Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) Investments Solidify Effort to Build Decentralized Tech Platforms

  • Company’s investments in Verady, Coinsquare and TessPay among recent work to increase security for transactions
  • Blockchain, cannabis sectors accounted for nearly 10 percent of rising daily activity for TD Ameritrade in 4Q2017
  • Estimated $10 billion in cryptocurrency transacted each day

Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) is advancing its focus on the rising blockchain technology and its cryptocurrency applications, as exemplified by its November announcement of its strategic investment in Verady, LLC, a company that provides accounting, auditing and verification for blockchain-based assets such as cryptocurrencies (http://cnw.fm/lNMe5). The strategy paid off with news that Riot Blockchain’s stock surged from $7 in November to more than $46 in a month, and the company remains committed to gaining “exposure to the blockchain ecosystem through targeted investments in the sector.”

Riot’s primary focus is on the bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies, and the company owns a share in Coinsquare, a Canada-based cryptocurrency exchange, as well as a majority share in TessPay, which serves as a blockchain-enabled payment vehicle for wholesale telecom carriers. Despite fluctuations in the value of bitcoin as the stock reached stratospheric levels following a hard-charging yearlong rally, and amid ongoing concerns in some sectors that its value is being propped up (http://cnw.fm/4txgW), bitcoin’s price remains exponentially above the value of an ounce of gold, which it passed last March.

A NetworkNewsWire article about the popularity of blockchain and cannabis-related stocks cited TD Ameritrade in reporting that daily average trades for the last quarter of 2017 were up 49 percent from the previous year, with trades in the blockchain and cannabis sectors accounting for between six and nine percent of daily activity (http://cnw.fm/nrQr1). Verady’s website (www.Verady.com) notes that over $10 billion worth of cryptocurrency changes hands each day in transactions worldwide, with no framework for proper tracking, reconciliation or reporting. “Audit and Accounting Standards haven’t caught up,” it states, citing its mission to provide the auditing and accountability services for major cryptocurrency companies. In December, Verady announced a strategic partnership with Georgia-based accounting organization Acuity and launched its VeraNet platform as it worked on a convergence of cryptocurrency wallet data with traditional accounting tools for businesses (http://cnw.fm/y3Ubd).

John O’Rourke, chairman and CEO of Riot Blockchain, referred to the company’s acquisition of a stake in Verady as continuing its commitment to building blockchain technologies as a first mover on the NASDAQ focused on those technologies. Verady stated that it will use the investment to strengthen itself by advancing its technology and increasing the size of its team. On January 30, the company announced its appointment of cybersecurity expert and strategic executive Christopher Ensey as COO. As the former COO of Dunbar Security Solutions, Ensey managed over 150 security professionals across physical and digital operations while capturing over 100 mid to large enterprise clients (http://cnw.fm/7DBVb). On January 17, the company appointed experienced blockchain data mining manager Jeffrey Vormittag as the COO of its wholly owned subsidiary, Riot Blockchain Canada Inc.

The blockchain is a decentralized and encrypted ledger system established to ensure the security and verifiability of transaction records without the need for intermediaries, which came to include banks as the popularity of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies began to rise. Blockchain “miners” work under an international system set up to establish a “proof of work” verification protocol. Riot Blockchain perceived the potential of the technology early on and, in October, redesigned its brand as it began work to establish an advisory board that has sufficient technical experience to help it become a leading authority and supporter of blockchain.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.RiotBlockchain.com

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