sdmi-s1.htm

 

 

As confidentially submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on May 10, 2021

This draft registration statement has not been publicly filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and all information herein remains strictly confidential.

Registration No. 333-              

 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

Confidential Draft Submission No. 1
Form S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

7374

86-2759890

(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)

(IRS Employer
Identification No.)

 

 

 

 

228 Park Ave S

New York, New York 10003

(212) 967-5294

 

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

 

 

Gregory A. Beard
Chief Executive Officer
228 Park Ave S

New York, New York 10003
(212) 967-5294

 

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

 

 

Copies to:

 

Daniel M. LeBey
Shelley A. Barber
Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.
1114 Avenue of the Americas, 32nd Floor
New York, New York 10036
(804) 327-6300

 

Jonathan H. Talcott

E. Peter Strand

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

101 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 900

Washington, D.C. 20001

(202) 689-2806

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement becomes effective.

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box:

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

Smaller reporting company 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

Title of Each Class of Securities to be Registered

Proposed Maximum
Aggregate Offering Price(1)(2)

Amount of
Registration
Fee(3)

Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per
share

$

$

 

(1)

Includes the aggregate offering price of shares of Class A common stock that may be purchased upon the exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock.

(2)

Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(3)

To be paid in connection with the initial filing of the registration statement.

 

 

The registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until this registration statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 


The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities, and it is not soliciting an offer to buy, these securities in any state or jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

 

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED                , 2021

 

                     Shares

Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc.

Class A Common Stock

This is the initial public offering of Class A common stock of Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc., a Delaware corporation. We are offering                  shares of Class A common stock.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our Class A common stock. We intend to apply to list our Class A common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “                .” We anticipate that the initial public offering price will be between $                 and $                 per share of Class A common stock.

The underwriters have the option for a period of 30 days from the date of this prospectus to purchase up to a maximum of                  additional shares of Class A common stock from us at the public offering price, less the underwriting discount and commissions.

We are an “emerging growth company” and a “smaller reporting company” under applicable federal securities laws and will be subject to reduced reporting requirements. This prospectus complies with the requirements that apply to an issuer that is an emerging growth company. We have two classes of common stock: Class A common stock and Class V common stock. Upon consummation of this offering, investors in this offering, including any of our affiliates that may purchase shares in this offering, will hold                  % of the Class A common stock, representing                 % of the total voting stock outstanding. Legacy Owners will hold                 % of the total voting stock outstanding, including                  % of the Class V common stock, which votes together with the Class A common stock as a single class.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Investing in our Class A common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 23 to read about factors you should consider before buying shares of our Class A common stock.

 

 

 

Per Share

 

 

Total

 

Initial public offering price

 

$

 

 

 

$

 

 

Underwriting discount and commissions(1)

 

$

 

 

 

$

 

 

Proceeds, before expenses, to Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc.

 

$

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

(1)

See “Underwriting” for additional information regarding underwriting compensation.

The underwriters expect to deliver the shares of Class A common stock to purchasers on or about           , 2021, through the book-entry facilities of The Depository Trust Company.

 

B. Riley Securities

 

The date of this prospectus is                 , 2021.

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

1

RISK FACTORS

23

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

60

USE OF PROCEEDS

62

DIVIDEND POLICY

63

CAPITALIZATION

64

DILUTION

66

UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION

68

MANAGEMENTS DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

72

BUSINESS

82

MANAGEMENT

98

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

102

CORPORATE REORGANIZATION

104

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

107

PRINCIPAL STOCKHOLDERS

113

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

114

SHARES ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE SALE

120

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL TAX CONSIDERATIONS FOR NON-U.S. HOLDERS

122

CERTAIN ERISA CONSIDERATIONS

126

UNDERWRITING

128

LEGAL MATTERS

134

EXPERTS

134

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

134

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

F-1

 

 

Neither we nor the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with information different from that contained in this prospectus and any free writing prospectus we have prepared. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. Offers to sell, and solicitations of offers to buy, shares of our Class A common stock are being made only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. The information in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of our Class A common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since the date of this prospectus.

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. See “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Industry and Market Data

The market data and certain other statistical information used throughout this prospectus are based on independent industry publications, publicly available information, business organizations, government publications and other published independent sources. Some data is also based on our good faith estimates. Although we believe these third-party sources are reliable as of their respective dates, neither we nor the underwriters have independently verified the accuracy or completeness of this information. Market share data is subject to change and may be limited by the availability of raw data, the voluntary nature of the data gathering process and other limitations in any statistical survey of market share data. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such market share data or any other such estimates. The industry in which we operate is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section entitled “Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these publications.

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Trademarks and Trade Names

We rely on various trade names that we use in connection with the operation of our business. This prospectus may also contain trademarks, service marks and trade names of third parties, which are the property of their respective owners. Our use or display of third parties’ trademarks, service marks, trade names or products in this prospectus is not intended to, and does not imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship by us. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks and trade names referred to in this prospectus may appear without the ®, TM or SM symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the right of the applicable licensor to these trademarks, service marks and trade names.

Basis of Presentation

Organizational Structure

On April 1, 2021, we effected a reorganization, which we describe in “Prospectus Summary – Corporate Reorganization” and “Corporate Reorganization” and refer to herein as the “Reorganization.” Unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires, all information in this prospectus reflects the consummation of the Reorganization and this offering. See “Corporate Reorganization” and a diagram depicting our organizational structure in “Prospectus Summary – Corporate Reorganization” for more information.

Except as otherwise indicated or required by the context, all references in this prospectus to the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” relate to Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc. (“Stronghold Inc.”) and its consolidated subsidiaries following the Reorganization. References in this prospectus to “Q Power” refer to Q Power LLC, which prior to the Reorganization (i) was the sole regarded owner of Stronghold Digital Mining LLC (f/k/a Stronghold Power LLC) (“SDM”) and (ii) indirectly held 70% of the limited partner interests and 100% of the general partner interests in Scrubgrass Reclamation Company, L.P. (f/k/a Scrubgrass Generating Company, L.P.) (“Scrubgrass LP”). References in this prospectus to the “Legacy Owners” refer to the existing owners of Stronghold Inc., including, but not limited to, Q Power and the holders of Series A Preferred Stock and Series B Preferred Stock (each as defined herein) that we expect will convert into shares of Class A common stock in connection with this offering.

