Riding the Blockchain Mania: Public Firms’ Speculative 8-K Disclosures

Cheng, S. F., De Franco, G., Jiang, H., & Lin, P. (2019). Riding the blockchain mania: Public firms’ speculative 8-K disclosures. Management Science, 65(12), 5901-5913. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2019.3357

Recently, Cheng et al. (2019) has shown that publicly-traded firms that mentioned speculative blockchain-related in their 8-K disclosures enjoy a positive but transitory stock price increase. Here, we replicate their search procedure using business descriptions from 10-K filings.

Define search endpoint

  • url = endpoint of the search service (required)

  • apikey = credentials are available from the author (required)

  • api-version = version of the search endpoint (required)

In [1]:
url = "https://edgar.search.windows.net/indexes/10k/docs";
api_key = "5******************************B";
api_version = "2020-06-30";

Define search parameters (all options)

  • search = The text to search for (default: ''*)

  • facet = A field to facet by (default: none)

  • filter = A structured filter expression (default: none)

  • $top = The number of search results to retrieve (default: 50)

In [2]:
# Blockchain-related business descriptions contain:
search = "bitcoin OR blockchain OR cryptocurrency";

# Count results by Central Index Key (CIK) up to Top-10 firms
facet = "cik, count:10";

# Include only Item 1, the business description, in the search
filters = "item eq '1'";

# Retrieve the top most relevent description as an example
top = 1
  • requests = reads content from the web service specified by url and the query parameters and returns the content in data.
In [3]:
import requests
data = requests.get(url, params={"api-key":api_key, "api-version":api_version, "search":search,
                                 "facet":facet, "filter":filters, "$top":top})
In [4]:
import pandas as pd
pd.json_normalize(data.json(), record_path=["@search.facets","cik"])
count value
0 21 1130713
1 16 1436229
2 14 1001601
3 11 1355839
4 11 1507605
5 11 1515139
6 10 1066923
7 10 1376321
8 10 1675634
9 9 896493

Firm with CIK code 110713 is Overstock.com, an online furniture retailer.

Show the top most blockchain relevant business description

In [12]:
print(pd.json_normalize(data.json(), record_path=["value"])["content"][0])


Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Generally 

Distributed blockchain technology is a decentralized and encrypted ledger that is designed to offer a secure, efficient, verifiable, and permanent way of storing records and other information without the need for intermediaries. Cryptocurrencies serve multiple purposes. They can serve as a medium of exchange, store of value or unit of account. Examples of cryptocurrencies include: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and litecoin. Blockchain technologies are being evaluated for a multitude of industries due to the belief in their ability to have a significant impact in many areas of business, finance, information management, and governance.

Cryptocurrencies are decentralized currencies that enable near instantaneous transfers. Transactions occur via an open source, cryptographic protocol platform which uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority. The online network hosts the public transaction ledger, known as the blockchain, and each cryptocurrency is associated with a source code that comprises the basis for the cryptographic and algorithmic protocols governing the blockchain. In a cryptocurrency network, every peer has its own copy of the blockchain, which contains records of every historical transaction - effectively containing records of all account balances. Each account is identified solely by its unique public key (making it effectively anonymous) and is secured with its associated private key (kept secret, like a password). The combination of private and public cryptographic keys constitutes a secure digital identity in the form of a digital signature, providing strong control of ownership.

No single entity owns or operates the network. The infrastructure is collectively maintained by a decentralized public user base. As the network is decentralized, it does not rely on either governmental authorities or financial institutions to create, transmit or determine the value of the currency units. Rather, the value is determined by market factors, supply and demand for the units, the prices being set in transfers by mutual agreement or barter among transacting parties, as well as the number of merchants that may accept the cryptocurrency. Since transfers do not require involvement of intermediaries or third parties, there are currently little to no transaction costs in direct peer-to-peer transactions. Units of cryptocurrency can be converted to fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, at rates determined on various exchanges, such as Cumberland, Coinsquare (in Canada), Coinbase, Bitsquare, Bitstamp, and others. Cryptocurrency prices are quoted on various exchanges and fluctuate with extreme volatility.

We believe cryptocurrencies offer many advantages over traditional, fiat currencies, although many of these factors also present potential disadvantages and may introduce additional risks, including:

- acting as a fraud deterrent, as cryptocurrencies are digital and cannot be counterfeited or reversed arbitrarily by a sender; 

- immediate settlement; 

- elimination of counterparty risk; 

- no trusted intermediary required; 

- lower fees; 

- identity theft prevention; 

- accessible by everyone; 

- transactions are verified and protected through a confirmation process, which prevents the problem of double spending; 

- decentralized – no central authority (government or financial institution); and 

- recognized universally and not bound by government imposed or market exchange rates. 

