Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and contingencies

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Commitments and contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2018
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and contingencies
Note 12.  Commitments and contingencies:

Commitments:
 
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 four one-year renewal options that may be exercised so long as Kairos is not in default, subject to increases in base rent. 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 first 12 months is equal to $55.95/kW per month for a total of 4 Megawatts (MW) of available electrical power, or $223,800 per month.  Base rent is calculated based upon the monthly electrical power made available to Kairos within the premises, and not based on Kairos’s actual usage.  In connection with the Lease, Parent has provided a limited guarantee of Kairos’s failure to make payment of base rent or additional rent pursuant to the Lease.  As soon as practicable after the effective date of the Lease, Landlord, at Landlord’s expense, agreed to provide additional 12.5 kV transformer equipment to increase the electrical power available for Kairos’s use by an additional 2MW, which will result in additional rent of $55.12/kW for the additional 2MW of power when it is made available.  Provided that Kairos is not in default under the Lease beyond any applicable notice and cure periods, Kairos may request Landlord to further increase the electrical power available, in increments from 6.01 MW up to 12.0 MW, by giving written notice to Landlord of the requested increase.  Landlord, at Landlord’s expense, would then provide an additional 12.5kV of electrical transforming equipment to increase the electrical power available for Kairos’s use by the additional MW requested by Kairos.  Effective as of the date the additional power is made available to Kairos, base rent will increase by an amount equivalent to the additional MW requested by Kairos multiplied by $55.12 per kW.  If Kairos exercises all of its renewal options, then the base rent for the first 4MW of available power would increase to $57.63 per kW in year two, $59.36 per kW in year three, $61.14 per kW in year four and $62.97 per kW in year five.  In each case, available power of greater than 4MW and up to 12MW would result in base rent of $55.12 per kW.

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. The Company is currently in discussions with the Landlord concerning possible additional amendments to the Lease.
 
Registration Rights Agreement

On December 19, 2017, the Company accepted subscriptions for the sale of $37,000,000 of units of its securities, with each unit consisting of one share of Common Stock and one warrant to purchase one share of Common Stock, at a per unit price of $22.50. On December 21, 2017, the Company accepted subscriptions for an additional $37,528 of units. On December 21, 2017, the Company closed on the sale of $37,037,528 of units of its securities and issued 1,646,113 shares of Common Stock and warrants to purchase up to 1,646,113 shares of Common Stock.

The registration rights agreement required that the securities would be registered by March 5, 2018, the effectiveness date, and the registration statement was not declared effective by March 5, 2018. The Company accounted for registration rights agreements in accordance with ASC 825-20, “Registration Payment Arrangements.” ASC 825-20 addresses an issuer’s accounting for registration payment arrangements. This pronouncement specifies that the contingent obligation to make future payments or otherwise transfer consideration under a registration payment arrangement, whether issued as a separate agreement or included as a provision of a financial instrument, should be separately recognized and accounted for as a contingency in accordance with ASC 450-20 “Loss Contingencies”. The Company recorded approximately $0 and $1,357,000 for this contingency in other expenses for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018, respectively. This contingency was recorded as a liability as a component of accrued expenses as of September 30, 2018.

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 cryptocurrency miners, which included the Prive Equipment and the BMSS Equipment; assist in managing and monitoring the operation of the 8,000+ cryptocurrency 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 cryptocurrency 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 controlling principals of Ingenium International LLC., are shareholders in the Company by virtue of the previous acquisitions of Kairos and Prive (See Note 3).

Contingencies: 

Securities Class Actions

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’s consolidated complaint is due on or before January 7, 2019.

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 unspecific monetary damages and corporate governance changes.

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-B).  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 complaint seeks unspecific monetary damages and corporate governance changes.

SEC Subpoena

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 cryptocurrency 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.
 
Beneficial Ownership

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.