Commitments and contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2018
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and contingencies||
Note 15. Commitments and contingencies:
Oklahoma Lease Agreement.
On February 27, 2018, Kairos entered into a lease agreement (the “Lease”) with 7725 Reno #1, LLC (the “Landlord”), pursuant to which Kairos leases an approximately 107,600 square foot warehouse located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, including improvements thereon. Pursuant to the terms of the Lease, the initial term of one year terminates on February 15, 2019, unless terminated earlier pursuant to the terms of the Lease, subject to Kairos’ options to renew the Lease. Kairos has the right to operate from the premises on a 24 hour/seven day a week basis. At least three months, but no more than six months, prior to the expiration of the initial Lease term or renewal term, as applicable, Kairos shall give Landlord written notice of its intent to exercise the applicable renewal option, which also includes incremental payment for additional electric capacity delivery. If Kairos does not elect to exercise a renewal option, all remaining renewal options, if any, shall terminate.
Base rent for the premises during the period from inception to the first amendment is equal to $55.95/kW per month for a total of 4 Megawatts (MW) of available electrical power, or $223,800 per month.
On March 26, 2018, Kairos entered into a first amendment to the above lease, whereby the Landlord agreed to increase the electrical power available for Kairos’s use from 6MW to 12MW, and the base rent under the lease was increased to approximately $665,760 per month, effective as of the date when such additional power is available.
Effective November 29, 2018, Kairos entered into the second amendment to the lease which provides the following:
Corporate Lease Agreement
On April 9, 2018, the Company entered into a commercial lease covering 1,694 rentable square feet of office space in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a third-party. The lease is for an initial term of thirty-nine months, with one five-year option to renew. The lease requires initial monthly rent of approximately $7,000, including base rent and associated operating expenses.
Ingenium International LLC Consulting Agreement
On February 21, 2018, the Company entered into a Consulting Agreement with Ingenium International LLC (the “Consultant”) to provide consulting services related to the Company’s business for a twelve-month period. Pursuant to the Consulting Agreement, Consultant’s services are defined as follows: complete the installation and deployment of 8,000+ ASIC digital currency miners, which included the Prive Equipment and the BMSS Equipment; assist in managing and monitoring the operation of the 8,000+ digital currency miners on an ongoing basis; promptly responding to and troubleshooting any issues as they arise in the management and monitoring of the operations; continuing the buildout of up to 40 Megawatts of energy capacity, with the ultimate goal to secure the power and build the location for up to 80 Megawatts of energy capacity; and to make strategic introductions to other digital currency business opportunities and contacts in the sector. In connection with the Consulting Agreement the Company made a lump sum payment of $4,000,000 to the Consultant. The Company recorded the $4,000,000 as a prepaid expense on February 21, 2018 and was amortizing the total cost over the one-year life of the agreement. However, the Company determined that as of December 31, 2018, the Consultants had provided substantially all the agreed upon services under the Consulting Agreement and therefore, recorded any remaining prepaid balance to selling, general and administrative expense on the accompanying statement of operations.
The controlling principals of Ingenium International LLC. are shareholders in the Company by virtue of the previous acquisitions of Kairos and Prive.
Synapse Financial Technologies, Inc. Agreement
On October 23, 2018, the Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Logical Brokerage entered into an agreement (the “SynapseFi Agreement”) with Synapse Financial Technologies, Inc. (“SynapseFi”) to secure Synapse’s services to support the launch of the Company’s planned branded digital currency exchange, in the United States. SynapseFi is an industry leader in the provision of Application Program Interfaces (“API”) to the financial services industry. SynapseFi’s APIs provide a secure and stable means of communication between users and financial institutions, while providing security and compliance assurances to the financial institutions themselves, which are of paramount importance to the Company and the users of its planned digital currency exchange.
