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Riot Blockchain’s stock jumped as much as 24% on Thursday after the company hit a new milestone in its crypto mining operations amid a surge in bitcoin prices.

The company announced it achieved a 1.06 Exahash per second (EH/s) mining rate with 2,002 new S19 Pro Antminers from Bitmain.

Riot now has a total of 11,542 Antminers in operation after the new additions, leading to a nearly 26% increase in production over its prior operational hash rate.

“Exceeding 1 EH/s in hash rate capacity marks a major milestone for the Company,” said Jason Les, CEO of Riot Blockchain.  “While we are proud of this accomplishment, we view it as the successful completion of just one of many steps of our ongoing growth plan.”

Read more: A Ruffer portfolio manager invested a portion of his $4.8 billion fund in Bitcoin. Here’s what swayed him to bet on crypto – and the 2 other ways he’s hedging against worrying speculative bubbles

Jason Les came on as CEO on Monday, replacing Jeff McGonegal who has served as Riot’s CFO since 2003.

The newly minted CEO said he expects to more than triple the company’s mining capacity by the fourth quarter this year. Riot has 26,100 S19 Pro and S19j Antminers on order with Bitmain and expects to have a total of 37,642 miners in operation by the end of the year.

The bullish news from Riot comes as Bitcoin’s price pushed above $48,000 per coin on Thursday for only the second time in its history. The jump came after Mastercard and BNY Mellon announced support for the cyrptocurrency on Thursday. Elon Musk also tweeted about bitcoin in a post that received well over 100,000 likes.

Bitcoin always has vocal critics, though. On Wednesday “Dr. Doom” economist Nouriel Roubini argued Bitcoin’s fundamental value is negative due to its environmental impact.

A study out of Harvard backed up Roubini’s claims, revealing there is “a scenario where each $1 of cryptocurrency coin value created would be responsible for $0.66 in health and climate damages.”

Read More: UBS says bitcoin is a bubble and too volatile to diversify a portfolio, unlike gold – here’s why the bank says it could end up ‘worthless’

Still, that hasn’t stopped investors from scooping up shares in the bitcoin miner. Share prices have risen 95% in the last month alone.

Even California’s state pension fund-California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)-believes in Riot. The fund now holds 113,034 shares of the miner, according to SEC filings.

Riot traded up 22%, at 43.67, as of 10:16 a.m. EST on Thursday.

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2021-02-11 10:25:19
Image credit: source

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