We are a holding company and the sole managing member of Stronghold Digital Mining Holdings LLC (“Stronghold LLC”), and our principal asset consists of units of Stronghold LLC.

Presentation of Financial and Other Information

SDM and Scrubgrass LP collectively are, and are generally referred to herein as, the accounting predecessor of the issuer, Stronghold Inc. Stronghold Inc. will be the audited financial reporting entity following the Reorganization.

The unaudited pro forma financial information of Stronghold Inc. presented in this prospectus has been derived by the application of pro forma adjustments to the historical consolidated financial statements of our accounting predecessor and its subsidiaries included elsewhere in this prospectus. These pro forma adjustments give effect to the Reorganization and the consummation of this offering as if they had occurred on January 1, 2020, in the case of the unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations data, and as of December 31, 2020, in the case of the unaudited pro forma consolidated balance sheet. See “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information” for a complete description of the adjustments and assumptions underlying the pro forma financial information included in this prospectus.

Certain monetary amounts, percentages and other figures included in this prospectus have been subject to rounding adjustments. Percentage amounts included in this prospectus have not in all cases been calculated on the basis of such rounded figures, but on the basis of such amounts prior to rounding. For this reason, percentage amounts in this prospectus may vary from those obtained by performing the same calculations using the figures in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Certain other amounts that appear in this prospectus may not sum due to rounding.


 

ii

 


 

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary contains basic information about us and the offering. Because it is a summary, it does not contain all the information that you should consider before investing in our Class A common stock. You should read and carefully consider this entire prospectus before making an investment decision, especially the information presented under the heading “Risk Factors,” “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Except as otherwise indicated, all information contained in this prospectus assumes an initial public offering price of $                 per share of Class A common stock (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the front cover page of this prospectus) and that the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock, and excludes                shares of Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our equity incentive plan. Please see “Principal Stockholders” for more information.  

Overview

We are a vertically integrated crypto asset mining company currently focused on mining Bitcoin. We wholly-own and operate a low-cost, environmentally-beneficial coal refuse power generation facility that we have upgraded in Scrubgrass Township, Pennsylvania (the “Scrubgrass Plant”), and it is classified under Pennsylvania law as a Tier II alternative energy source (equivalent to a large-scale hydropower plant). We are committed to generating our energy and managing our assets sustainably, and we believe that we are one of the first vertically integrated crypto asset mining companies with a focus on environmentally-beneficial operations. Simply put, we employ 21st century crypto mining techniques to remediate the impacts of 19th and 20th century coal mining in some of the most environmentally neglected regions of the United States.

In addition to being environmentally-beneficial and sustainable, owning our own source of power helps us to produce Bitcoin at one of the lowest prices among our publicly traded peers. We also believe that owning our own power source makes us a more attractive partner to crypto asset mining equipment purveyors. For example, we have been able to enter into partnerships with crypto asset industry participants and share miners because we offered competitive power rates in a mutually beneficial arrangement. Other miner manufacturers or suppliers may be more willing to work with us because our vertical integration, strong financial position, and industrial scale make us a dependable partner. We have entered into a non-binding letter of intent to purchase two additional coal refuse power generation facilities, and we intend to leverage these competitive advantages to continue to grow our business through the opportunistic acquisition of power generating assets and miners.

We currently operate approximately 3,000 crypto asset mining computers (known as “miners”) with hash rate capacity of approximately 100 petahash (“PH/s”). Since April 1, 2021, we have entered into definitive agreements with multiple suppliers to purchase over 27,300 additional miners with a total hash capacity equal to over 2,600 PH/s. Of these miners, 92% are scheduled to be delivered in 2021, with the first batch scheduled for delivery in August 2021, and the remaining 8% throughout 2022. With part of the proceeds of this offering, we intend to procure an additional 27,900 miners, which we anticipate will bring our total hash rate capacity to approximately 3,000 PH/s by December 2021 and to over 5,300 PH/s by December 2022. We intend to house our miners at the Scrubgrass Plant and the two coal refuse power generation facilities currently under letter of intent that we intend to purchase.

Our founders have long experience in finance and in operating energy assets. Greg Beard, our Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, previously served as Senior Partner and Head of Natural Resources at Apollo Global Management Inc. Bill Spence, our Co-Chairman, has 40 years of energy-related experience and was a pioneer in the operation of and fuel sourcing for coal refuse plants.

1

 


 

Our Competitive Strengths

 

Environmentally beneficial, coal refuse-powered electricity generation classified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Tier II alternative energy source.  Our Scrubgrass Plant and the two additional plants currently under letter of intent, the Panther Creek Plant and the Third Plant, are powered by coal refuse.  Coal refuse is a waste product historically generated by coal mining in Pennsylvania and neighboring states, and coal refuse is a significant contributor to air and water pollution in these geographies.  Because our power generation facility technology produces energy and byproducts used in land-reclamation activities from this waste, power generation facilities fueled by coal refuse are classified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as Tier II alternative energy sources, equivalent to large-scale hydropower plants.  In contrast, most of our competitors with integrated power assets rely on traditional fuels, such as coal or natural gas.  Given the power-intensive nature of crypto asset mining and the implications for the environment and sustainability, we believe that our access to inexpensive, environmentally-beneficial power represents a meaningful and durable competitive advantage. In addition, we believe that buyers of the Bitcoin we mine could ascribe value due to the environmentally-beneficial manner in which they were mined.  

