As the Bitcoin (BTC) price continues to set new all-time highs (now approaching nearly $30,000), Riot Blockchain’s (NASDAQ:RIOT) stock surged almost 1,500% in 2020.
There were very few assets in 2020 that outperformed Bitcoin, however, the shares of Riot have been rising along with Ethereum (ETH), the world’s second-largest digital asset that also recorded more gains than BTC.
Riot Blockchain Inc. was a biotech firm but currently operates as a cryptocurrency miner. As confirmed by MarketWatch, Riot’s nearly 1,500% gains this year mean that $1,000 invested in the firm at its Dec. 31, 2019 closing price of $1.12 would now be worth more than $15,000.
Compared to the BTC price, which is currently at around $29,850, investors would have made more than $3,000 in net gains on a $1,000 investment in Bitcoin made in late December 2019 or early January 2020 when the digital asset was trading for around $7,000.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has surged nearly 7% over the same time period, meanwhile, the S&P 500 index SPX is up almost 16%. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) has also recorded a substantial 44% in total gains year-to-date (YTD), MarketWatch confirmed.
The dramatic increase in the Bitcoin price to an all-time record of almost $29,000 may have helped send the market valuation of Riot Blockchain to an unprecedented level. These gains seem impressive considering that the company is relatively small and only recently began to focus on the crypto and blockchain sector.
FactSet data reveals that Castle Rock, Colorado-based Riot Blockchain has six workers on its payroll, and has seen many senior management changes as the firm quickly moved in 2017 from a startup called BiOptix (and Venaxis in 2000) to a key player in Bitcon and Ethereum (ETH) mining business.
Riot is currently valued at around $1.14 billion, up considerably from about $27 million around the same time last year. Riot had rebranded itself around three years back, a move that was heavily criticized by analysts. The firm’s business strategy had been compared to similar changes made by other corporations which experienced challenges after pivoting to blockchain or digital currencies (mostly during the extended crypto bear market of 2018).
Major shareholder, Barry Honig, who was involved in Riot’s pivot to the blockchain sector, had reportedly sold a large portion of his shares (in 2018) after the company’s stock began rising. This move had raised concerns on Wall Street. John O’Rourke, the CEO at the firm, had also sold his shares in the firm (at that time).