Under the terms of the SynapseFi Agreement, SynapseFi will engage Evolve Bancorp, Inc., through its subsidiary, Evolve Bank & Trust (collectively, “Evolve”), or any successor financial institution designated by SynapseFi, to provide Logical Brokerage with all bank services directly. SynapseFi API will allow Logical to easily communicate user requests to Evolve, while assisting Evolve with managed risks and compliance concerns associated with the exchange of digital currencies. Pursuant to the terms of the SynapseFi Agreement, Logical Brokerage has also agreed to submit to periodic security, compliance and risk reviews and audits performed by SynapseFi on behalf of Evolve as a means of ensuring continued compliance and reliability for Evolve, SynapseFi, the Company, and its end users. The SynapseFi Agreement is effective, unless otherwise terminated by the parties according to the rules and procedures laid out in the Agreement, for an initial term running from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, and shall automatically renew for successive twelve (12) month periods until such a time as the SynapseFi Agreement is not renewed by the parties.
For the year ended December 31, 2018, there were no material expenses incurred related to the SynapseFi Agreement.
Shift Markets, Ltd. Agreement
On November 21, 2018, RiotX Holdings Inc (“RiotX”), entered into an agreement with Shift Markets, Ltd. (“Shift”) to provide RiotX with its crypto exchange platform. The agreement will enable RiotX to execute its plan to launch a U.S. focused digital currency exchange and offer a robust trading interface for real time trading of crypto assets.
Logical Brokerage Regulatory Compliance
Logical Brokerage is presently registered as an Introducing Broker ("IB"), is a member of the National Futures Association ("NFA"), and is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC"). Logical Brokerage is subject to NFA's regulatory oversight and examinations. Logical Brokerage has no customers and has done no business since the Company acquired it on March 23, 2018 though the date these consolidated financial statements have been issued. As a registered IB, Logical Brokerage is subject to the CFTC's Minimum Capital Requirement's Regulation 1.17, which requires the adjusted net capital, as defined, to be equal to or in excess of $45,000. As of December 31, 2018, Logical Brokerage's adjusted net capital was in excess of CFTC's regulatory requirements.
The Company, and its subsidiaries, are subject at times to various claims, lawsuits and governmental proceedings relating to the Company’s business and transactions arising in the ordinary course of business. The Company cannot predict the final outcome of such proceedings. Where appropriate, the Company vigorously defends such claims, lawsuits and proceedings. Some of these claims, lawsuits and proceedings seek damages, including, consequential, exemplary or punitive damages, in amounts that could, if awarded, be significant. Certain of the claims, lawsuits and proceedings arising in ordinary course of business are covered by the Company’s insurance program. The Company maintains property, and various types of liability insurance in an effort to protect the Company from such claims. In terms of any matters where there is no insurance coverage available to the Company, or where coverage is available and the Company maintains a retention or deductible associated with such insurance, the Company may establish an accrual for such loss, retention or deductible based on current available information. In accordance with accounting guidance, if it is probable that an asset has been impaired or a liability has been incurred as of the date of the financial statements, and the amount of loss is reasonably estimable, then an accrual for the cost to resolve or settle these claims is recorded by the Company in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. If it is reasonably possible that an asset may be impaired as of the date of the financial statement, then the Company discloses the range of possible loss. Paid expenses related to the defense of such claims are recorded by the Company as incurred and paid and included in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. Management, with the assistance of outside counsel, may from time to time adjust such accruals according to new developments in the matter, court rulings, or changes in the strategy affecting the Company’s defense of such matters. On the basis of current information, the Company does not believe there is a reasonable possibility that, other than with regard to the Class Action described below, any material loss, if any, will result from any claims, lawsuits and proceedings to which the Company is subject to either individually, or in the aggregate.
On February 17, 2018, Creighton Takata filed an action asserting putative class action claims on behalf of the Company's shareholders in the United District Court for the District of New Jersey, Takata v. Riot Blockchain Inc., et al., Case No. 3: 18-cv-02293. The complaint asserts violations of federal securities laws under Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on behalf of a putative class of shareholders that purchased stock from November 13, 2017 through February 15, 2018. The complaint alleges that the Company and certain of its officers and directors made, caused to be made, or failed to correct false and/or misleading statements in press releases and public filings regarding its business plan in connection with its cryptocurrency business. The complaint requests damages in unspecified amounts, costs and fees of bringing the action, and other unspecified relief.
Two additional, nearly identical complaints were subsequently filed by Richard Roys and Bruce Greenawalt in the United District States Court for the Southern District of Florida (Roys v. Riot Blockchain Inc., et al., Case No. 9:18-cv-80225) and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (Greenawalt v. Riot Blockchain Inc., et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-00440), respectively. On March 27, 2018, the court closed the Roys case for administrative purposes. On April 2, 2018, Mr. Greenawalt filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of his action, which the court entered on the same date.