However, cryptocurrencies may not provide all of the benefits they purport to offer at all or at any time.

Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 and was first introduced as a means of exchange in 2009. Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely new form of digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, we believe bitcoin can be viewed as cash for the Internet. The bitcoin network shares a public ledger called the "blockchain." This ledger contains every transaction ever processed, allowing a user's computer to verify the validity of each transaction. The authenticity of each transaction is protected by digital signatures corresponding to the sending addresses, allowing all users to have full control over sending bitcoins currency rewards from their own bitcoin addresses. In addition, anyone can process transactions using the computing power of specialized hardware and earn a reward in bitcoins for this service. This process is often called "mining."

As with many new and emerging technologies, there are potentially significant risks. Businesses (including the Company) which are seeking to develop, promote, adopt, transact or rely upon blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies have a limited track record and operate within an untested new environment. These risks are not only related to the businesses the Company pursues, but the sector and industry as a whole, as well as the entirety of the concept behind blockchain and cryptocurrency as value. Factors such as access to computer processing capacity, interconnectivity, electricity cost, environmental factors (such as cooling capacity) and location play an important role in "mining," which is the term for using the specialized computers in connection with the blockchain for the creation of new units of cryptocurrency.

Riot's Business 

The Company, commencing in late 2017, concentrated on developing its cryptocurrency mining operations and investing in blockchain-focused technologies. The Company invested in several companies and internal initiatives with the intent of building and supporting blockchain technologies ecosystem. The Company experienced large accumulated historical losses from pre-2017 efforts to obtain regulatory approval for new medical devices and the manufacture and distribution of specialized medical equipment. These historical human life sciences businesses, excluding the animal health business, were shuttered following the adoption of the Company's strategic plan to shift to blockchain and cryptocurrency business.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Mining 

The Company has built a cryptocurrency mining operation, operating specialized computers manufactured by BitmainTech PTE. LTD. ("Bitmain") (also known as "miners") that generate cryptocurrency (primarily bitcoin). As of December 31, 2018, the Company owned approximately 8,000 acquired as a result of the business combination with Kairos Global Technology, Inc. ("Kairos") in November 2017 and in February 2018, two separate transactions acquired additional miners. During February 2018, Kairos entered into a lease agreement for an approximately 107,000-square foot facility in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which included data center improvements. Upon the execution of the facility lease the Company began consolidating all of its miners at the data center facility. As of December 31, 2019, approximately 7,400 of the previously acquired miners were operating.

During December 2019, the Company purchased 4,000 next generation Bitmain S17 Pro Antminers for approximately $6.4 million from Bitmain. In December 2019, 3,000 miners were received at the Company's Oklahoma City facility, and the remaining 1,000 were received in early 2020. As of December 31, 2019, the 3,000 received miners had not been placed in service; however, all of the 4,000 next generation miners were placed in service during the first quarter of 2020.


Further affecting the industry, and particularly for the bitcoin blockchain, the cryptocurrency reward for solving a block is subject to periodic incremental halving. Halving is a process designed to control the overall supply and reduce the risk of inflation in cryptocurrencies using a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. At a predetermined block, the mining reward is cut in half, hence the term "halving". For bitcoin, the reward was initially set at 50 bitcoin currency rewards per block and this was cut in half to 25 in November 28, 2012 at block 210,000 and again to 12.5 on July 9, 2016 at block 420,000. The next halving for bitcoin is expected in May 2020 at block 630,000 when the reward will reduce to 6.25. This process will reoccur until the total amount of bitcoin currency rewards issued reaches 21 million, which is expected to occur around 2140. Similarly, litecoin first halved on August 25, 2015 at block 840,000 from 50 to 25 and the second halving occurred on August 5, 2019 at block 1,680,000 from 25 to 12.5. The next halving for litecoin is expected in August 2023 at block 2,520,000 when the reward will reduce to 6.25. Many factors influence the price of bitcoin and litecoin and potential increases or decreases in prices in advance of or following a future halving is unknown.

Network Hash Rate and Difficulty 

In cryptocurrency mining, "hash rate" is a measure of the processing speed by a mining computer for a specific coin. An individual miner, such as Riot has a hash rate total of its miners seeking to mine a specific coin, and system wide there is a total has rate of all miners seeking to mine each specific type of coin. The higher total hash rate of a specific miner, as a percentage of the system wide total hash rate, generally results over time in a corresponding higher success rate in coin rewards as compared to miners with lower hash rates.

