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Feds subpoena Riot Blockchain, Colorado company that saw shares soar and crash after cryptocurrency makeover


In its first annual report since changing its name to Riot Blockchain, the Castle Rock cryptocurrency company said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed the company on April 9 asking for “certain information.”

According to the filing, the company said it “intends to fully cooperate with the SEC request” and believes the request has something to do with its move into blockchain and cryptocurrency business, a volatile field that has the SEC on alert. So far this year, the SEC has suspended trading on several cryptocurrency-related public companies, including UBI Blockchain Internet in January.

Riot, which emerged in October from the remains of former biotech company Bioptix, saw its popularity rise with the new cryptocurrency name. Similar to the rise of bitcoin, Riot’s shares hit a 52-week high of $46.20 by December, though its stock price was down to $7.30 as of Tuesday. Bitcoin, which hit a high of around $19,500 in December, is now trading around $7,900.

The company has since made multiple cryptocurrency-related acquisitions, including buying bitcoins, bitcoin mining equipment and companies developing blockchain technology.

Riot, which said it has nine full-time employees, also faces getting kicked off the Nasdaq exchange if it doesn’t have an annual shareholder meeting, which Riot now says will be May 15, according to the filing. Past meetings had been rescheduled but a TV report by CNBC said the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Florida where the latest event was to be held in February had no reservation for Riot Blockchain.

In Tuesday’s filing, Riot said that new annual revenues unrelated to its prior business of pet-medicine licenses, was $172,959. Net losses widened to $20 million, compared to a loss of $4.3 million in 2016. Because of a funding round in December, the company said it also has a cash and cash equivalents of $41.7 million.

Earlier this month, the company signed a lease for 1,694 square feet of office space in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In its annual report, the company said its Castle Rock office is its principal business address.



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