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Crypto Acceptance Continues to Build on Wall Street (MSTR, RIOT, ISWH, MARA)

The demand for cryptocurrency exposure continues to ramp. The latest example of this trend comes from Goldman Sachs. In a Reuters piece out on Wednesday, it was reported that Goldman’s President and Chief Operating Officer John Waldron said that the financial giant and legendary Wall Street player is exploring how it can meet rising customer demand to own and invest in bitcoin, while still staying on the right side of regulation.

This seems to be becoming an increasingly common theme on Wall Street. Love it or hate, one has to concede that having the most respected Wall Street firms now seemingly on board is a major point in favor of a continued bullish evolution for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space.

According to the Reuters piece, Waldron said, “Client demand is rising. We are regulated on what we can do. We continue to evaluate it … and engage on it.”

In other words, there’s a pressure to offer some way to gain exposure to the crypto space from clients. That should translate into pressure from Wall Street firms on regulators to restructure rules so that this is possible. Where this will lead in terms of policy is anyone’s guess. But the pressure is important because it contrasts distinctly with the context that topped Bitcoin in 2017.

It would seem, at least superficially, like it is different this time. With that in mind, we take a look at some of the current leaders among Bitcoin stocks, including: MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR), Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT), ISW Holdings Ord Shs (OTCMKTS:ISWH), and Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA).

 

MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) provides modern analytics on an open, comprehensive enterprise platform used by many of the world’s most admired brands in the Fortune Global 500.

Optimized for cloud and on-premises deployments, the platform features HyperIntelligence, a breakthrough technology that overlays actionable enterprise data on popular business applications to help users make smarter, faster decisions.

MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) recently announced that it had purchased an additional approximately 19,452 bitcoins for approximately $1.026 billion in cash at an average price of approximately $52,765 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses. According to the release, as of February 24, 2021, the Company holds an aggregate of approximately 90,531 bitcoins, which were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.171 billion and an average purchase price of approximately $23,985 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses.

“The Company remains focused on our two corporate strategies of growing our enterprise analytics software business and acquiring and holding bitcoin,” said Michael J. Saylor, CEO, MicroStrategy Incorporated. “The company now holds over 90,000 bitcoins, reaffirming our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely-adopted cryptocurrency, can serve as a dependable store of value. We will continue to pursue our strategy of acquiring bitcoin with excess cash and we may from time to time, subject to market conditions, issue debt or equity securities in capital raising transactions with the objective of using the proceeds to purchase additional bitcoin.”

And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 24% in that time.

MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) pulled in sales of $131.3M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of -1.7%. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($60.8M against $285.6M, respectively).

 

Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT) is expanding and upgrading its mining operations by securing the most energy efficient miners currently available.

The company also holds certain non-controlling investments in blockchain technology companies. Riot is headquartered in Castle Rock, Colorado, and the company’s mining facility operates out of upstate New York, under a co-location hosting agreement with Coinmint.

Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT) recently announced that it will achieve an estimated hash rate capacity of 1.06 Exahash per second with the deployment of the newly received 2,002 S19 Pro Antminers.

“Exceeding 1 EH/s in hash rate capacity marks a major milestone for the Company,” said Jason Les, CEO of Riot. “While we are proud of this accomplishment, we view it as the successful completion of just one of many steps of our ongoing growth plan. Riot continues to receive and deploy next-generation miners from Bitmain and remains on schedule to more than triple our currently deployed capacity by the fourth quarter of 2021.”

If you’re long this stock, then you’re liking how the stock has responded to the announcement. RIOT shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 43% to the upside on above average trading volume.

Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT) pulled in sales of $2.5M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 41.6%. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($39.1M against $1.3M).

 

ISW Holdings Ord Shs (OTCMKTS:ISWH) recently signed a partnership agreement with Bit5ive and began designing its POD5IVE datacenter mining pod early last year. That process has come to fruition with the assembly, shipping, and full operational launch of the POD5IVE, which is now actively mining Bitcoin at the Bit5ive renewable energy crypto mining project in Pennsylvania.

The Proceso POD5IVE Datacenter mining solution offers next-generation dynamic self-management functionality, plug-and-play operation, virtually non-existent maintenance needs, and an industry best-in-class 1.06 Power Usage Effectiveness score.

ISW Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS:ISWH) recently announced that it is working to expand its mining capacity with the outfitting of three new mining datacenters, each equipped with hundreds of new mining rigs. In the course of the company’s newfound sheen of prosperity, it is also taking steps to reduce dilution risk and pay off toxic notes to keep the virtuous circle in place.

To that effect, the company announced this week that it has paid off and cancelled a major convertible debt note by allocating $363k to settle the outstanding obligation and remove it from the books.

“As our financial reality has shifted over recent months, we have an opportunity to drive value for our shareholders in many ways, including eradicating dilution risk by being proactive in addressing outstanding liabilities,” noted Alonzo Pierce, President and Chairman of ISW Holdings. “Without this action, the note would have had the potential to convert at a 50% discount to current share pricing. We weren’t comfortable with that potential outcome, so we deployed capital to eliminate that risk.”

ISW Holdings Ord Shs (OTCMKTS:ISWH) has demonstrated strong growth, with seven consecutive quarters of sharp sequential growth. Its most recent quarter put the company on an annual run-rate to pull in more than $1.5 million in revenues not counting what appears to be significant growth brewing in its crypto mining and mining equipment segment over coming months as it continues to scale up operations.

 

Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) currently operates its proprietary Data Center in Hardin MT with a maximum power capacity of 105 Megawatts. Once fully deployed, the Company will have 21,500 Antminer Bitmain S-19 Pro Bitcoin Miners in operation at this facility.

MARA also owns 2,060 advanced ASIC Bitcoin Miners at a co-hosted facility in North Dakota.

Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) recently announced that it and DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to form Digital Currency Miners of North America, which will be a U.S.-based non-profit entity whose mission is to create a better mining environment for North American miners, to help improve their financial performance, and to create North America’s first cooperative mining pool.

According to the release, Marathon Patent Group and DMG’s U.S. subsidiary, Blockseer, are working together to establish DCMNA, a non-profit entity focused on North American digital currency opportunities, including decentralizing the Bitcoin hashrate and providing more transparency for North American miners. DCMNA’s principal initiative is to create North America’s first cooperative mining pool by licensing Blockseer’s mining pool to all DCMNA members in a cooperative structure. Mining partners who are members will receive rebates based on the hash rate they contribute to the overall pool, thus improving the mining profitability of DCMNA members.

The context for this announcement is a bit of a bid, with shares acting well over the past five days, up about 31% in that timeframe. Shares of the stock have powered higher over the past month, rallying roughly 23% in that time on strong overall action.

Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) generated sales of $835K, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 191.9% on the top line. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($17.7M against $1.1M).

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