"Difficulty" is a relative measure of how complex the process is made to successfully solve the algorithm and obtain a coin award. The difficulty is adjusted periodically generally as a function of how much hashing power is deployed by the network of miners and designed to maintain certain mining results so that, on average, 10 minutes, is required to produce a block, currently producing a reward of 12.5 bitcoin. If the block is exceeding the 10-minute goal and miners are struggling with a target difficulty set too high, the network reduces it and vice versa, with this protocol called difficulty retargeting. At each interval of 2,016 blocks being mined (which takes roughly two weeks), the network re-analyzes the interval and revises the difficulty index, if needed.

Mining Pools 

A "mining pool" is the pooling of resources by miners, who share their processing power over a network and split rewards according to the amount of work they contributed to the probability of placing a block on the blockchain. Mining pools emerged in response to the growing difficulty and available hashing power that competes to place a block on the bitcoin blockchain.

The Company participates in mining pools wherein groups of miners associate to pool resources and earn cryptocurrency together allocated to each miner according to the "hashing" capacity they contribute to the pool. As additional miners competed for the limited supply of blocks, individuals found that they were working for months without finding a block and receiving any reward for their mining efforts. To address this variance, miners started organizing into pools to share mining rewards more evenly on a pro rata basis based on total hashing capacity contributed to the mining pool.

The mining pool operator provides a service that coordinates the computing power of the independent mining enterprise. Fees are paid to the mining pool operator to cover the costs of maintaining the pool. The pool uses software that coordinates the pool members' hashing power, identifies new block rewards, records how much work all the participants are doing, and assigns block rewards for successful algorithm solutions in-proportion to the individual hash rate that each participant contributed to a given successful mining transaction. While we do not pay pool fees directly, pool fees are deducted from amounts we may otherwise earn. Fees (and payouts) fluctuate and historically have been approximately 2% on average.

Mining pools are subject to various risks such as disruption and down time. Riot has internally created software that monitors its hashing performance and reward rates to monitor credits for our contributed hashing power. In the event that a pool experiences down time or not yielding returns, our results may be impacted.

Other Activities 

We have previously made targeted investments in, and acquisitions of, businesses and assets within the blockchain ecosystem. As of December 31, 2019, we owned approximately 11.7% of the equity interest of Coinsquare, Ltd. ("Coinsquare"), which operates a leading Canadian exchange for purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies. We also owned approximately 3.2% (on a fully diluted basis) of Verady, LLC ("Verady"). Verady provides accounting, audit and verification services for blockchain based assets such as cryptocurrencies. We also owned approximately 8.8% of TessPay Inc., ("Tess"). Tess is developing TessPay ("TessPay") and other blockchain solutions for telecommunications companies. Until April 2019, we owned over 50% of Tess and it was included in our consolidated financial statements until our ownership was reduced due to subsequent financings by Tess. During the year ended December 31, 2018, we formed Digital Green Energy Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary, which sought to identify environmentally friendly projects with large energy capacity and a cost-effective rate for energy for cryptocurrency mining operations and data center projects. Due to regulatory changes in the target region as well as the decline in the price of various cryptocurrencies, we have suspended work at this subsidiary. Digital Green Energy's operations during 2019 and 2018 were not significant.

Logical Brokerage Corp/RiotX 

On March 27, 2018, we acquired 92.5% of Logical Brokerage Corp. ("Logical Brokerage" also known as "RiotX") for a $600,000 cash payment, which was accounted for as an asset acquisition. Logical Brokerage is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") as an introducing broker and a member of the National Futures Association ("NFA"). As of December 31, 2019, the Company, after evaluating the RiotX business plan with the advice and guidance of its Advisory Board consisting of bitcoin and blockchain thought leaders, determined to focus on its core cryptocurrency mining business and therefore, to not move forward with the RiotX / Logical Brokerage business development plan. The Company considered a number of factors when evaluating the RiotX decision including, but not limited to, the evolving regulatory environment, cybersecurity risks, and the current competitive landscape facing U.S. based cryptocurrency exchanges. The Company is exploring possible options for Logical Brokerage, but no option is expected to generate any material return to the Company.