 

Vertically integrated crypto asset mining and power generation operations, driving among the lowest costs of crypto asset production in our industry.  We operate vertically integrated power generation and crypto asset mining operations.  Our miners are located on the same premises as our Scrubgrass Plant to maximize efficiency and to minimize cost.  The Scrubgrass Plant’s recognition as a Tier II Renewable Energy plant also allows us to earn renewable energy credits (“RECs”) under Pennsylvania law, and coal refuse is inexpensive and in abundant supply near our operations.  As a result, we believe that our Bitcoin production cost of approximately $2,500 is among the lowest in our industry.  As we acquire additional power generation facilities, including the potential acquisitions of the Panther Creek Plant and the Third Plant, currently under letter of intent, we will focus on environmentally-beneficial power generation assets that offer similarly attractive crypto asset mining economics.

 

Strong track record of acquiring and operating power assets.  Our management team has a distinguished track record of sourcing, financing, and operating power assets. Greg Beard, our Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, previously served as Senior Partner and Head of Natural Resources at Apollo Global Management Inc. and as a Founding Member and Managing Director at Riverstone Holdings LLC, two leading private equity firms.  During his private equity tenure, Mr. Beard sourced and led 23 energy investments, representing $8.8 billion in proceeds.  Bill Spence, our Co-Chairman, has 40 years of energy-related experience.  Mr. Spence is the former owner and operator of Coal Valley/Dark Diamond, a coal refuse power generation facility, from 1993 to 2007.  Mr. Spence was also the former independent operator of our Scrubgrass Plant prior to our formation.  

 

Superior access to Bitcoin miners with multiple miner procurement channels, including direct relationships with equipment manufacturers and partnerships with data center operators and other intermediaries.  We benefit from strong relationships with multiple providers of Bitcoin miners.  We recently entered into an agreement with a leading manufacturer of Bitcoin miners to purchase 15,000 miners with aggregate hash rate of approximately 1,500 PH/s for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2021.  In addition, through our partnership with a leading global manager of Bitcoin mining operations, we have executed a purchase agreement to acquire 9,900 MicroBT miners with phased delivery expected to begin in August 2021 and have agreed to purchase terms for the acquisition of approximately 4,950 additional MicroBT miners.  Finally, we have been highly opportunistic in entering into hardware purchase agreements with miner brokers.  We believe that our access to capital, including prior private financings, as well as the proceeds from this initial public offering, in conjunction with our vertically-integrated power generation, makes us an attractive partner for Bitcoin equipment manufacturers and other market leaders alike.

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Our Growth Strategies

 

Acquire additional environmentally-beneficial power generation assets, including closing on two coal refuse power generation facilities currently under letter of intent.  We have entered into a letter of intent to purchase two coal refuse plants, the Panther Creek Plant and the Third Plant.  We have substantially completed our due diligence of Panther Creek, and we believe that we will execute definitive purchase documents within the next two months for the Panther Creek Plant.  We also anticipate a favorable outcome of our ongoing due diligence of the Third Plant.  Powered by the Scrubgrass Plant and these initial two plant acquisitions, we have developed a plan to build out aggregate mining capacity to 204 megawatts (“MW”) by the end of 2022.  We believe that our expected expansion to three environmentally-beneficial power generation facilities dedicated to Bitcoin mining is repeatable and scalable.  With the extensive experience and relationships that our leadership team has in the industry, we have an acquisition pipeline of additional environmentally-beneficial power assets, and we believe that the acquisition of additional power generation facilities will enable us to drive further growth in crypto asset mining.

 

Continue to opportunistically source new miners through our multiple procurement channels to accelerate our business plan and increase our mining capacity.  As previously outlined, we have recently executed purchase orders for the acquisition of miners from a manufacturer, a Bitcoin mining and data center operator (for MicroBT miners), and multiple miner brokers (for Canaan and Bitmain miners).  While many of our competitors have struggled to obtain mining equipment due to historically strong demand and pre-sold supply, we believe that these recent confirmed purchase orders demonstrate our ability to leverage the breadth of our relationships to quickly expand our mining capacity.  By operating the Scrubgrass Plant at capacity and through the anticipated build-outs of Panther Creek and Third Plant, we are forecasting expansion in our crypto asset mining operations to 58,250 total miners, representing 5,400 PH/s, by the end of 2022.  We expect to benefit from these strong relationships to purchase additional miners on favorable economic terms as we continue to expand our power generation capacity through the acquisition of additional plants.

 

Drive operational excellence and structure alignment with key industry partners, including equipment manufacturers, power generation facility owners and the broader crypto currency and investment ecosystem.  We are committed to building the leading vertically integrated crypto asset mining and environmentally-beneficial power generation platform.  To achieve this objective, we have developed a network of technology and service providers, and we are emphasizing long-term partnerships and equity alignment.  For example, we believe that we negotiated favorable economic and delivery terms for the purchase of miners by providing an equity incentive to the sellers of the miners, subject to meeting specified performance obligations.  Similarly, our anticipated partnership with our Bitcoin mining and data center operator provides for sharing of the economic rights to Bitcoin produced by the partnership, motivating our partner to manage mining operations to achieve maximum efficiency.  By aligning interests, we believe that we are driving operational excellence, thereby enabling further expansion and accelerating our growth.

Environmentally-Beneficial Operations

The Scrubgrass Plant, our first power generation facility, is located on a 650-acre site in Scrubgrass Township, Venango County, Pennsylvania, and is classified under Pennsylvania law as a Tier II alternative energy source. The Scrubgrass Plant currently has the capacity to produce approximately 85 MW of electricity utilizing circulating fluidized bed (“CFB”) technology. Using this CFB technology, the Scrubgrass Plant converts highly polluting coal refuse, a legacy waste from decades of coal mining currently found in sites throughout Pennsylvania and neighboring states, into power and also yields beneficial use ash, a by-product of the combustion process that can be used as fertilizer and filler in other reclamation projects.