On April 18, 2018, Joseph J. Klapper, Jr., filed a complaint against Riot Blockchain, Inc., and certain of its officers and directors in the United District Court for the District of New Jersey (Klapper v. Riot Blockchain Inc., et al., Case No. 3: 18-cv-8031). The complaint contained substantially similar allegations and the same claims as those filed by Mr. Takata, and requests damages in unspecified amounts, costs and fees of bringing the action, and other unspecified relief. On November 6, 2018, the court in the Takata action issued an order consolidating Takata with Klapper into a single putative class action. The court also appointed Dr. Golovac as Lead Plaintiff and Motely Rice as Lead Counsel of the consolidated class action.
Lead Plaintiff filed a consolidated complaint on January 15, 2019. Defendants filed motions to dismiss on March 18, 2019. The briefing on the motions to dismiss will be completed in June 2019. Subject to the outcome of the pending motions, defendants intend to continue to vigorously contest Lead Plaintiff’s allegations. Because this litigation is still at this early stage, we cannot reasonably estimate the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome or the magnitude of such an outcome, if any.
Shareholder Derivative Cases
On April 5, 2018, Michael Jackson filed a shareholder derivative complaint on behalf of the Company in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau, against certain of the Company's officers and directors, as well as against an investor (Jackson v. Riot Blockchain, Inc., et al., Case No. 604520/18). The complaint contains similar allegations to those contained in the shareholder class action complaints and seeks recovery for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, waste of corporate assets, abuse of control and gross mismanagement. The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages and corporate governance changes. At the preliminary conference, the court adjourned the conference until September 9, 2019 in lieu of staying the action. Defendants do not anticipate any other activity on this case until the next preliminary conference.
On May 22, 2018, two additional shareholder derivative complaints were filed on behalf of the Company in the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada in and for the County of Clark (Kish v. O'Rourke, et al., Case No. A-18-774890-B & Gaft v. O'Rourke, et al., Case No. A-18-774896-8). The two complaints make identical allegations, which are similar to the allegations contained in the shareholder class action complaints. The shareholder derivative plaintiffs also seek recovery for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, waste of corporate assets, and aiding abetting a breach of fiduciary duty. The complaints seek unspecific monetary damages and corporate governance changes.
On September 24, 2018, the court entered an order consolidating the Gaft and Kish actions, which is now styled as In re Riot BlockChain, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, Case No. A-18-774890-B. The plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint on March 15, 2019. The consolidated action has been temporarily stayed until the resolution of the motion(s) to dismiss in the securities class action pending in the United District Court for the District of New Jersey.
On October 9, 2018, another shareholder derivative complaint was filed on behalf of the Company in the United District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Rotkowitz v. O'Rourke, et al., Case No. 2:18-cv-05632). As with the other shareholder derivative actions, the shareholder plaintiff alleges breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, and unjust enrichment against certain of the Company's officers, directors, and an investor. The complaint's allegations are substantially similar to those made in the other securities class action and shareholder derivative complaints filed in 2018. The complaint seeks unspecific monetary damages and corporate governance changes. The parties filed a motion with the court to temporarily stay this action until the resolution of the motion(s) to dismiss in the securities class action pending in the United District Court for the District of New Jersey. In response, the court dismissed the action without prejudice with leave to refile a complaint following the resolution of the motion(s) to dismiss in the securities class action pending in the United District Court for the District of New Jersey.
On October 22, 2018, a fifth shareholder derivative complaint was filed on behalf of the Company in the United District Court for the Southern District of New York (Finitz v. O'Rourke, et al., Case No. 1: 18-cv-09640). The shareholder plaintiffs allege breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, and unjust enrichment against certain of the Company's officers, directors, and an investor. The complaint's allegations are substantially similar to those made in the other securities class action and shareholder derivative complaints filed in 2018. The complaint seeks unspecific monetary damages and corporate governance changes. Upon the parties' stipulation, the court issued an order temporarily staying this action until the resolution of the motion(s) to dismiss in the securities class action pending in the United District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Defendants intend to vigorously contest plaintiffs’ allegations in the shareholder derivative actions and plaintiffs’ right to bring the action in the name of Riot Blockchain. But because this litigation is still at this early stage, we cannot reasonably estimate the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome or the magnitude of such an outcome, if any.
