Bitcoin Miner Riot Drops ‘Blockchain’ From Name After Rough Year


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(Bloomberg) — Riot Blockchain Inc. has changed its name to Riot Platforms as the Bitcoin miner seeks to navigate the battered crypto landscape by diversifying operations. 

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The Castle Rock, Colorado-based company had adopted the moniker during the bull-market rally in late 2017. Before that, the miner was known as Bioptix Inc., a maker of diagnostic machinery for the biotech industry. Bioptix was previously named Venaxis Inc. 

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After rising to become one of the largest US miners, Riot’s shares tumbled 85% last year as the price of the largest cryptocurrency stumbled and the digital-asset world was plagued by scandal and bankruptcies. 

When the company initially took the Riot Blockchain name, the former penny stock soared, posting a gain of more than sevenfold in 2017. It plunged around 95% the following year. Riot surged another 1,400% in 2020. The stock fell 1 cent to $3.39 on Tuesday. 

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Mining stocks had skyrocketed when the crypto market saw a historic boom in 2020 and 2021 as their major competitors in China were forced to shut down due to a sweeping ban by the Chinese government. Investors flocked to them as a way to get exposure to Bitcoin without actually buying the token. 

Riot Platforms has been one of the few mining companies to reduce energy costs and mitigate the crypto market headwinds by power purchase agreements where it can sell pre-purchased electricity back to the grid at a premium. 

“Riot and Whinstone US will brand together under Riot Platforms, Inc., while Riot’s electrical equipment manufacturing business will continue to operate under the ESS Metron brand in order to support its long-established client base.” the company said in a statement. Its Whinstone facility is one of the largest Bitcoin mining farms in Texas with over 700-megawatt at full capacity.


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