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The operation of our power generation facility with coal refuse allows the reclamation of large geographic areas that have been ravaged by the presence of coal refuse, the environmentally harmful byproduct of Pennsylvania’s legacy coal-mining operations. Coal mining began in earnest in Pennsylvania in the later part of the 19th century to help meet the nation’s growing demand for steel, and continued through the 20th century as Pennsylvania and other coal producing states mined the fuel needed to power the industrial revolution in the United States and fight two World Wars. While the placement of coal refuse became more strictly regulated with the passage of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (the “SMCRA”), the decades of operations prior to the SMCRA’s adoption produced large piles of refuse near now-abandoned coal mining operations. The Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (“BAMR”) of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”) estimates that today there are 840 coal refuse sites, covering over 8,500 acres, filled by over 220 million of tons of coal refuse in legacy piles located throughout the state. We estimate that, based on the number of coal refuse sites we are currently reclaiming in close proximity to the Scrubgrass Plant, there is at least 30 years’ worth of fuel available for that plant alone. We expect the additional plants that we intend to acquire will also have access to a multi-year supply of coal refuse.

In 2015, Pennsylvania estimated that the cost to remediate the abandoned mine lands (“AML”) and acid mine drainage (“AMD”) sites in Pennsylvania exceeded $16.1 billion, of which coal refuse represented a $2 billion burden.  Coal refuse piles produce significant, adverse local and regional environmental consequences, including the harmful leaching of acidity, iron and iron oxide, aluminum, manganese, and sulfate residues into waterways resulting in significant AMD.  This leachate creates both surface water and groundwater contamination and produces streams, ponds and lakes that can be devoid of aquatic life.  AMD is the largest source of water pollution in these Pennsylvania communities and afflicts watersheds downstream from the coal refuse piles, while also reducing potable water supplies.

The coal refuse piles cover large areas of otherwise productive land and pose negative consequences for air quality in the surrounding communities.  Uncontrolled fugitive dust from these piles creates particulate matter pollution and can act as a wind-borne pathogen, posing significant risks to human health.  The piles themselves can also ignite.  Wildfires, lightning strikes and campfires on the surface can quickly turn into bigger issues such as underground mine fires.  Unattended piles can also spontaneously combust through an oxidation process that generates heat and consequently ignites the combustible components of piles. Burning piles, especially  underground fires in the absence of oxygen, produce a variety of adverse uncontrolled ambient impacts, including smoke, particulate, and the release of poisonous and noxious gases – often at ground level. These gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, sulfur trioxide, and oxides of nitrogen and a variety of volatile organic compounds – are all potentially harmful to human, animal and vegetative life. According to PADEP, as of December 14, 2020, there were 92 coal refuse piles burning in Pennsylvania, and over the past decades hundreds of others have burned. PADEP has estimated that 6.6 million tons of coal refuse burn each year in unintended, uncontrolled fires, releasing 9 million tons of carbon dioxide and numerous other air pollutants.  When fires occur, the budgets of these environmentally and often economically challenged communities are hardest hit, and it may take years to extinguish the fire.

The CFB technology employed by the Scrubgrass Plant and other coal refuse reclamation facilities was developed to burn coal refuse and similar low-BTU substances by combining the waste with limestone injection for acid gas control in specialized CFB boilers and injecting streams of hot air. These units are also equipped with fabric filter systems to control filterable particulate matter (“FPM”) emissions. The coal refuse-fired units control emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, air toxins, FPM and total particulate matter. These units are some of the lowest emitters of mercury and FPM in the nation.  The solid materials are consumed in the combustion process and the by-products are steam, which powers electricity generators, and beneficial use ash, an inert non-acidic substance that can be used in remediation and reclamation activities. The removal, remediation and reclamation of the polluting piles contributes to upwards of 85% of the operating costs of one of these specialized power generation facilities.  This business model results in the most efficient method to comprehensively remove the hazardous materials from the environment and remediate the polluting impacts.  

Our ownership of the Scrubgrass Plant combined with the environmental benefits which accrue to the region allow us to mine Bitcoin at what we believe to be some of the lowest costs in the industry while making a transformational contribution to the environment.

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Low-Cost Power Generation

Given that the price of electricity has a significant impact on the ultimate economics and profitability of crypto asset mining, we believe long-term value is enabled primarily by the reduction of power costs and securing environmentally-beneficial power generation assets. Our miners are powered by the electricity produced by our own assets. Through our ownership of the Scrubgrass Plant and other sources of income (including power purchase agreements with third party miners and, in certain circumstances, the sale of beneficial use ash), we are able to achieve low capital cost, resulting in an estimated cost to mine of approximately $2,500 per Bitcoin equivalent. Due in part to our low variable cost, we expect to be able to generate power for approximately $19 per megawatt-hour (“MWh”) at our Scrubgrass Plant at full capacity. This contributes to our value creation strategy, which is based on four concepts: (i) securing and operating low-cost, environmentally-beneficial energy assets, (ii) protecting operational profitability and efficiently managing risk across different pricing environments, (iii) optimizing returns over invested capital through strategic and innovative sourcing of power and mining equipment (including through partnerships with suppliers) and (iv) potentially extending the economic life of our equipment through the use of low cost of power. The chart below shows an estimate for the fourth quarter of 2021 of the components of our net cost of power and a comparison to our peers’ cost of power.  

 

 

Due to the specialized nature of coal refuse power generation facilities that utilize CFB technology, we estimate the replacement cost for an electricity generation facility utilizing this technology that operates on the scale of our Scrubgrass Plant would be approximately $500 million. We estimate that the cost to build or buy a renewable energy power generation asset that operates on the scale of our Scrubgrass Plant would be approximately $85 million. However, due to their part in the reclamation process, we believe coal refuse plants play a more environmentally-beneficial role than renewable sources of energy. The price that we and our predecessor paid for the Scrubgrass Plant was approximately $7 million, which represents a significant discount to our estimated cost to build or buy a similar power generation asset. The chart below shows the average cost to build or buy power generation assets in the United States compared to the price we paid for the Scrubgrass Plant (excluding transactions of greenfield renewables assets).  

