Riot Blockchain Inc. (BIOP:NASDAQ) has transformed itself, changing its name from Bioptix Inc., and moving the company's focus to blockchain technology and away from medical diagnostics. The company is now trading on NASDAQ under the symbol BIOP and has reserved the ticker symbol RIOT. The company announced on Oct. 3 that it will pay a special dividend of about $1 per common share to all shareholders of record as of Oct. 13.
In an Oct. 4 announcement, Riot Blockchain stated that moving forward, its focus will be "as a strategic investor and operator in the blockchain ecosystem with a particular focus on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains."
"Riot Blockchain will pay a special dividend of about $1 per common share to all shareholders of record as of Oct. 13."
The first investment the company has made is in Coinsquare Ltd., a Canadian exchange for trading digital currencies. "This investment into a blockchain-focused company is indicative of similar opportunities Riot Blockchain plans to pursue, including possible acquisitions of businesses serving the blockchain ecosystem," the company announced.
A blockchain is a decentralized system that is used as a ledger for cryptocurrency transactions, the company explained. "Blockchain protocols offer a secure way to store and relay information without the need for middlemen. It uses a decentralized and encrypted ledger that offers a secure, efficient, verifiable, and permanent way of storing records and other information. Blockchain protocols are the backbone of numerous digital cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin."
The technology is not just limited to cryptocurrencies. The company noted that blockchain protocols have a "wide range of potential applications including use in processing transactions, managing medical records, recording votes and proof of ownership across a far-reaching spectrum of applications."
Michael Beeghley, Riot Blockchain's CEO, stated, "With new applications being developed for blockchain every day, this is a rapidly growing and evolving market. . .Currently, we are the only NASDAQ listed company focused exclusively on blockchain technologies."
Bloomberg reported on Oct. 4 that "usually when a company rebrands itself by diving into the digital currency space, the stock waits until after the announcement to take off. In the case of Bioptix Inc., a maker of diagnostic machinery for the biotech industry, it didn't bother waiting." The stock nearly doubled "in the days leading up to the company's announcement Wednesday that it's renaming itself Riot Blockchain Inc. to reflect a new focus on buying cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses. After the Castle Rock, Colorado-based firm formally unveiled the change in direction, the shares extended their rally, gaining as much as 17 percent to $9.50, the highest intraday level since January 2015."
Riot Blockchain's shares are currently trading at around $10.18.
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