Shares in Castle Rock, Colo.-based Riot Blockchain Inc. soared by about 20% in Wednesday after the company announced a deal to acquire Logical Brokerage Corp., a Miami-based cryptocurrency trading firm.
The company, which last October changed its name from Biopix Inc. and shifted its business focus to digital assets from biotech, said the deal will help them focus on digital currency trading. It didn’t announce terms of the transaction.
“We have identified a substantial market need for additional options to serve a growing customer desire to transact in digital currencies within the U.S.,” John O’Rourke, chairman and CEO of Riot Blockchain said in a statement.
Shares in Riot Blockchain
have had a volatile few months trading above $38 a share in December 2017, before falling back below $11 a share in January. The company’s shares were most recently at $15.52m up 20%, in Wednesday morning trade.
Riot Blockchain’s push into blockchain and the cryptocurrencies follows a precipitous rise in bitcoin and other cyber units, which gained mainstream attention in 2017. Blockchain refers to the distributed-ledger technology underpinning most crytocurrencies.
Early Wednesday a single bitcoin
was trading at about $8,250, up 7%, on news and data site CoinDesk.com, but the asset has lost about 60% of its value since its peak in late December, underscoring the inherent volatility in digital assets.
Riot Blockchain’s break in to crypto also came amid a wave of companies attempting to ride the wave of bitcoin euphoria by adding blockchain to their names or switching their focus to digital currencies, which some prominent investors have referred to as a dangerous bubble.