Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Recent Accounting Pronouncements
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Note 3. Basis of Presentation, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Principles of consolidation

The accompanying consolidated financial statements of the Company include the accounts of the Company and its wholly or majority owned and controlled subsidiaries. Consolidated subsidiaries results are included from the date the subsidiary was formed or acquired. Intercompany investments, balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. Non–controlling interests represents the minority equity investment in the Company’s subsidiaries, plus the minority investors’ share of the net operating results and other components of equity relating to the non–controlling interest. The Company’s consolidated operating subsidiaries and (percentage owned at December 31, 2020) consisted of; Riot Blockchain Canada, Inc., (100%), RiotX Holdings, Inc (92.5%) and Logical Brokerage Corp. (92.5%). None of the consolidated subsidiaries had any significant assets or operations. Amounts are in thousands except for share, per share and miner amounts.

Use of estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the balance sheet and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting periods. Actual results could differ significantly from those estimates. The most significant accounting estimates inherent in the preparation of the Company’s financial statements include estimates associated with revenue recognition, asset valuations, the useful lives and recoverability of long-lived assets, impairment analysis of indefinite lived intangibles, stock-based compensation, and the valuation allowance associated with the Company’s deferred tax assets.


Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation. These reclassifications have no impact on the previously reported financial position or results of operations.

Long-term investments

Effective January 1, 2018, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-01 and related ASU 2018-03 concerning recognition and measurement of financial assets and financial liabilities. In adopting this new guidance, the Company has made an accounting policy election to adopt an adjusted cost method measurement alternative for investments in equity securities without readily determinable fair values.

For equity investments that are accounted for using the measurement alternative, the Company initially records equity investments at cost but is required to adjust the carrying value of such equity investments through earnings when there is an observable transaction involving the same or a similar investment with the same issuer or upon an impairment.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

The Company considers all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less at the date of acquisition to be cash equivalents. From time to time, the Company’s cash account balances exceed the balances as covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance System. The Company has never suffered a loss due to such excess balances. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company had no cash equivalents or short-term investments.

Fair value of financial instruments

The Company accounts for financial instruments under Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) ASC 820, Fair Value Measurements. This statement defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in generally accepted accounting principles, and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. To increase consistency and comparability in fair value measurements, ASC 820 establishes a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value into three levels as follows:

Level 1 — quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities;

Level 2 — observable inputs other than Level 1, quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar assets and liabilities in markets that are not active, and model-derived prices whose inputs are observable or whose significant value drivers are observable; and

Level 3 — assets and liabilities whose significant value drivers are unobservable.



Riot Blockchain, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

(in thousands, except for share and per share amounts)

Observable inputs are based on market data obtained from independent sources, while unobservable inputs are based on the Company’s market assumptions. Unobservable inputs require significant management judgment or estimation. In some cases, the inputs used to measure an asset or liability may fall into different levels of the fair value hierarchy. In those instances, the fair value measurement is required to be classified using the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement. Such determination requires significant management judgment. As of December 31, 2020, there were no financial assets or liabilities measured at fair value. The carrying amounts of the Company’s financial assets and liabilities, such as cash and cash equivalents, and accounts payable, approximate fair value due to the short-term nature of these instruments. During the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company issued convertible notes and warrants in connection with the notes. The notes and warrants were classified as liabilities and measured at fair value on the issuance date, with changes in fair value recognized as other expense on the consolidated statements of operations and disclosed in the consolidated financial statements.


Cryptocurrencies, (including bitcoin and bitcoin cash) are included in current assets in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Cryptocurrencies purchased are recorded at cost and cryptocurrencies awarded to the Company through its mining activities are accounted for in connection with the Company’s revenue recognition policy disclosed below.

