101 Blockchains
101 Blockchains

A Review: What is Riot Blockchain?

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If you are following the cryptocurrency news, you might have heard about Riot Blockchain. They have bought quite a stir in the cryptocurrency market and have already caught the attention of Security and Exchange Commission (US government).

So, what is Riot Blockchain?

Riot Blockchain is a company that focuses completely on blockchain-based companies and bitcoin. They are also the first NASDAQ listed company out there who has been active in the sphere of cryptocurrency and involved to these depths.

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History of Riot Blockchain

Riot Blockchain company have a very diverse backstory. To really understand their current stance we need to understand where they are coming from, and what they want to achieve.

The company was first named as Venaxis Inc. At that time, they dealt with veterinary products. Their focus was also to develop tests for diseases. During that tenure, it bought BiOptix diagnostics. In 2016, they also changed its name to Bioptix Inc. At that time, many investors were not happy about the acquisition and were also worried about burning cash without any actual growth.

To mitigate that, the company changed the name to Riot Blockchain Inc. in 2017. This change also accompanied by a shift in focus of what the company is going to do. They completely changed their business model to the blockchain. According to the initial plan, they wanted to invest heavily in cryptocurrency and blockchain business.

The sudden move caught the attention of SEC. SEC chairman, Jay Clayton, added,

“Nobody should think it is OK to change your name to something that involves blockchain when you have no real underlying blockchain business plan and try to sell securities based on the hype around blockchain.”

Despite it gaining SEC attention, it’s stock prices went double. It jumped from $8 to $40 in no time. The move can be best described as investors way of cashing out on the hype. However, the move is heavily criticized by both finance and cryptocurrency world.

Riot Blockchain’s Investments

To really understand what Riot Blockchain is trying to achieve, we need to take a look at their investments until now.

Investing in a cryptocurrency exchange

Just after the pivot, they started making an investment in cryptocurrency companies. The first big investment came through when they decided to buy stakes at Coinsquare, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. The initial stake was only 11%. However, according to reports, they will have an opportunity of increasing their stake in May 2018.

Coinsquare is undoubtedly one of the big investments done by Riot Blockchain. It is after all one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange (in volume) in North America.

Riot Mining Operations

Riot Blockchain didn’t stop there. They continued their venture into the cryptocurrency world. Their next investment came in the form of mining operations as they acquired a complete mining operation named Kairos Global Technology Inc. The deal went successfully for $11.9 million. The operation, reportedly, had 500 Antminer L3s and 700 Antminer S9s.

Other investments

They also invested in Tesspay, The Block, and Verady. All of these companies are related to cryptocurrency. Let’s take a better look at other investments.

Tesspay: Riot Blockchain took 52% stake in Tesspay in October 2017. The company aims to build an escrow service built with blockchain.

The Block: In May 2018, Riot announced investment in The Block. The Block is building apps on the blockchain.

Verady: They invested in Verady in November 2017. Verady is an auditing service that uses blockchain based assets.

Other key investments include acquiring another mining operation in America. This time they got hold of 3000 Antminer S9s.

Riot Blockchain is continually looking for new opportunities to invest, and according to the company, they are just getting started.

Riot Blockchain’s Current Status

Riot’s Blockchain current status is not that good. Their stock price has dropped to their initial pivotal announcement and is still declining slowly. The company has also failed to do annual meetings which were canceled twice until now. Not only that they have also lost two auditing firms in the last year alone.

However, Riot Blockchain’s CEO John O’Rourke still have a strong opinion on the bright future of his company. According to him, the skeptics will be the only losers in the end. For us, we have to wait if Riot blockchain recovers from here. Also, what do you think about them? Comment below and let us know.

Want to learn more about what is Blockchain? Here is our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide.


About Author

Nitish holds a BSc in computer engineering. He is a blockchain enthusiast and in spare time likes to read about the moon. His articles have published on Dzone, InfoWorld, and Hongkiat.

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