During 2018 the Company received several comment letters (the “Comment Letters”) from the Division of Corporation Finance and the Division of Investment Management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The Comment Letters have been issued on the Company’s periodic reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, amendment to Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 and current report on Form 8-K filed October 4, 2017. The comments raise matters related to, among other things, the unsettled nature of accounting treatment for the Company’s digital currency mining and the fair value method selected by the Company (as opposed to intangible accounting methods proposed by some experts) and applicability to the Company of the Investment Company Act of 1940, particularly as relates to the Company’s minority interest in goNumerical, Inc. a/k/a Coinsquare. The Company continues to engage in conversations with the staff of the Division of Enforcement, Division of Investment Management, Division of Corporation Finance, and Office of the Chief Accountant regarding the issues raised in the comment letters.
On July 30, 2018, the Company received a letter from the SEC (the “Letter”) that the Commission has issued an Order Directing Examination and Designating Officers Pursuant to Section 8(e) of the Securities Act of 1933 with respect to the following registration statements: (1) a Form S-8 filed on July 19, 2017 (File No. 333-219357); (2) a Form S-3 initially filed January 5, 2018 and subsequently amended on February 7, 2018 (File No. 333-222450); and (3) a Form S-3 filed on July 10, 2018 (File No. 333-226111). The Letter stated, “while the Section 8(e) examination is pending, the Division of Corporation Finance will not take any further action on the Registration Statements, and all communications with regard to the Registration Statements and the Section 8(e) examination should be made to the Commission’s Division of Enforcement.”
On October 12, 2018, the Company filed for withdrawal of the Form S-3 registration statement initially filed on January 5, 2018 and amended on February 7, 2018 (File No. 333-222450); and terminated the Form S-8 registration statement filed on July 19, 2017 (File No. 333-219357).
On October 22, 2018, the Company was notified by SEC staff that the SEC had terminated the Section 8(e) examination with respect to the above-referenced registration statements. The previously disclosed SEC investigation associated with the subpoena received by the Company on April 9, 2018 is still ongoing. The SEC has continued to request information from the Company and the Company has been fully cooperating with the SEC in that investigation.
Pursuant to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the Company has consistently reported its beneficial ownership positions in its proxy and other filings where beneficial ownership disclosures are presented, for certain beneficial owners with respect to any person (including any “group” as that term is used in section 13(d)(3) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) who is known to the Company to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of the Company’s common stock. The Company has relied on each person who has reported to the SEC beneficial ownership of more than 5% of our common stock to provide complete and accurate information regarding their ownership, based on the reports filed by these persons.
On September 7, 2018, a complaint was filed by the SEC (Case 1:18-cv-08175) (the “Complaint”) against, among others, a number of individuals and entities some of whom the Company has previously disclosed as its beneficial owners, as well as, Mr. John O’Rourke III, the Company’s former chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer who resigned from the Company on September 8, 2018, as disclosed in the Current Periodic Report on Form 8-K filed September 10, 2018. Other persons named in the Complaint have previously reported that they were beneficial owners of the Company’s common stock, however, the Company has no basis to determine whether any such persons may have operated as a control group, collectively beneficially owning more than 5% of the Company’s common stock.
On May 31, 2018, M. Reese Everson filed a direct action against the Company in the United District Court for the District of Columbia (Everson v. Riot Blockchain Inc., Case No. 1: 18-cv-01292-CRC). The complaint alleges that the Company's Proposal 4 included with the 2018 Proxy Statement violated Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and sought to enjoin the stockholder's vote on Proposal 4 in advance of the annual meeting scheduled for June 15, 2018. On June 8, 2018, the Company issued a press release stating that it resolved to withdraw the portion of the 2018 Proxy Statement related to Proposal 4 and will no longer solicit votes for Proposal 4. Plaintiff filed a notice of voluntarily dismissal of the action on June 8, 2018 after being notified of the Company's press release.
On April 9, 2018, the Company received a subpoena requesting document from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We have and intend to fully cooperate with the SEC inquiry.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef