HIVE Blockchain Technologies: Canada’s First Publicly Traded Blockchain Infrastructure Company

  • 6 April 2018
  • Expert Insights

Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry.

Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut through the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how blockchain will change the world, one industry at a time.

The following is an interview we recently had with Harry Pokrandt, CEO of HIVE Blockchain Technologies  (TSXV:HIVE):

What were you doing before becoming the CEO of HIVE?

I worked in the financial industry for over 30 years before becoming the CEO of HIVE.  First as a trader, then as an institutional salesperson, and, most recently, in investment banking, advising on equity capital markets and mergers and acquisitions. 

I retired from Macquarie Capital Markets 3 years ago and, since then, I have served as a director and advisor to several public companies. 

When did you first hear about Blockchain?

When I first heard about digital currency back in 2013, I was primarily drawn to the fact that this new universal currency was decentralized and not controlled by a specific person or a group of people. I believed then that digital currency was here to stay. I purchased my first two bitcoin for $100 each and began researching digital currency mining and the blockchain. The more I read about the blockchain, the more I realized how revolutionary the technology was.

 I believe that all the possibilities of the blockchain have not been discovered. When we start to think about use cases beyond digital currency, the need for a decentralized and secure system become clear. Blockchain is going to have a much greater positive impact on the world!

What's the history of HIVE?

HIVE was an idea hatched between Marco Streng, CEO and Co-founder of Genesis Mining, and Olivier Roussy Newton, one of HIVE’s directors. Both Marco and Olivier were early adopters of digital currencies and understood what the blockchain could do in the future. They were therefore trying to scale up the business as quickly as possible. As they began to plot the strategy of Genesis, they quickly realized that there was an opportunity to tap the capital markets in order to facilitate the desired growth. 

When Marco and Olivier started exploring this opportunity, they came across some of my business partners who happened to share their same vision of blockchain and digital currencies.  As conversations progressed, myself and my business partners had the opportunity to visit Genesis' facilities in Iceland and we were instantly captivated at how large and sophisticated these operations were. 

Following the site visit, I was eager to see how we could collaborate and build a public vehicle for shareholders to gain access to investing in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.  HIVE is fortunate to have an exclusive global partnership with Genesis and will continue to build the infrastructure for blockchain and digital currencies.

CEO and co-founder of Genesis Mining Marco Streng speaks with HIVE Advisor Frank Giustra in November 2017.

What value does HIVE offer to shareholders?

Shareholders have the opportunity to gain exposure to blockchain technology with HIVE as the first and largest publically-listed blockchain miner globally. Through the blockchain, HIVE mines digital currencies which is the process of validating, recording and securing the transactions on the blockchain. For doing this activity, Hive receives payment in the underlying digital currencies.

Through this process, shareholders of Hive get exposure to mining margins and also to a growing portfolio of newly minted currencies. Since 2017, HIVE has completed five acquisitions and has raised $187 million through three financings to fully fund growth projects. What is exciting for our shareholders is that each acquisition we have completed has been larger and more material than the last. We started out at 1.8 MW, then 2 MW and now, within one year of our start date, we will have over 40 MW deployed in stable jurisdictions with low cost green power, cold climates and fast internet connectivity.

What's your vision for HIVE? Where do you see the company five years from now?

Our immediate goal is to continue to make accretive acquisitions to grow our mining capacity and aim to make HIVE a substantial player in this new space. HIVE's current operations will allow us to pivot with the blockchain and distributed ledger technology over the next 5 years.

Not only are things such as graphic rendering and deep-learning artificial intelligence potential revenue sources, HIVE will look to be a diversified blockchain company that will provide our shareholders exposure to both blockchain infrastructure and blockchain applications. We are really only in the beginning of this space and are excited to be a key player to the development and maturation of this technology.

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