 

5

 


 

 

As part of our strategy of securing environmentally-beneficial power generation assets for crypto asset mining, we have entered into a non-binding letter of intent to purchase (i) the Panther Creek Energy Facility (the “Panther Creek Plant”), a coal refuse reclamation-to-energy facility that utilizes CFB technology (similar to the Scrubgrass Plant) with 94 MW of electricity generation capacity located near Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, and (ii) another coal refuse reclamation-to-energy facility with 134 MW of electricity generation capacity located in Pennsylvania (the “Third Plant”).  These facilities are each waste removal and environmental remediation businesses that generate and sell electricity to pay for the environmental reclamation work that they perform. We intend to opportunistically acquire such electricity generation assets to power our increasing crypto asset mining operations in an environmentally-conscious manner.

Pennsylvania has deemed the reclamation of coal refuse sites as an environmental priority, and since the early 1990s an unofficial public-private-partnership has developed between the coal refuse reclamation to energy industry and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 2016, Pennsylvania adopted a performance-based  tax credit targeting coal refuse removal by alternative electricity generation facilities utilizing CFB technology, such as the Scrubgrass Plant, Panther Creek Plant and the Third Plant. To qualify for the tax credit, 75% of the fuel used by these facilities must be comprised of qualified coal refuse, plant design must include circulating fluidized bed technology, utilizing limestone injection and a fabric filter for particulate emissions control, ash produced by the facilities must be put to beneficial use as defined by PADEP, and, finally, at least 50% of that beneficial use ash must be used to reclaim coal mining affected sites.

Due to the environmental benefit produced by our facilities, we also qualify for Tier II RECs in Pennsylvania. These RECs are currently valued at approximately $14.50 per MWh on a forward-looking basis, based on the price as of May 5, 2021.  Particularly challenging and often remote piles also require partnerships with federal, state, and local environmental groups in order to accomplish the remediation and reclamation goals of a project.  These projects include the use of federal grants combined with millions of private dollars invested by the coal refuse reclamation to energy project companies.  Our coal refuse reclamation to energy facility has frequently partnered with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, BAMR and local environmental groups to remediate these piles. The Scrubgrass Plant has partnered with state agencies since the mid-1990s to identify and reclaim waste sites and have removed over 16 million tons from the environment since start of operations.

While crypto asset mining continues to consume a massive amount of energy worldwide, often generated from traditional and more environmentally-harmful sources, we are able to conduct our activities in a manner that benefits both the environment and our profitability.

Mining Operations

We believe that through our innovative strategic initiatives and existing commercial relationships, we will continue to efficiently secure high-quality equipment necessary to maximize our operational advantages. Using our access to and control of environmentally beneficial and low-cost power as leverage, our focus is on sourcing the latest crypto asset mining technology and engaging in transactions to align our interests with those of other key industry stakeholders, including equipment manufacturers and high-performance computing infrastructure managers. We are actively adding to our existing fleet of approximately 3,000 miners currently deployed at the Scrubgrass Plant with hash rate capacity of approximately 100 PH/s, through the execution of three definitive agreements since April 1, 2021 with multiple suppliers to purchase over 27,300 miners with a total hash capacity equal to over 2,600 PH/s. Approximately 92% of these miners are scheduled to be delivered in 2021, with the first batch scheduled for delivery in August 2021, and the remaining 8% throughout 2022. The first 16,000 miners are expected to be housed in our data centers at the Scrubgrass Plant with the remainder deployed at future power generation facilities, including, potentially, the Panther Creek Plant and the Third Plant, starting later this year. Our location in the cooler Northeastern United States and access to cheap power allows us to cool our miners at lower cost than if we were located in warmer regions and also affords us the flexibility to buy power off the grid when the cost of such power is cheaper than our cost of production, resulting in our ability to maximize crypto asset mining operations through low variable costs and cost per MW. Our current focus is on mining Bitcoin, which we may convert to USD to the extent necessary to fund our development.

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We believe that buyers of the Bitcoin we mine may ascribe value to the environmentally-beneficial manner in which it was mined in the United States. Furthermore, while our focus is currently on Bitcoin, we may utilize our miners for other crypto assets depending on market conditions, including the relative values of such other crypto assets, and other factors. We intend to operate with flexibility and a goal of maximizing value from our operations. To this end, our business strategy continues to be acquiring power generating assets that allow us to generate electricity at competitive rates in an environmentally-beneficial fashion, securing miners with the latest technology to utilize such power generation capabilities, and re-investing proceeds from our crypto asset mining operations in acquiring additional power generating assets and miners.

Crypto Assets and Crypto Asset Mining

Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are crypto assets designed to work as fast, secure and decentralized mediums of exchange. Digital assets exist on a blockchain which is a network of computers that together store the history of transactions and validate new transactions without the need for a trusted, central intermediary. Using a blockchain, value can be sent from one account to another in a matter of minutes and with full certainty without requiring the involvement of a bank or financial institution.  Each computer on the network stores a copy of all the past transactions and the balance of every account.

Each account is identified by a “public key,” the address to which funds are sent to and from. To access the account, however, a “private key” is needed.  This private key is closely guarded by the holders of crypto assets, as anyone who possesses the private key for an account can access that account and transfer value.  As a result of the relationship between public keys and private keys, every transaction ever done on the blockchain is available for public viewing in perpetuity, but the owners of the accounts may be anonymous.

The Bitcoin network infrastructure is collectively maintained by a decentralized, public user base who are either volunteers or are rewarded with Bitcoin. As the network is decentralized, it does not rely on either governmental authorities or financial institutions to create, transmit or determine the value of the coins and instead value is determined by supply and demand.