Cryptocurrencies held are accounted for as intangible assets with indefinite useful lives. An intangible asset with an indefinite useful life is not amortized but assessed for impairment annually, or more frequently, when events or changes in circumstances occur indicating that it is more likely than not that the indefinite-lived asset is impaired. Impairment exists when the carrying amount exceeds its fair value, which is measured using the quoted price of the cryptocurrency at the time its fair value is being measured. In testing for impairment, the Company has the option to first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that an impairment exists. If it is determined that it is not more likely than not that an impairment exists, a quantitative impairment test is not necessary. If the Company concludes otherwise, it is required to perform a quantitative impairment test. To the extent an impairment loss is recognized, the loss establishes the new cost basis of the asset. Subsequent reversal of impairment losses is not permitted.

Purchases of cryptocurrencies by the Company are included within investing activities in the accompanying consolidated statements of cash flows, while cryptocurrencies awarded to the Company through its mining activities are included within operating activities on the accompanying consolidated statements of cash flows. The sales of cryptocurrencies are included within investing activities in the accompanying consolidated statements of cash flows and any realized gains or losses from such sales are included in other income (expense) in the consolidated statements of operations. The Company accounts for its gains or losses in accordance with the first in first out (FIFO) method of accounting.

Deferred revenue

The Company recognized upfront license fees from Ceva Santé Animale S.A. (“Licensee”) related to its exclusive license agreement (“License Agreement”), which have been recorded as deferred revenue and are being amortized over the term of the License Agreement. Amortization of the license fees totaling approximately $1.6 million began in July 2012. As of December 31, 2020, and 2019, each, deferred revenue of approximately $0.1 million has been classified as a current liability and $0.7 million and $0.8 million, respectively, has been classified as a long-term liability. The current liability represents the next twelve months’ portion of the license fees revenue. For each of the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, approximately $0.1 million, was recorded as the license fee revenue.

Property and equipment

Property and equipment is stated at cost and depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, generally two years for cryptocurrency mining equipment and three years for computer related assets. Estimated useful lives for leasehold improvements are typically the lesser of the estimated useful life of the asset or the life of the term of the lease.



Riot Blockchain, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

(in thousands, except for share and per share amounts)

Patents and other intangible assets

The Company accounts for intangible assets under ASC 350-30. Patents costs consisting of filing and legal fees incurred are initially recorded at cost. Patents are amortized over the legal life of the patent or their estimated useful lives, using the straight-line method. Certain patents are in the legal application process and therefore are not currently being amortized.

Impairment of long-lived assets

Management reviews long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset to undiscounted future cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. If such assets are considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured by the amount by which the carrying amount of the assets exceeds the fair value of the assets.

During the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company determined there were indicators that would cause a 100% impairment of its Coinsquare investment and observed price changes. Therefore, the Company recorded an impairment expense of $9.4 million for its investment in Coinsquare during the year ended December 31, 2020.

The Company made the decision, effective as of December 31, 2019 not to pursue its RiotX / Logical Brokerage cryptocurrency exchange development plan, and as of December 31, 2019 recorded an impairment of intangible assets acquired of approximately $0.7 million.

Deferred tax liability

Due to certain acquisitions, temporary differences between the book fair value and the tax basis of the indefinite life intangible assets and depreciable property and equipment were recorded. The Company recognized a $0.1 million deferred tax liability related to its Logical Brokerage acquisition during the year ended December 31, 2018. Subsequently, due to the Company’s decision not to pursue its Logical Brokerage business and the impairment and depreciation of the Kairos property and equipment, the Company recorded a $0.1 million income tax benefit during the year ended December 31, 2019 from the reduction of its existing deferred tax liability related to its acquisitions. The following is a rollforward of the Company’s deferred tax liability from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019:

Beginning Balance, January 1, 2019



Abandonment of Logical Brokerage



Ending Balance, December 31, 2019


There was no deferred tax liability as of December 31, 2020.


