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For those interested in currency-based hedges with big upside potential, there are two games in town: Gold and Bitcoin.

Gold is an $11 trillion market, while Bitcoin is just a $300 billion market. But the baton is passing from the former to the latter as Bitcoin becomes increasingly established. This, like so many areas of 21st century life, is a network-effect issue.

A “network effect” is a game theory landscape whereby a curve of adoption is recursively constrained or augmented by itself. In other words, the more people participate, the more likely it is that new people will participate. This leads to powerful feedback loops, especially when the object of analysis is a medium of exchange.

One consequence of the recent surge in credibility and interest in Bitcoin is the prospect of a balancing shift between gold and bitcoin, which could act as a tailwind helping to drive further gains in the digital currency.

With that in mind, we take a look at some of the more interesting names in the space, including: Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ:RIOT), Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ:MARA), ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC:ISWH), and Paypal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL).

 

Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), a mainstay speculative play in the crypto space, recently announced that it is continuing its operational expansion with the purchase of an additional 2,500 next generation S19 Pro Antminer (110 TH/s) cryptocurrency miners for USD $6.1 million from BitmainTech, scheduled for receipt and deployment delivery in December 2020.

According to the company’s recent release, as part of Riot’s focus on the transformational expansion of its mining operations, it has opted to take advantage of new S19 Pro production capacity from its partner Bitmain by purchasing these 2,500 additional S19 Pro miners, with delivery scheduled to occur before the end of the year. With this purchase, the Company expects to reach 842 PH/s in operational hash rate with 9,540 miners deployed by late December 2020. This represents an increase of approximately 50% over Riot’s previous estimate of its deployed hash rate as of the end of 2020.

Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) specializes in cryptocurrency mining with a focus on bitcoin. Riot also holds non-controlling investments in blockchain technology companies.

Riot is headquartered in Castle Rock, Colorado, and the Company’s primary mining facility is located in Massena, New York under a colocation agreement with Coinmint.

If you’re long this stock, then you’re liking how the stock has responded in recent action. RIOT shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 25% to the upside on above average trading volume.

Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) generated sales of $2.5M, 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 26.8% on the top line. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($39.1M against $1.3M).

 

Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) promulgates itself as a digital asset technology company that mines cryptocurrencies, with a focus on the blockchain ecosystem and the generation of digital assets.

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

Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) most recently announced that it will be participating in Bitmain’s Mining and Investment Summit 2020, which is being held on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

The Mining and Investment Summit 2020 brings together the leading companies in the fields of cryptocurrency mining and digital asset financial services. During the event, Marathon’s CEO Merrick Okamoto will be participating in the “Operations and Investment into Mining” panel, which will commence at 11:40 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, November 24th. Interested parties may register for the event using this link.

And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 17% in that time.

Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) pulled in sales of $835K in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 159.6%. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($17.7M against $1.1M).

 

ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH) is a strong newcomer into the crypto space, bolstered by its partnership with Bit5ive, LLC, over the summer, which gives it immediate credibility given Bit5ive’s strong positioning. The key to this story is the Bit5ive Pennsylvania crypto mining project, which is a highly efficient 100MW operation driven entirely by renewable energy to streamline costs for mining operations and create a sound environmental footprint while optimizing efficiency for partners.

ISWH is one of those partners, and the company has been getting ready to launch as a central participant in the Bit5ive project. Its Proceso segment has designed and assembled the Pod5ive datacenter pod, which is capable of driving Megawatt-level cryptocurrency computational mining power.

ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH) just announced that its new Proceso S19 Pod5ive datacenter pod has shipped and arrived at the 100 MW renewable energy Bit5ive cryptocurrency mining project in Pennsylvania, where it is now awaiting final approval before operational launch.

“We are now moving into our deployment phase at the Pennsylvania location,” remarked Alonzo Pierce, President and Chairman of ISW Holdings. “Next is Bit5ive’s test and approval process given that our Pod5 is a new design. That will lead shortly to full installation and operations as a state-of-the-art crypto mining solution with industry leading specs.”

According to the release, the Company formed a joint venture partnership with Bit5ive in May to build and deliver the single most elegant, powerful, and efficient data center pods in the world. The Proceso S19 Pod5ive Datacenter is the result. Designed in partnership with Bit5ive, and geared primarily for the cryptocurrency mining industry, the Proceso S19 Pod5ive Datacenter 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. (OTC: ISWH) has demonstrated rapid topline growth in its home healthcare operations with six 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 Proceso cryptocurrency mining and mining equipment segment over coming months. That could have huge implications for a stock now trading on a market cap of just over $1 million.

 

Paypal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is responsible for much of the newfound energy boiling over in the BTC market at present after its decision in October to begin allowing transactions on its platform in Bitcoin. The company trumpets itself as a company that operates as a technology platform play to enable digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants worldwide. The company’s payment solutions include PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, and Paydiant products.

The company’s platform allows consumers to shop by sending payments, withdraw funds to their bank accounts, and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in various currencies. It also offers gateway services that enable merchants to accept payments online with credit or debit cards.

Paypal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) most recently announced enhancements to its Giving platform, to provide customers with a new way to directly connect with millions of people who can help them raise money on behalf of a cause close to their heart, and allow those who can help to give what they can this holiday season. Inspired by the rising popularity of peer-to-peer crowdfunding accelerated by the global pandemic, PayPal will now enable its customers in the U.S. to create customized fundraising campaigns for themselves, their community or their cause through the Generosity Network, to raise up to $20,000 over a 30-day period.

“From collecting money for grocery deliveries to high-risk populations to fundraising campaigns in support of teachers and frontline workers, we’ve seen an outpouring of generosity from the PayPal community using our platform to help one another during this unprecedented year,” said Oktay Dogramaci, VP, Giving, PayPal. “The Generosity Network was designed to provide an accessible, easy and secure way for our customers to raise money on behalf of causes, and connect them with millions of PayPal customers who can offer their support this holiday season and beyond.”

If you’re long this stock, then you’re liking how the stock has responded to the announcement. PYPL shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 3% to the upside on above average trading volume.

Paypal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) generated sales of $5.5B, 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 4.7% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($14.2B against $35.2B, respectively).

 

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