Full statement:Riot BlockchainProvidesShareholderUpdateRiot BlockchainResponds to CNBCCASTLE ROCK, Colo.,Feb16,2018— RiotFull statement:
Riot BlockchainResponds to CNBC
CASTLE ROCK, Colo.,Feb16,2018— Riot Blockchain,Inc.(NASDAQ:RIOT ) (the “Company”) provides the following update to shareholdersfrom Chairman andChief Executive OfficerJohn O’Rourkeabout its progress and accomplishments to date.
Thank you for your support in our vision to build a leading blockchain technology company. I believe we are well positioned at the forefront of this industry with many exciting opportunities on the horizon.
Today,CNBC released a negative one-sided piece oncompanies that seek to jump on the blockchain bandwagon by changing their name to profit from an increase in their stock price and profiledour company.Had the journalist usedevena modest amount of professional diligence, CNBC would havealsoreported on the numerous achievements we have made in becoming an early entrant in the support of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.To my knowledge, we were also the first Nasdaq listed company to have blockchain in its name and had no idea what the market reaction would be when the transition was made.
Not to be deterred, I wish to provide a brief update of where Riot Blockchain stands today and respond to some of their attacks. We have made significant inroads in building a diversified portfolio of investments and to beginsecuringdigital assets.
Riot Blockchaininitially entered the blockchain sector with an investmentingoNumericalltd (dba “Coinsquare”). Coinsquarehas grown into the leading digital currency exchange in Canada and recently raised an institutional round of financing at a CAD $430 million valuation, led by a global asset manager with over a trillion dollars in assets. This valuation is over 15x higher than the valuation at which Riot first invested. Riot currently ownsapproximately12.5% ofCoinsquare,a stakenow valuedover CAD $50million.
Severalother recent business highlights:
•Riot closed on a $37 million financing at $22.50 per share in restricted stock with several billion-dollar institutions as investors. CanaccordGenuity acted as the financial advisor on the financing.
•Riot now owns a total of 8,000 ASIC cryptocurrency mining machines. This consists of 7,500AntminerS9 Bitcoin miners and 500 L3+s, all manufactured byBitmain.
•When deployed in full,Riot’s bitcoin miningoperation’s expected hashing power is over 110Petahashof SHA 256 Bitcoin mining computing power and 252GigahashofScryptforLitecoinmining based just oncurrent equipment that Riot owns. Additional expansion opportunities based on power capacity are available.
•Riot has entered a Letter of Intent to acquire a CFTC licensed registrant. Riot intends to launch a digital currency exchange and futures brokerage in the United States.
•Strategic investment inVerady. Bo Shen co-invested inVeradyas well and joined the board ofVerady. Bo Shen is a well-regarded investor in the space and a general partner ofFenbushiCapitalhttp://fenbushi.vc
•Successfully registered in and acquired 500 bitcoins in the U.S. Marshals Service bitcoin auction.
•Acquired a majority interest in Tess, which is developing a blockchain technology solution for the telecom industry. Tess has since entered a definitive agreement for a merger with a Canadian public company.
•Significantly enhanced the management,operational, and advisoryteam with theappointmentof several keypersonnelwith experience at market leaders such as IBM,Bitfury, Facebook,INVESCO,Coinsquare, Ocular,Safenet,Hyperblock,Globalive,and Dunbar Security Solutions.
When I joined the board ofBioptixin January 2017 the Company had been reeling from a failed FDA approval and an acquisition of a new venture bleeding cash. I feel obligated to state unequivocally that pivoting away from theselegacyventuresto Riot Blockchainwas the right course.Thecompany announced on January 20, 2017 the decision to streamline the workforcein an effort tocut costs, while reviewing possible strategic alternatives for the business.
We also discussed exploring strategic alternatives with theultimate goalof maximizing shareholder valueand evaluated other options.Itis not uncommon for businesses to pivot and change their business strategy. Amazonstartedoff selling books.
The company was able to successfully streamline its workforce and significantly reduce its burn by July 2017. In the interim, the board and management continued reviewingvarious differentpotential transactions that we thought could be accretive. In August 2017, we were presented with the opportunity to invest inCoinsquare.