U.S. Crypto Mining Firm Riot Blockchain Loses $58 Million in a Year

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Bitcoin miners are now recovering from the effects of the bearish wave that engulfed the market last year until the beginning of 2019. Cryptocurrency mining firm Riot Blockchain published its financial report, which showed a net loss of $58 million for the 2018 fiscal year. The former veterinary and life science firm swooped into the mining business, adding blockchain to its name following the industry hype.

The company attributes the losses to the depreciation of assets, non-cash aggregate impairments, compensation, and amortization expenses that the company racked up in the year. The report stated that all of these costs amounted to a $45.2 million deficit in its bottom line.

Bitcoin Mining Environment

No Long-term Debts

On the flip side, the company posted $7.7 million in earnings accrued from mining a total of 1,081 Bitcoin (BTC) tokens, including converted Bitcoin Cash (BCH) tokens, and 3,023 Litecoin (LTC) tokens. The company says there is no long-term debt on its account, and that it actually recorded a positive gross margin of 33 percent before costs relating to impairment, amortization, and depreciation were recorded.

In its report, the Nasdaq-listed crypto mining company also gave some insight into its ongoing probe by the United States Securities and Exchange omission (SEC), claiming that it is still collaborating with the agency. Early last year, Riot revealed via its 2017 annual report that it had been issued with a subpoena from the SEC, which compelled it to provide the regulatory agency with specific information.

At the time, the former biotech company claimed that the SEC reviewed the company’s filings and had requested that it provides certain information concerning its assets’ classification as, and amount of, possible Investment Company assets.” The document also added that the company intended to cooperate fully with the agency.

SEC’s Investigation on Name Change

The investigation of Riot was in line with the SEC’s objective of probing companies that had pivoted towards blockchain technology in the wake of the crypto boom of 2017. At that time, cryptocurrencies were experiencing a spike in their value, and companies involved in blockchain technology and digital assets were receiving massive interest from investors.

Riot, which was formerly named “Bioptix,” made the pivot to blockchain and crypto mining services in 2017, changing its name to accommodate the word “blockchain” and acquiring a minority stake in Canada-based crypto exchange platform Coinsquare in 2017.

Acquisitions and Regulators

A separate SEC filing also revealed that the company had acquired 92.5 percent of Logical Brokerage Corp., a futures brokerage firm based in Miami, saying that it was considering the launch of “digital currency exchange and a futures brokerage operation within the United States.”

In a quarterly report shared on August 14, 2018, Riot revealed that it got a letter from the SEC on July 30, stating that the agency had begun looking into its registration activities, in accordance with Section 8 of the Securities Act of 1933.

The Section states that if the SEC believes that any entity’s registration statement had “any untrue statement” or omitted any “material facts,” it may “issue a stop order suspending the effectiveness of the registration statement.” Riot’s stock dropped 12 percent some few hours after announcing the probe by the agency.

In its filing, Riot said, “The Company is engaged in conversations with the staff of the Division of Enforcement, Division of Investment Management and Division of Corporation Finance about their concerns and intends to cooperate fully with the examination.”


Based in the UK, Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system. Follow him on Twitter: @adejimi or Contact Jimmy@blockonomi.com

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