Business Profile and Risks 

The decision to pursue blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses exposes the Company to risks associated with a new and untested strategic direction. The prices of cryptocurrencies have experienced substantial volatility, which may reflect "bubble" type volatility, meaning that high or low prices may have little or no merit, may be subject to rapidly changing investor sentiment, and may be influenced by factors such as technology, regulatory void or changes, fraudulent actors, manipulation, and media reporting. The results of the Company's mining operations in generating and reporting revenues from its mining operations are reported under the fair value method of accounting under present accounting rules.


In cryptocurrency mining, companies, individuals and groups generate units of cryptocurrency through mining. Miners can range from individual enthusiasts to professional mining operations with dedicated data centers. Miners may organize themselves in mining pools. The Company competes or may in the future compete with other companies that focus all or a portion of their activities on owning or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, developing programming for the blockchain, and mining activities. At present, the information concerning the activities of these enterprises is not readily available as the vast majority of the participants in this sector do not publish information publicly or the information may be unreliable. Published sources of information include "bitcoin.org" and "blockchain.info"; however, the reliability of that information and its continued availability cannot be assured.

Several public companies (traded in the U.S. and Internationally), such as the following, may be considered to compete with us, although we believe there is no company, including the following, which engages in the same scope of activities as we do.

- Overstock.com Inc. 

- Bitcoin Investment Trust 

- Blockchain Industries, Inc. (formerly Omni Global Technologies, Inc.) - Bitfarms Technologies Ltd. (formerly Blockchain Mining Ltd) 

- DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. 

- Digihost International, Inc. 

- Hive Blockchain Technologies Inc. 

- Hut 8 Mining Corp. 

- HashChain Technology, Inc.

- MGT Capital Investments, Inc. 

- DPW Holdings, Inc. 

- Layer1 Technologies, LLC 

- Northern Data AG 

While there is limited available information regarding our non-public competitors, we believe that our recent acquisition and deployment of 4,000 Bitmain S17 Pro Antminers (as discussed further below) positions us well among the publicly traded companies involved in the cryptocurrency mining industry. The cryptocurrency industry is a highly competitive and evolving industry and new competitors and/or emerging technologies could enter the market and affect our competitiveness in the future. For more information regarding those risk factors known to us, see the section entitled "Risk Factors" herein.

Cryptocurrency Mining - Operation 

Riot operates a recently updated cryptocurrency mining facility for the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrencies (primarily bitcoin, and to a much lesser degree litecoin and bitcoin cash). Our facility and mining platform are operating with the primary intent of accumulating bitcoin which we may sell for fiat currency from time to time depending on market conditions and management's determination of our cash flow needs. Our mining operation in Oklahoma hosted about 8,000 ASIC miners during 2018 and 2019 which have access to approximately 12 megawatts of power supplied to our leased facility. During December 2019, the Company purchased 4,000 next generation Bitmain S17 Pro Antminers which have now been installed and are currently operating in our Oklahoma City, Oklahoma mining facility. The Company is currently evaluating plans for its miners previously acquired in 2017 / 2018, which currently have been taken offline.

These 4,000 next generation Bitmain S17 Pro Antminers are capable of producing a substantial increase in our total available hashing rate (as discussed further below), at a significant efficiency increase over our S9 miners. The approximate hashing rate generated from our mining operation during 2018-2019, from our approximately 7,500 S9 miners generally ranged from 80-100 petahash per second ("PH/s"); whereas, the estimated maximum hashing rate generated by our 4,000 next generation Bitmain S17 Pro Antminers currently installed in our OKC mine is 248 ("PH/s") at full deployment. This significant increase in total hashing rate is achieved by approximately half the total number of miners. The above information regarding approximate maximum hashing rates are estimates only and the actual outputs of the mine are subject to changes based in part on the difficulty rates associated with the bitcoin network, as well as other conditions that impact our mining output.

The following table presents additional information about our cryptocurrencies activity in coins and amounts ($ in thousands):

Quantities (in coins) Cryptocurrencies BTC LTC BCH Amounts Balance at January 1, 2018 8 86 29 $ 200 Revenue recognized from cryptocurrencies mined 1,020 3,023 479 7,749 Mining pool operating fees — — — (155 ) Purchase of cryptocurrencies 500 — — 5,625 Sale / trade of cryptocurrencies (1,364 ) (27 ) (508 ) (9,237 ) Realized gain on sale of cryptocurrencies — — — 26 Impairment of cryptocurrencies — — — (3,501 ) Balance at December 31, 2018 164 3,082 — 707 Revenue recognized from cryptocurrencies mined 944 3,477 500 6,741 Mining pool operating fees — — — (135 ) Purchase of miner equipment with cryptocurrencies (9 ) — — (99 ) Sale / trade of cryptocurrencies (585 ) (3,110 ) (499 ) (3,196 ) Realized gain on sale of cryptocurrencies — — — 665 Impairment of cryptocurrencies — — — (844 ) Balance at December 31, 2019 514 3,449 1 $ 3,839 