Most blockchains, including Bitcoin, validate transactions via a process called “proof of work,” which requires that computers compete to solve a complex cryptographic puzzle. Solving this puzzle essentially requires random guesswork and computers generate millions of guesses to arrive at the correct answer, which is referred to as “mining.”  The computer that solves the puzzle is rewarded with the crypto asset.  Recognizing that over time the computing power devoted to mining can increase or decrease, every 10 minutes the Bitcoin network re-calibrates the difficulty of the puzzle to keep a 10 minute delay between each time the puzzle is solved. This delay is known as the “block time.”

We plan to mine Bitcoin by using our miners to solve this complex cryptographic puzzle. In return for solving a block, we receive a Bitcoin or other crypto asset reward, depending on the blockchain, which we hold for our account and attempt to sell opportunistically on the market or directly to purchasers to generate a profit. Miners measure their capability in terms of processing power, which is known as in the industry as “hashing” power. Hashing power is measured in terms of the number of hashing algorithms solved (or “hashes”) per second, which is the miner’s “hash rate.” Generally speaking, miners with greater hashing power relative to other miners attempting

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to solve a block have a higher chance of solving the block and receiving a crypto asset award. See below for an illustration of how Bitcoin mining works.

 

 

 

Since the inception of the Bitcoin network, more and more miners have entered the market competing for the limited number of blocks that are regularly added to the Bitcoin blockchain. The resulting tremendous increase in network hash rate has resulted in increasing levels of “difficulty” being implemented by the Bitcoin network over time. As a result, an individual miner’s chances of adding a new block to the blockchain in a given period of time has decreased, creating volatility in a miner’s revenue stream. To address this challenge, Bitcoin mining operators began to combine their mining resources into “mining pools” to better compete and reduce volatility in Bitcoin mining revenue. Combining mining devices in a mining pool allows for faster output and better odds of finding a block at the group level, rather than the individual level. As part of our mining operations, we contribute our hash rate to certain pools, subject to their terms of service. Participation in such pools is generally terminable at any time by either party and our risk is limited, as we are able to switch pools at any time or simply not participate in any pools and mine independently. As a participant in such pools, in exchange for providing computing power, we  receive a share of the theoretical global mining rewards based on our percent contribution to the Bitcoin mining network, less fees payable to the pool.

Recent Developments

Acquisitions

On April 1, 2021, Q Power entered into an Acquisition and Contribution Agreement with Aspen for the acquisition of Aspen’s 30% limited partnership interest in Scrubgrass LP.  Q Power subsequently assigned its interests in the Acquisition and Contribution Agreement to us.  The consideration for the Aspen Interest was $2.0 million in cash and 200,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock of Stronghold Inc.  The acquisition of Aspen’s limited partnership interest in Scrubgrass LP, and subsequent contribution of such interest to Stronghold LLC pursuant to the Reorganization, had the net effect of indirectly consolidating all of the equity interests of Scrubgrass LP at Stronghold LLC.  

On March 3, 2021, SDM entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Olympus Power, LLC (“Olympus”) for the purchase of (i) the Aspen Interest, (ii) the Panther Creek Plant, a coal refuse reclamation-to-energy facility with 94 MW of electricity generation capacity located near Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania and (iii) the Third Plant, a coal refuse reclamation-to-energy facility with 134 MW of electricity generation capacity located in Pennsylvania.

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We completed the acquisition of the Aspen Interest on April 1, 2021. We continue to evaluate the acquisition of both the Panther Creek Plant and the Third Plant. The consideration for the Panther Creek Plant is anticipated to be approximately $3.0 million in cash and $10,000,000 of common units of Stronghold LLC (“Stronghold LLC Units”). The consideration for the Third Plant is expected to be approximately $3.0 million in cash and $6,250,000 of Stronghold LLC Units. We plan to store newly acquired miners at each of these facilities and use power generated by these plants to power crypto asset mining operations in an environmentally conscious manner.

Private Placements

On April 1, 2021, we entered into a Series A Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement (the “Series A Stock Purchase Agreement”) pursuant to which we issued and sold 3,400,000 shares of Series A Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock (the “Series A Preferred Stock”) in a private offering at a price of $25.00 per share to various accredited investors in reliance upon exemptions from registration pursuant to Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), for aggregate consideration of $85.0 million (the “Series A Private Placement”).

Upon the closing of the Series A Private Placement, we entered into a registration rights agreement (the “Registration Rights Agreement”) with the investors in the Series A Private Placement, pursuant to which, among other things, the Company agreed to prepare and file a registration statement covering the resale of all Registrable Securities (as defined in the Registration Rights Agreement) not already covered by an existing and effective registration statement or prior to the 120th day following the closing of the Series A Private Placement. See “Description of Capital Stock—Registration Rights Agreement” for additional information.

Further, pursuant to the Series A Stock Purchase Agreement, Stronghold Inc., the investors in the Series A Private Placement and certain beneficial owners of common stock of Stronghold Inc. (the “Key Holders”) entered into a Right of First Refusal and Co-Sale Agreement (the “ROFR Agreement”). Under the ROFR Agreement, the Key Holders agreed to grant a right of first refusal to Stronghold Inc. to purchase all or any portion of capital stock of Stronghold Inc, held by a Key Holder or issued to a Key Holder after the date of the ROFR Agreement, not including any shares of Series A Preferred Stock or common stock issued or issuable upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock. The Key Holders also granted a secondary refusal right to the investors in the Series A Private Placement to purchase all or any eligible capital stock not purchased by Stronghold Inc. pursuant to their right of first refusal. The ROFR Agreement also provides certain co-sale rights to investors in the Series A Private Placement to participate in any sale or similar transfer of any shares of common stock owned by a Key Holder or issued to a Key Holder after the Series A Private Placement, on the terms and conditions specified in a written notice from a Key Holder. The investors, however, are not obligated to participate in such sales or similar transfers. The co-sale and rights of first refusal under the ROFR Agreement will terminate upon the consummation of this offering.

