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Feb. 16, 2018, 12:21 p.m. EST

Riot Blockchain’s stock rattled after report

CEO sold $869,000 of stock. The company’s shares then fell 63%

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By Aaron Hankin

AFP/Getty Images

Shares in Castle Rock, Colo.-based Riot Blockchain Inc. fell by more than 30% Friday after an investigative report raised fresh concerns about the cryptocurrency-related company’s business and recent executive share sales.

On Oct. 4, 2017, the company changed its name from Bioptix Inc. to Riot Blockchain, as it pivoted from a biopharma company to its newfound cryptocurrency strategy, sending its shares surging, as bitcoin and other digital currencies were rocketing in value, and mainstream interest in distributed-ledger technology, or blockchain, was surging.

CNBC’s report on Friday attempts to dig deeper into the executives behind Riot Blockchain /zigman2/quotes/209538617/composite RIOT +8.30% , recent insider stock sales that have raised eyebrows and the company’s operations, including scheduled shareholder meetings that never happened.

In December, CEO John O’Rourke sold more than $800,000 of Riot shares, CNBC highlighted in its story. SEC filings show that O’Rourke sold 30,383 shares in the company at an average price of $28.61, or $869,000. O’Rourke has said in the past that the sale of shares was for tax purposes.


“Basically, I sold less than 10 percent of my overall position. And I was doing it for tax obligations,” O’Rourke told the Denver Post on Feb. 8 .

“I could have sold more stock, but at the time, I sold what I needed.”

Following O’Rourke’s shares sale, Riot’s stock fell eight of the following nine trading sessions, recorded five consecutive weekly losses, reaching a low of $10.40, representing a 63.6% plunge from early February.

Source: FactSet

It has been a busy two weeks for Riot. On Feb, 7, the company said it would buy Miami-based cryptocurrency firm Logical Brokerage Corp, which saw shares jump by 20% by the end of the trading.

Riot Blockchain’s stock jumps as company set to acquire digital-currency exchange

Friday’s decline has wiped out those post-acquisition gains and then some.

Calls to Riot Blockchain’s Colorado office yielded no return.

US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 4.96
+0.38 +8.30%
Volume: 8.32M
Dec. 2, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$829.79 million
Rev. per Employee

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