 megawatts, up from 40 megawatts today.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Young Sohn was no longer working with Samsung.

Images via Geekwire; BitFury

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