Riot Blockchain Has Been Subpoenaed By the SEC

Riot Blockchain has received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2018 at 6:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:50 a.m. UTC

Riot Blockchain, the Nasdaq-listed company that made headlines last year after its pivot to cryptocurrency related services, has received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The disclosure was made in Riot Blockchain's annual report, which was released on April 17. The company said in its filing that the SEC is "requesting certain information from the Company."

"As part of its review of the Company's public filings, the Securities and Exchange Commission...has inquired about certain of the Company's assets' classification as, and amount of, possible Investment Company assets," explained elsewhere in its filing, adding: "The Company intends to fully cooperate with the SEC request."

That the firm would face a probe from the U.S. securities regulator is perhaps unsurprising, given that the agency indicated in January that it was scrutinizing companies that have pivoted toward blockchain in recent months amid a wave of interest from investors.

"The SEC is looking closely at the disclosures of public companies that shift their business models to capitalize on the perceived promise of distributed ledger technology and whether the disclosures comply with the securities laws, particularly in the case of an offering," SEC chairman Jay Clayton remarked at the time.

Riot Blockchain's stock price soared in December, exceeding $40 per share at one point – as of Tuesday, the stock was trading at $7.30, according to data from Google. The company has also been hit with several investor lawsuits in the wake of that stock price peak.

The subpoena also comes just a week after Riot Blockchain announced its acquisition of a futures brokerage firm on March 31, announcing plans to launch a cryptocurrency and futures exchange in the U.S.

Elsewhere in the report, Riot Blockchain offered new details about a potential delisting from the Nasdaq, a possibility it first disclosed back in January due to its failure to hold an annual meeting (a situation that was later the subject of a CNBC report).

"In order to maintain our NASDAQ listing, we must satisfy the requirements of a plan of compliance that we submitted to, and was accepted by, NASDAQ. That plan contemplates, among other things, holding our 2017 annual meeting of shareholders no later than May 15, 2018," Riot Blockchain wrote.

SEC image via CoinDesk


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