Biotech-turned-cryptocurrency company Riot Blockchain has received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and may be delisted from the Nasdaq.
The Colorado-based firm, which attracted headlines last year following its unexpected pivot into the cryptocurrency space, acknowledged in a new public filing that the SEC is “requesting certain information from the Company” and that it intends to comply with the inquiry.
“On April 9, 2018, the Company received a subpoena from the SEC requesting certain information from the Company,” Riot Blockchain said in the filing, adding that it intends to “fully cooperate” with the SEC’s request. “As part of its review of the Company's public filings, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") has inquired about certain of the Company's assets' classification as, and amount of, possible Investment Company assets.”
“The Company believes that many companies engaged in blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses have received subpoenas from the SEC which presents an additional industry risk. The existence of an investigation of the Company specifically and the industry generally could have a materially adverse effect on the Company, its business or operations, and the industry as a whole,” the company added.
Elsewhere in the report, Riot Blockchain acknowledged another significant business risk -- it may face delisting from the Nasdaq Stock Market, in part due to its failure to hold an annual shareholders’ meeting in a timely manner.
"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, adding that it has struggled to assemble the quorum of shareholders required to hold a vote.
Long Blockchain, another company that made a dubious cryptocurrency pivot during last year’s market run-up, was recently delisted from the Nasdaq under a provision that allows the exchange operator to remove companies that it believes have engaged in unethical business practices.
Riot Blockchain shares traded down on the news of the SEC probe and potential Nasdaq delisting, falling five percent to $6.91 after trading opened on Wednesday. That also represents an 85 percent plunge from the stock’s 52-week high, which peaked at $46.20 in mid-December.
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