On January 28, 2019, the Company adopted a sequencing policy under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 815-40-35 Derivatives and Hedging (“ASC 815”) whereby in the event that reclassification of contracts from equity to assets or liabilities is necessary pursuant to ASC 815 due to the Company’s inability to demonstrate it has sufficient authorized shares as a result of certain securities convertible or exchangeable for a potentially indeterminable number of shares, shares will be allocated on the basis of the earliest issuance date of potentially dilutive instruments, with the earliest grants receiving the first allocation of shares. Pursuant to ASC 815, issuances of securities to the Company’s employees or directors are not subject to the sequencing policy.

Notes payable fair value option

As described further in Note 10 - Notes and Other Obligations, in January 2019, the Company issued Senior Secured Promissory Notes (the “Notes”) to Oasis Capital, LLC, Harbor Gates Capital, LLC and SG3 Capital, LLC (each an “Investor” and collectively, the “Investors”) in the aggregate principal amount of approximately $3.4 million. The Company has elected the fair value option to account for these Notes due to the complexity and number of embedded features. The fair value of the Notes is classified within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy because the fair values were estimated utilizing a Monte Carlo simulation model. Accordingly, the Company recorded these Notes at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in the statement of operations. As a result of applying the fair value option, direct costs and fees related to the Notes were recognized in earnings as incurred and were not deferred. The change in fair value of the Notes has been presented as change in value of convertible notes payable on the consolidated statements of operations.

As of December 31, 2019, all of the Notes were converted into 1,813,500 shares of the Company’s common stock valued at their estimated fair value at the time of conversion totaling approximately $10.2 million.



Riot Blockchain, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

(in thousands, except for share and per share amounts)

Warrant liability

The Company issued Warrants to purchase 1,908,144 shares of its common stock in connection with the Notes issued to the Investors in January 2019, and recorded these outstanding Warrants as a liability at fair value utilizing a Monte Carlo simulation model. This liability is subject to re-measurement at each balance sheet date, and any change in fair value is recognized in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations.

As of June 25, 2019, the Company’s Notes had been converted in their entirety and the warrant liability was revalued and reclassified to equity, because the Warrants are no longer subject to the Company’s sequencing policy as described above.


Effective January 1, 2019, the Company accounts for its leases under ASC 842, Leases (“ASC 842”). Under this guidance, arrangements meeting the definition of a lease are classified as operating or financing leases, and are recorded on the consolidated balance sheet as both a right of use asset and lease liability, calculated by discounting fixed lease payments over the lease term at the rate implicit in the lease or the Company’s incremental borrowing rate. Lease liabilities are increased by interest and reduced by payments each period, and the right of use asset is amortized over the lease term. For operating leases, interest on the lease liability and the amortization of the right of use asset result in straight-line rent expense over the lease term.

In calculating the right of use asset and lease liability, the Company elects to combine lease and non-lease components as permitted under ASC 842. The Company excludes short-term leases having initial terms of 12 months or less from the new guidance as an accounting policy election and recognizes rent expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

Revenue recognition

Cryptocurrency mining:

The Company recognizes revenue under ASC 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The core principle of the new revenue standard is that a company should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the company expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The following five steps are applied to achieve that core principle:

• Step 1: Identify the contract with the customer

• Step 2: Identify the performance obligations in the contract

• Step 3: Determine the transaction price

• Step 4: Allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract

• Step 5: Recognize revenue when the Company satisfies a performance obligation

In order to identify the performance obligations in a contract with a customer, a company must assess the promised goods or services in the contract and identify each promised good or service that is distinct. A performance obligation meets ASC 606’s definition of a “distinct” good or service (or bundle of goods or services) if both of the following criteria are met: The customer can benefit from the good or service either on its own or together with other resources that are readily available to the customer (i.e., the good or service is capable of being distinct), and the entity’s promise to transfer the good or service to the customer is separately identifiable from other promises in the contract (i.e., the promise to transfer the good or service is distinct within the context of the contract).