Performance Metrics – Hashing 

Riot operates mining hardware which performs computational operations in support of the blockchain measured in "hash rate" or "hashes per second." A "hash" is the computation run by mining hardware in support of the blockchain; therefore, a miner's "hash rate" refers to the rate at which it is capable of solving such computations. The original equipment used for mining bitcoin utilized the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer to mine various forms of cryptocurrency. Due to performance limitations, CPU mining was rapidly replaced by the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which offers significant performance advantages over CPUs. General purpose chipsets like CPUs and GPUs have since been replaced in the mining industry by Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) chips like those found in the Bitmain S9 Antiminers and the next generation Bitmain S17 Pro Antiminers currently utilized by Riot at its mining facility. These ASIC chips are designed specifically to maximize the rate of hashing operations.

Riot measures our mining performance and competitive position based on overall hash rate being produced in our mining sites. The latest equipment utilized in Riot's OKC mining operation, the Bitmain S17 Pro Antminer, performs in the range of approximately 50 - 62 terahash per second (TH/s) per unit. This mining hardware is on the cutting edge of available mining equipment and we believe our acquisition of 4,000 units places us among leaders of publicly-traded cryptocurrency miners; however, advances and improvements to the technology are ongoing and may be available in quantities to the market in the near future which may affect our perceived position. We believe that our current inventory of 4,000 Bitmain S17 Pro Antminers establishes us among the top public companies in the United States mining cryptocurrency.

Government Regulation 

Government regulation of blockchain and cryptocurrency is being actively considered by the United States federal government via a number of agencies and regulatory bodies, as well as similar entities in other countries. State government regulations also may apply to our activities such and other activities in which we participate or may participate in the future. Other regulatory bodies are governmental or semi-governmental and have shown an interest in regulating or investigating companies engaged in the blockchain or cryptocurrency business. 

Regulations may substantially change in the future and it is presently not possible to know how regulations will apply to our businesses, or when they will be effective. As the regulatory and legal environment evolves, we may become subject to new laws, further regulation by the SEC and other agencies, which may affect our mining and other activities. For instance, various bills have also been proposed in Congress related to our business, which may be adopted and have an impact on us. For additional discussion regarding our belief about the potential risks existing and future regulation pose to our business, see the Section entitled "Risk Factors" herein.

Intellectual Property 

We actively use specific hardware and software for our cryptocurrency mining operation. In certain cases, source code and other software assets may be subject to an open source license, as much technology development underway in this sector is open source. For these works, Riot intends to adhere to the terms of any license agreements that may be in place.

We do not currently own, and do not have any current plans to seek, any patents in connection with our existing and planned blockchain and cryptocurrency related operations. We do expect to rely upon trade secrets, trademarks, service marks, trade names, copyrights and other intellectual property rights and expect to license the use of intellectual property rights owned and controlled by others. In addition, we have developed and may further develop certain proprietary software applications for purposes of our cryptocurrency mining operation.

Legacy Business - Animal Health IP 

We continue to own and maintain an animal health patent portfolio which originated under the exclusive license agreement with Washington University in St. Louis ("WU" or "Washington University in St. Louis"), under which we obtained intellectual property rights to WU's patent estate. This extensive portfolio consists of patents related to our animal health products that we previously had under development. The term of the WU License Agreement continues until the expiration of the WU's patents (as defined in the WU License Agreement). We reimburse WU for the costs of patent filings, namely prosecution and maintenance fees. Additional patents in the animal health portfolio have been filed by us outside of the WU License Agreement.

A patent filing for the recombinant luteinizing hormone technology was submitted in 2004, entitled "Methods and Kits for Maintaining Pregnancy, Treating Follicular Cysts, and Synchronizing Ovulation Using Luteinizing Hormone." This patent family claims methods of administering rLH, the timing of administration, and dosage given in order to increase formation of accessory corpora lutea and maintain pregnancies in treated animals. To date, five foreign patents have been granted for "Methods and Kits for Maintaining Pregnancy, Treating Follicular Cysts, and Synchronizing Ovulation Using Luteinizing Hormone," New Zealand patent 542549 was granted March 12, 2009 (expiring March 2024), Australia 2004218365 was granted May 27, 2010 (expiring March 2024), European patent 1610803 was granted December 15, 2010 (expiring March 2024), Canadian patent 2518268 was granted December 10, 2013 (expiring March 2024) and Brazil was granted May 31, 2016 (expiring March 4, 2026). The patent was granted by the European Patent Office and has been validated in the following countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Currently, there are additional foreign patent applications that are in prosecution.