On April 26, 2021, we commenced an offering (the “Series B Private Placement” and, together with the Series A Private Placement, the “Private Placements”) for shares of our Series B Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock (the “Series B Preferred Stock” and, together with the Series A Preferred Stock, the “Preferred Stock”). The terms of the Series B Preferred Stock are substantially similar to the Series A Preferred Stock, except for differences in the stated value of such shares in the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company or certain deemed liquidation events. We currently expect to raise approximately $20.0 million from the Series B Private Placement, which is anticipated to close on or around May 14, 2021. In connection with the Series B Private Placement, we expect to enter into a stock purchase agreement, registration rights agreement and right of first refusal and co-sale agreement substantially similar to those entered into in connection with the Series A Private Placement.

Reorganization

On April 1, 2021, we effected the Reorganization. See “—Corporate Reorganization” and “Corporate Reorganization” for more information.

Corporate Reorganization

Stronghold Digital Mining Inc. was incorporated as a Delaware corporation on March 19, 2021. On April 1, 2021, contemporaneously with the Series A Private Placement (as defined herein), we underwent a corporate

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reorganization pursuant to that certain Master Transaction Agreement dated as of April 1, 2021, by and among the Company, Q Power, SDM, , EIF Scrubgrass, LLC (“EIF Scrubgrass”), Falcon Power LLC (“Falcon”), Scrubgrass Power LLC (“Scrubgrass Power”), Scrubgrass LP, Gregory A. Beard and William Spence (the “Master Transaction Agreement”), which we refer to herein as the “Reorganization.”

Our organizational structure following the Reorganization is commonly referred to as an umbrella partnership-C corporation (or “Up-C”) structure.  Pursuant to this structure, following this offering Stronghold Inc. will hold a number of Stronghold LLC Units equal to the number of shares of Class A common stock issued and outstanding, and holders of Stronghold LLC Units (each, a “Stronghold Unit Holder”) (other than Stronghold Inc.) will hold a number of Stronghold LLC Units equal to the number of shares of Class V common stock issued and outstanding.  

Immediately prior to the Reorganization, Q Power directly held all of the equity interests in SDM, and indirectly held 70% of the limited partner interests, and all of the general partner interests, in Scrubgrass LP, through wholly-owned subsidiaries EIF Scrubgrass, Falcon and Falcon’s wholly-owned subsidiary Scrubgrass Power. Aspen Scrubgrass Participant, LLC (“Aspen”), a subsidiary of Olympus, held the remaining 30% of the limited partner interests in Scrubgrass LP.  Scrubgrass LP is a Delaware limited partnership originally formed on December 1, 1990 under the name of Scrubgrass Generating Company, L.P. SDM is a Delaware limited liability company originally formed on February 12, 2020 under the name Stronghold Power LLC.

Contemporaneously with the Reorganization, Stronghold Inc. acquired all of Aspen’s limited partner interest in Scrubgrass LP (the “Aspen Interest”) in exchange for 200,000 newly issued shares of Series A Preferred Stock in Stronghold Inc. and a portion of the proceeds from the Series A Private Placement.  Pursuant to the Reorganization, Q Power contributed all of its ownership interests in EIF Scrubgrass, Falcon and SDM to Stronghold LLC in exchange for 9,400,000 Stronghold LLC Units, Stronghold Inc. contributed cash (using the remaining proceeds from the Series A Private Placement, net of fees, expenses and amounts paid to Aspen), 9,400,000 shares of Class V common stock in Stronghold Inc. and the Aspen Interest to Stronghold LLC in exchange for 3,600,000 preferred units of Stronghold LLC, and Stronghold LLC immediately thereafter distributed the 9,400,000 shares of Class V common stock to Q Power.  In addition, on April 1, 2021, Stronghold Inc. acquired 5,000 Stronghold LLC Units held by Q Power (along with an equal number of shares of Class V common stock) in exchange for 5,000 newly issued shares of Class A common stock.  

As a result of the Reorganization, the acquisition of the Aspen Interest and the acquisition of Stronghold LLC Units by Stronghold Inc. discussed above, (i) Q Power acquired and retained 9,395,000 Stronghold LLC Units, 5,000 shares of Class A common stock of Stronghold Inc., and 9,395,000 shares of Class V common stock of Stronghold Inc., effectively giving Q Power approximately 72% of the voting power of Stronghold Inc. and approximately 72% of the economic interest in Stronghold LLC, (ii) Stronghold Inc. acquired 3,600,000 preferred units of Stronghold LLC and 5,000 Stronghold LLC Units, effectively giving Stronghold Inc. approximately 28% of the economic interest in Stronghold LLC, (iii) Stronghold Inc. became the sole managing member of Stronghold LLC and is responsible for all operational, management and administrative decisions relating to Stronghold LLC’s business and will consolidate financial results of Stronghold LLC and its subsidiaries, (iv) Stronghold Inc. became a holding company whose only material asset consists of membership interests in Stronghold LLC, and (v) Stronghold LLC directly or indirectly owns all of the outstanding equity interests in the subsidiaries through which we operate our assets, including Scrubgrass LP and SDM.

See the sections entitled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreement” and “Corporate Reorganization” for additional information on our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreement.

Pursuant to the terms of the Preferred Stock (as defined herein), on (i) the date that a registration statement registering the shares of Class A common stock issuable upon the conversion of the Preferred Stock is declared effective by the SEC or (ii) the date on which a “Significant Transaction Event” occurs, as defined in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, such shares of Preferred Stock will automatically convert into shares of Class A common stock of Stronghold Inc. on a one-to-one basis, subject to certain adjustments as set forth in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. Correspondingly, pursuant to the Stronghold LLC Agreement, preferred units in Stronghold LLC automatically convert into Stronghold LLC Units on a one-to-one basis under like circumstances (subject to corresponding adjustments).  All of the outstanding shares of Preferred Stock will convert

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into shares of Class A common stock in connection with this offering (the “Preferred Stock Conversion”) and, correspondingly, all of the preferred units in Stronghold LLC will convert into Stronghold LLC Units.

