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Innovators Revel in the Rapidly Evolving Cryptocurrency Market

The cryptocurrency market is ever evolving and growing more complex. Now, government agencies are pushing for more regulations because of how popular digital currencies have become. According to the New York Times, cryptocurrency grew from a digital curiosity into a volatile but widely embraced innovation, and federal regulators are racing to address the potential risks for consumers and financial markets. “Their concerns have only grown as both new and established firms have rushed to find ways to profit from bringing the massive wealth held in cryptocurrency into the traditional financial system through quasi-banking services like interest-bearing accounts and lending,” the Times indicate. A cryptocurrency is a digital asset that utilizes computer code and blockchain technology to operate somewhat on its own, without the need for a central party — be that a person, company, central bank or government — to manage the system. ISW Holdings Inc., Riot Blockchain, Inc., Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc., SOS Limited, HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd.

Over the last several years, the perception regarding cryptocurrencies has changed drastically. Earlier in the year, several major companies announced a more open-minded approach to Bitcoin, accepting it as payment for product and services. For example, earlier in August, United Wholesale Mortgage, which made its public debut in January via a special purpose acquisition (SPAC) merger, announced plans to accept cryptocurrency for home loans, in what is being billed as a first for the national mortgage industry. “We’ve evaluated the feasibility, and we’re looking forward to being the first mortgage company in America to accept cryptocurrency to satisfy mortgage payments,” CEO Mat Ishbia said in the company’s second quarter earnings call on Monday, according to CNBC.

ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH), transitioning to ‘BlockQuarry,’ pending name change, reported earlier this week that an update for, “current and prospective shareholders on core performance metrics, timeframe for hosting deployment, and corporate identity.”

Performance Metrics. Mining is fully underway in Pennsylvania, and nearing full capacity on hashrate. Final adjustments and updates are being implemented into month end to push performance up to peak potential, at which time the Company’s PA mining operations will be producing mining revenues that will contribute to an overall monthly revenue run rate of $1.5 million at current cryptocurrency pricing.

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In addition, the Company anticipates a breakout record quarter for the three months ending September 30, 2021. However, the fourth quarter should be a much more significant breakout in financial terms given that it will be the first quarter featuring a full three months of mining at peak capacity as well as the start of revenues from hosting operations.

Hosting Power Deployment. Management conducted site visits to its primary Southeastern US cryptocurrency mining hosting site earlier in the week. Based on that visit, the project is on schedule and the Company believes it will meet its approximate target for deploying the first 20 megawatts of power at the site around the end of October. This will begin the process of scaling up hosting operations to the full 200 MW that the project is designed to deploy to the Company’s hosting clientele.

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Corporate Identity. The Company is still awaiting final approval of its corporate name and stock symbol change from FINRA. As communicated in the Company’s August 3 release, ISW Holdings has officially filed for a corporate name change to ‘BlockQuarry Corp.’ The Company also filed to change its trading symbol. Both filings are now actively going through FINRA, and more details will be announced when FINRA has completed its due diligence process.

Management Commentary. “We will unquestionably log our best quarter in Company history – by a wide margin – when the books close at the end of the month,” noted Alonzo Pierce, ISWH CEO. “But that will likely be dwarfed by what rolls in over coming quarters. We have made a few final adjustments and updates that are being implemented right now that will take us to full capacity in terms of achievable hashrate in Pennsylvania. That will bring us to a topline run-rate of approximately $1.5 million per month, which may double again beginning midway through the fourth quarter as we begin to ramp up hosting revenues.”

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Riot Blockchain, Inc. reported earlier this month its August production and operations updates, including its unaudited Bitcoin production for August 2021 and its miner deployment status. As part of a December 2020 purchase order with Bitmain Technologies Limited (“Bitmain”), approximately 3,600 S19 Pro Antminers (110 TH) recently received at Riot’s Whinstone Facility are expected to be deployed by the end of September 2021. By the end of September 2021, Riot anticipates that it will have a total of 25,650 Antminers in operation, utilizing approximately 83 megawatts (“MW”) of energy, with an estimated hash rate capacity of 2.6 EH/s. The previously disclosed expansion of the Company’s Whinstone Facility continues, including delivery of the structural steel and power transformers for the expanding electrical substation. The underground and concrete infrastructure is now complete for the first new building, referenced as Building “D”, in the current four-building expansion program, while drainage installation and site access road development are well underway.

Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. reported earlier this month t hat DMG Blockchain, a vertically integrated blockchain and cryptocurrency technology company, will become the first North American Bitcoin miner, excluding Marathon, to join Marathon’s mining pool, MaraPool. On Monday September 13, 2021, DMG Blockchain will begin pointing 100% of its hash rate towards MaraPool, as the pool opens to additional Bitcoin mining companies. MaraPool is a U.S.-based Bitcoin mining pool that is focused on reducing the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining through carbon neutral mining. The pool, which is fully audited by a third-party firm in the U.S., provides its members with industry leading transparency, an intuitive reporting system, and access to exclusive services from NYDIG.

SOS Limited back in June that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Niagara Development LLC (“Niagara Development”), a New Jersey limited liability company, for a joint venture to be based in Niagara, Wisconsin. The joint venture, FD LLC, is expected to carry out crypto-currency mining operations and construct an international standardized Digital Super Computing Custody Operation Center. Under terms of the agreement, Niagara Development will be responsible for providing up to 150MW of electricity, including electricity generated from renewable sources, and construction the Digital Super Computing Custody Operation Center. SOS will be responsible for the management, operations and financing of the joint venture. SOS remains committed to its block-chain strategy and strive to become a sustainability leader in the industry.

HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. reported last month that it has ordered 1,800 Antminer S19j Pro miners from Bitmain Technologies Ltd. (“Bitmain”). These new miners have an aggregate hash power of 180 Petahash per second (PH/s). HIVE is proud to reconnect with Bitmain one of the leading manufacturers in our industry and is excited to make this initial order of S19j Pro miners from Bitmain. These 1,800 miners are the first of our 2022 mining purchase program and will be delivered in 6 equal tranches of 300 miners, commencing in January 2022 through June 2022. “We are constantly upgrading our ASIC fleet to have the most efficient miners we can buy from cash flow,” Frank Holmes, Executive Chairman of HIVE continued, “This purchase with Bitmain enables us to maintain our strategy to diversify the manufacturers we purchase from. Over the past year, we have been expressing our concerns about global shortages in chips and logistics delays in shipping equipment from Asia due to Covid 19. We have deep relationships Bitmain, MicroBT, and Canaan which are all top global manufacturers in our industry.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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