A patent filing for the recombinant bovine follicle stimulating hormone technology was submitted in 2008, entitled "Compositions and Methods Including Expression and Bioactivity of Bovine Follicle Stimulating Hormone." This patent family claims the rbFSH single-chain itself, as well as methods of administering rbFSH, the timing of administration, and dosage given in order to increase reproduction, induce superovulation or increase embryo production in ungulates. In October of 2011, the first patent in this family was granted by the European Patent Office (2134165), expiring October 12, 2028. The patent has also been granted in New Zealand (579740), expiring October 1, 2028. Following the grant of the patent in 2011 by the European Patent Office, the patent was validated in the following countries: France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. In August 2013, the patent was granted in the United States (8518881 B2) expiring February 8, 2028, followed in November 2013 by the grant in Australia (2008213567) expiring February 8, 2028. The patent was granted for Canada (2,685,437) on June 2, 2015 and will expire February 8, 2028. Currently, there are additional foreign patent applications that are in prosecution.

A patent filing for the equine follicle stimulating hormone technology was filed in 2008, entitled "Activity of Recombinant Equine Follicle Stimulating Hormone." This patent family provides coverage for the single chain eFSH itself, methods of administering reFSH, the timing of administration, and dosage given in order to increase reproductive activity in treated animals. The first patent in the patent family was granted in China in April 2013 (200880123523.8) expiring November 28, 2028. The U.S. Patent for this family was granted in September 2014 (8,835,386) expiring November 28, 2028. The patent was granted for Canada (2,685,437) on June 2, 2015 and will expire February 8, 2028. The European patent was granted in August 2018 (2244717), expires November 2028 and includes the following countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands. Currently, there are additional foreign patent applications that are in prosecution.

The Company's animal health intellectual property has been licensed under the long-term agreement Ceva agreement under which the licensee continues to develop drugs for commercial use in non-human mammals.

Research and Development 

As part of our normal operating activities we actively explore advanced methods of managing cryptocurrency mining operations at scale. This includes monitoring software, management tools, and programmable hardware components for gathering data and the configuration of mining equipment. This work includes software tools supporting at scale management of the Bitmain "Antminer" family of systems. These devices have an application interface that is accessible to users for the purposes of automation, monitoring and software maintenance. The existing software that is provided directly from the manufacturer is not designed for the scale or size of our operation. The mining operations rely on this technology to help streamline our daily system management, provide near real time reporting of faults and deliver configuration updates to the entire fleet of miners. We have also adapted these technologies to leverage cloud computing in order to offer access to these tools across a global footprint of mining sites. Our costs to date in such development activities have been nominal.


As of March 10, 2020, we had six full-time employees. We believe our employee relations to be good. Currently, our activities rely on the services of three individual consultants under support agreements to manage and maintain our miners.

Corporate Information 

Our principal executive office is located at 202 6 th Street, Suite 401, Castle Rock, CO 80104, which is where our records are kept and the principal business address for our Chief Executive Officer and accounting staff. Our principal operating location which was leased in 2018 is a 107,000-square foot data center facility in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Our Florida office is a leased 1,700 square foot office space which opened in 2018 and is located at One Financial Plaza, 100 SE 3 rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33394.

We were incorporated on July 24, 2000 in the State of Colorado under the name AspenBio, Inc., which was subsequently changed to AspenBio Pharma, Inc. We have gone through several subsequent name changes: in December 2012, we changed our name to Venaxis, Inc.; in 2016 we changed our name to Bioptix, Inc.; and, effective October 19, 2017 we adopted our present corporate name, Riot Blockchain, Inc. and changed our state of incorporation to Nevada. Our website address is www.riotblockchain.com. Our telephone number is (303) 794-2000.

Available Information 

You can access, free of charge, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports as filed with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended on the SEC's website www.sec.gov. These documents may also be accessed on our website: www.riotblockchain.com . These documents are placed on our website as soon as is reasonably practicable after their filing with the SEC. The information contained in, or that can be accessed through, the website is not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.