If a good or service is not distinct, the good or service is combined with other promised goods or services until a bundle of goods or services is identified that is distinct.

The transaction price is the amount of consideration to which an entity expects to be entitled in exchange for transferring promised goods or services to a customer. The consideration promised in a contract with a customer may include fixed amounts, variable amounts, or both. When determining the transaction price, an entity must consider the effects of all of the following:

Variable consideration

Constraining estimates of variable consideration

The existence of a significant financing component in the contract

Noncash consideration

Consideration payable to a customer

Variable consideration is included in the transaction price only to the extent that it is probable that a significant reversal in the amount of cumulative revenue recognized will not occur when the uncertainty associated with the variable consideration is subsequently resolved. The transaction price is allocated to each performance obligation on a relative standalone selling price basis. The transaction price allocated to each performance obligation is recognized when that performance obligation is satisfied, at a point in time or over time as appropriate.



Riot Blockchain, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

(in thousands, except for share and per share amounts)


The Company has entered into digital asset mining pools by executing contracts, as amended from time to time, with the mining pool operators to provide computing power to the mining pool. The contracts are terminable at any time by either party and the Company’s enforceable right to compensation only begins when the Company provides computing power to the mining pool operator. In exchange for providing computing power, the Company is entitled to a fractional share of the fixed cryptocurrency award the mining pool operator receives (less digital asset transaction fees to the mining pool operator which are recorded as a component of cost of revenues), for successfully adding a block to the blockchain. The terms of the agreement provides that neither party can dispute settlement terms after thirty-five days following settlement. The Company’s fractional share is based on the proportion of computing power the Company contributed to the mining pool operator to the total computing power contributed by all mining pool participants in solving the current algorithm.

Providing computing power in digital asset transaction verification services is an output of the Company’s ordinary activities. The provision of providing such computing power is the only performance obligation in the Company’s contracts with mining pool operators. The transaction consideration the Company receives, if any, is noncash consideration, which the Company measures at fair value on the date received, which is not materially different than the fair value at contract inception or the time the Company has earned the award from the pools. The consideration is all variable. Because it is not probable that a significant reversal of cumulative revenue will not occur, the consideration is constrained until the mining pool operator successfully places a block (by being the first to solve an algorithm) and the Company receives confirmation of the consideration it will receive, at which time revenue is recognized. There is no significant financing component in these transactions.

Fair value of the cryptocurrency award received is determined using the quoted price of the related cryptocurrency at the time of receipt. There is currently no specific definitive guidance under GAAP or alternative accounting framework for the accounting for cryptocurrencies recognized as revenue or held, and management has exercised significant judgment in determining the appropriate accounting treatment. In the event authoritative guidance is enacted by the FASB, the Company may be required to change its policies, which could have an effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position and results from operations.

Cost of revenue

The Company’s cost of revenue consists primarily of direct costs of earning bitcoin related to mining operations, including mining pool fees, electric power costs, other utilities, labor, insurance whether incurred directly from self-mining operations or reimbursed, including any revenue sharing arrangements under co-location agreements, but excluding depreciation and amortization, which are separately stated in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations.

Income taxes

The Company accounts for income taxes under the asset and liability method, in which deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases and operating loss and tax credit carry forwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in operations in the period that includes the enactment date. A valuation allowance is required to the extent any deferred tax assets may not be realizable.

ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes, (“ASC 740”), also clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in an enterprise’s financial statements and prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement process for financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. For those benefits to be recognized, a tax position must be more-likely-than-not to be sustained upon examination by taxing authorities. ASC 740 also provides guidance on derecognition, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim period, disclosure and transition. Based on the Company’s evaluation, it has been concluded that there are no significant uncertain tax positions requiring recognition in the Company’s consolidated financial statements. The Company believes that its income tax positions and deductions would be sustained on audit and does not anticipate any adjustments that would result in material changes to its financial position.



