Who remembers “Riot Blockchain?”
Well, for anyone who might have missed this truly ridiculous story, here is the brief history starting in 2012 and running all the way up to the present…
This is a company that i) had a license for veterinary products, ii) licensed that license to somebody else in exchange for a royalty, iii) sold its corporate headquarters, immediately rented a closet in the back of the same building, iv) bought another company, v) developed “a proprietary Enhanced Surface Plasmon Resonance technology platform” and hired a bunch of people to sell it, vi) fired all of those people four months later, vii) then decided to “exit the business” and try something else.
That “something else” was revealed in an 8K they filed early last month:
On September 29, 2017, Bioptix, Inc. (the “Company”) entered into a series of agreements including a Subscription Agreement and Amended and Restated Unanimous Shareholder Agreement in connection with the purchase of $3,000,000 of units of goNumerical Ltd. (“goNumerical”), a leading Canadian Blockchain company known as Coinsquare Ltd., one of Canada’s leading exchanges for trading digital currencies. Each unit consists of (i) one share of goNumerical and (ii) a purchase warrant exercisable into such number of shares of stock at the exercise price and with such other terms and conditions as are acceptable to the Company The news release announcing the strategic investment is attached as Exhibit 99.1.
So here’s a company which, just five years ago, was licensing “intellectual property relating to recombinant single chain reproductive hormone technology for use in non-human mammals,” and which, just 19 months ago, sold its headquarters only to rent space in the back and try to build another business based on “Enhanced Surface Plasmon Resonance technology,” which has now decided to rename itself “Riot Blockchain” and go into the cryptocurrency business.
The address listed on the 8K was this one:
834-F South Perry Street, Suite 443
Castle Rock, CO
As Bloomberg noted in a piece published last month, that’s “identical to the address of a shipping and mailbox rental company called PostalAnnex.”
Here’s an actual picture:
So that’s “Riot Blockchain.”
Well, since we last checked in on Riot, they made a “strategic investment” in something called Verady, LLC which, according to the press release, “combines blockchain technology and industry thought leadership to bring accounting standards and audit services to the cryptocurrency market [by] providing accounting, audit, and verification for blockchain based assets such as cryptocurrencies.”
Riot is super-excited about that investment and CEO John O’Rourke wants you to know that he’s just getting started. “We will continue to increase our involvement and support of the blockchain ecosystem, as we ramp up our Bitcoin mining operations,” he said in the same press release linked above.
Have a look at the stock (and do remember everything said above about this company’s history so you can appreciate how truly absurd this is):
Yeah. This thing is up 440% since the start of October. And as of last month, they were still listing the PostalAnnex next to the Castle Rock Blimpie shop on their 8K.
And that’s hardly the end of this ridiculous craze. As Bloomberg notes on Friday, “Overstock.com Inc. soared after announcing the launch of a SEC-compliant digital tokens exchange [and] Goldmoney Inc. jumped after saying it will offer its clients the ability to trade bitcoin and ether and store the assets in auditable and insured vaults.” Here are those plotted with Riot:
There you go: “just add blockchain.”
What could go wrong?