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Coronavirus Outbreak Might Hurt Crypto Mining Farms


15 Apr 2020   #Bitcoin

Riot Blockchain is worried COVID-19 may “seriously disrupt” its bitcoin (BTC) mining operations. The Nasdaq-listed rig builder revealed its concerns in its annual 10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, filed Wednesday. Such reports always include a “general risks” section detailing worst-case business scenarios. This year, Riot added two pandemic-specific subsections to discuss COVID-19.

Riot Blockchain is getting thrashed by the response to COVID-19, the general risk section shows. Its workers are being quarantined and going into self-isolation while its supply chain is seizing up under border restrictions and factory closures, according to the filing.

It also has the unwanted label of being a “nonessential business.” According to the 10-K, Riot has not been classified as an essential business in any of  “the jurisdictions that have decided that issue to date.” That potentially cuts off access to Riot’s offices and mining rigs.

“If we are unable to effectively service our miners, our ability to mine bitcoin will be adversely affected as miners go offline,” Riot wrote. 

Riot's concerns echo issues Chinese mining farms faced nearly two months ago. In early February, PandaMiner Chief Operating Officer Abe Yang told CoinDesk his company had difficulty operating some of its farms due to quarantine controls in certain provinces because they had limited staff repairing machines and running the hardware.

At present, Riot's Oklahoma City operation features 4,000 Bitmain S17 Pro Antminers purchased over December 2019 for $6.35 million total, according to two press releases issued at the time. Those rigs replaced Riot's older fleet of about 8,000 S9 models, now offline, the 10-K shows.

The “catastrophic” business ramifications of COVID-19 are hardly unique to Riot Blockchain; nearly every business is facing an existential threat that only four months ago would have sounded absurd. 

It’s an open question where all this will lead. Riot admits that the pandemic’s “sweeping nature” makes it next to impossible to predict the long term impact. One thing is certain, though:

“If not resolved quickly, the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our business.”


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Top Cryptocurrencies with Price Predictions

# Crypto Prediction Accuracy CVIX Price 24h 7d Market Cap Volume 24h
1 Bitcoin (BTC) BTC Bitcoin predictions 74.8% 41 $42 031.59 -3.48% -2.59% $791 393 954 252 $31 747 117 181
2 Ethereum (ETH) ETH Ethereum predictions 73.2% 56 $2 918.83 -5.04% -3.78% $343 568 213 349 $17 440 054 934
3 Tether (USDT) USDT Tether predictions 93.2% 1 $1.000459 -0.02% 0.01% $68 574 589 302 $69 040 305 714
4 Cardano (ADA) ADA Cardano predictions 68% 70 $2.12 -3.86% -2.03% $67 842 308 406 $2 790 874 402
5 Binance Coin (BNB) BNB Binance Coin predictions 68% 59 $341.96 -1.79% -7.48% $57 495 736 706 $1 499 392 995
6 XRP (XRP) XRP XRP predictions 75.6% 50 $0.930539 -2.70% -0.96% $43 472 608 125 $2 798 278 933
7 Solana (SOL) SOL Solana predictions 66% 68 $134.46 -7.35% -4.28% $39 991 503 535 $2 559 971 396
8 USD Coin (USDC) USDC USD Coin predictions 92% 1 $1.000432 0% 0.01% $31 274 186 323 $3 304 747 454
9 Polkadot (DOT) DOT Polkadot predictions 68% 68 $27.75 -3.90% -5.26% $27 404 751 396 $1 534 718 165
10 Dogecoin (DOGE) DOGE Dogecoin predictions 66% 63 $0.200627 -1.87% -6.10% $26 377 191 591 $850 603 349
11 UniSwap (UNI) UNI UniSwap predictions 67.2% 68 $24.35 1.57% 14.50% $14 894 976 126 $1 220 639 004
12 Avalanche (AVAX) AVAX Avalanche predictions 60.8% 84 $66.26 -7.62% 2.41% $14 596 076 840 $1 012 955 214
13 Terra (LUNA) LUNA Terra predictions 68.8% 61 $35.29 -4.09% 24.68% $14 110 398 958 $1 562 373 257
14 Binance USD (BUSD) BUSD Binance USD predictions 93.2% 1 $1.000438 0.02% -0.01% $13 532 008 893 $4 826 393 143
15 Chainlink (LINK) LINK Chainlink predictions 67.6% 70 $23.39 -2.95% -1.74% $10 644 298 254 $1 068 673 199

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