Riot Blockchain, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

(in thousands, except for share and per share amounts)


Stock-based compensation

The Company accounts for share-based payment awards exchanged for services at the estimated grant date fair value of the award. Stock options issued under the Company’s long-term incentive plans are granted with an exercise price equal to no less than the market price of the Company’s stock at the date of grant and expire up to ten years from the date of grant. These options generally vest on the grant date or over a one- year period.

The Company estimates the fair value of stock option grants using the Black-Scholes option pricing model and the assumptions used in calculating the fair value of stock-based awards represent management’s best estimates and involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management’s judgment.

Expected Term - The expected term of options represents the period that the Company’s stock-based awards are expected to be outstanding based on the simplified method, which is the half-life from vesting to the end of its contractual term.

Expected Volatility - The Company computes stock price volatility over expected terms based on its historical common stock trading prices.

Risk-Free Interest Rate - The Company bases the risk-free interest rate on the implied yield available on U. S. Treasury zero-coupon issues with an equivalent remaining term.

Expected Dividend - The Company has never declared or paid any cash dividends on its common shares and does not plan to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future, and, therefore, uses an expected dividend yield of zero in its valuation models.

Effective January 1, 2017, the Company elected to account for forfeited awards as they occur, as permitted by Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-09. Ultimately, the actual expenses recognized over the vesting period will be for those shares that vested. Prior to making this election, the Company estimated a forfeiture rate for awards at 0%, as the Company did not have a significant history of forfeitures.

Earnings (loss) per share

Basic net earnings (loss) per share (“EPS”) of common stock is computed by dividing the Company’s net earnings (loss) by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period. Diluted EPS reflects the potential dilution that could occur if securities or other contracts to issue common stock were exercised or converted into common stock or resulted in the issuance of common stock that then shared in the earnings of the entity. The Company excludes its unvested restricted shares and escrow shares from the net loss per share calculation.

The escrow shares are excluded because of related contingencies and including them would result in anti-dilution.

Since the Company has only incurred losses, basic and diluted net loss per share is the same. Securities that could potentially dilute loss per share in the future that were not included in the computation of diluted loss per share at December 31, 2020 and 2019 because their inclusion would be anti-dilutive are as follows:

December 31,



Warrants to purchase common stock



Options to purchase common stock



Unvested restricted stock awards



Convertible Series B preferred shares








Riot Blockchain, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

(in thousands, except for share and per share amounts)


Segment reporting

Operating segments are defined as components of an enterprise about which separate financial information is available that is evaluated regularly by the chief operating decision maker, or decision–making group in deciding how to allocate resources and in assessing performance. Our chief operating decision–making group is composed of the chief executive officer. We currently operate in one segment surrounding our cryptocurrency mining operation.

Recently issued and adopted accounting pronouncements

The Company continually assesses any new accounting pronouncements to determine their applicability. When it is determined that a new accounting pronouncement affects the Company’s financial reporting, the Company undertakes a study to determine the consequences of the change to its consolidated financial statements and assures that there are proper controls in place to ascertain that the Company’s consolidated financial statements properly reflect the change.

In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12, “Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes (“ASU 2019-12”), which is intended to simplify various aspects related to accounting for income taxes. ASU 2019-12 removes certain exceptions to the general principles in Topic 740 and also clarifies and amends existing guidance to improve consistent application. This guidance is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2020, with early adoption permitted. The Company adopted this standard on January 1, 2020 and the adoption did not have a material impact on the financial statements and related disclosures.

In August 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-06, Debt—Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging—Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40): Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity, which simplifies accounting for convertible instruments by removing major separation models required under current GAAP. The ASU removes certain settlement conditions that are required for equity contracts to qualify for the derivative scope exception and it also simplifies the diluted earnings per share calculation in certain areas. This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2021, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted, but no earlier than fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020. This update permits the use of either the modified retrospective or fully retrospective method of transition. The Company is currently evaluating the impact this ASU will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.