After giving effect to the offering contemplated by this prospectus and the Preferred Stock Conversion, Stronghold Inc. will own an approximate                  % interest in Stronghold LLC (or                  % if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is exercised in full), and the Stronghold Unit Holders will own an approximate                  % interest in Stronghold LLC (or                  % if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is exercised in full) and all of the Class V common stock. Please see “Principal Stockholders.”

Each share of Class V common stock has no economic rights but entitles its holder to one vote on all matters to be voted on by stockholders generally. Holders of Class A common stock and Class V common stock vote together as a single class on all matters presented to our stockholders for their vote or approval, except as otherwise required by applicable law or by our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. Stronghold Inc. does not intend to list Class V common stock on any exchange.

Under the Second Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of Stronghold LLC, as amended from time to time (the “Stronghold LLC Agreement”), each Stronghold Unit Holder, other than Stronghold Inc., subject to certain limitations, has the right (the “Redemption Right”) to cause Stronghold LLC to acquire all or a portion of its Stronghold LLC Units for, at Stronghold LLC’s election, (i) shares of our Class A common stock at a redemption ratio of one share of Class A common stock for each Stronghold LLC Unit redeemed, subject to conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassification and other similar transactions or (ii) an approximately equivalent amount of cash as determined pursuant to the Stronghold LLC Agreement. Alternatively, upon the exercise of the Redemption Right, Stronghold Inc. (instead of Stronghold LLC) has the right (the “Call Right”), for administrative convenience, to acquire each tendered Stronghold LLC Unit directly from the redeeming Stronghold Unit Holder for, at its election, (x) one share of Class A common stock, subject to conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassification and other similar transactions, or (y) an approximately equivalent amount of cash as determined pursuant to the terms of the Stronghold LLC Agreement. In addition, Stronghold Inc. has the right to require (i) upon the acquisition by Stronghold Inc. of substantially all of the Stronghold LLC Units, certain minority unitholders or (ii) upon a change of control of Stronghold Inc., each Stronghold Unit Holder (other than Stronghold Inc.), to exercise its Redemption Right with respect to some or all of such unitholder’s Stronghold LLC Units. In connection with any redemption of Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to the Redemption Right or the Call Right, the corresponding number of shares of Class V common stock will be cancelled. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Stronghold LLC Agreement.”

Stronghold Inc.’s acquisition (or deemed acquisition for U.S. federal income tax purposes) of Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to an exercise of the Redemption Right or the Call Right is expected to result in adjustments to the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets of Stronghold LLC, and such adjustments will be allocated to Stronghold Inc. These adjustments would not have been available to Stronghold Inc. absent its acquisition or deemed acquisition of Stronghold LLC Units and are expected to reduce the amount of cash tax that Stronghold Inc. would otherwise be required to pay in the future.

In connection with the Reorganization, Stronghold Inc. entered into a Tax Receivable Agreement with Q Power and an agent named by Q Power (the “Tax Receivable Agreement”). The Tax Receivable Agreement generally provides for the payment by Stronghold Inc. to Q Power (or its permitted assignees) of 85% of the net cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal, state and local income and franchise tax (computed using the estimated impact of state and local taxes) that Stronghold Inc. actually realizes (or is deemed to realize in certain circumstances) as a result of (i) certain increases in tax basis that occur as a result of its acquisition (or deemed acquisition for U.S. federal income tax purposes) of all or a portion of Stronghold Unit Holders’ Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to an exercise of the Redemption Right or the Call Right and (ii) imputed interest deemed to be paid by Stronghold Inc. as a result of, and additional tax basis arising from, any payments Stronghold Inc. makes under the Tax Receivable Agreement.

Payments will generally be made under the Tax Receivable Agreement as Stronghold Inc. realizes actual cash tax savings from the tax benefits covered by the Tax Receivable Agreement. However, if Stronghold Inc. experiences a change of control (as defined under the Tax Receivable Agreement, which includes certain mergers, asset sales and other forms of business combinations) or the Tax Receivable Agreement terminates early (at Stronghold Inc.’s election or as a result of Stronghold Inc.’s breach), Stronghold Inc. would be required to make an immediate payment equal to the present value of the anticipated future payments to be made by it under the Tax

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Receivable Agreement (determined by applying a discount rate equal to one-year LIBOR (or an agreed successor rate, if applicable) plus 100 basis points) and such early termination payment is expected to be substantial and may exceed the future tax benefits realized by Stronghold Inc. Stronghold Inc. will be dependent on Stronghold LLC to make distributions to Stronghold Inc. in an amount sufficient to cover Stronghold Inc.’s obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement.

The following diagram indicates our simplified ownership structure immediately following this offering and the transactions related thereto (assuming that the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is not exercised):

 

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Our Legacy Owners

Upon completion of this offering (and taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion), the existing owners of Stronghold Inc., including, but not limited to, Q Power and the holders of Series A Preferred Stock and Series B Preferred Stock (the “Legacy Owners”) will initially own                  shares of Class A common stock, representing approximately                  % of the voting power of the Company (or                  % if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full), and                  shares of Class V common stock, representing approximately                  % of the voting power of the Company (or                  % if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full). For more information on our Reorganization and the ownership of our common stock by our principal stockholders, see “– Corporate Reorganization” and “Corporate Reorganization.”

Summary Risk Factors

Investing in our Class A common stock involves risks. You should read carefully the section of this prospectus entitled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 23 for an explanation of these risks before investing in our Class A common stock. In particular, the following considerations may offset our competitive strengths or have a negative effect on our strategy or operating activities, which could cause a decrease in the price of our Class A common stock and a loss of all or part of your investment.

 

We have a hybrid business model which is highly dependent on the price of Bitcoin. A decline in the price of Bitcoin could result in significant losses.

 

If we fail to effectively manage our growth or to raise additional capital needed to grow our business, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be harmed.

 

We have an evolving business model which is subject to various uncertainties.

 

The loss of any of our management team could adversely affect our business.

 

We may be unable to successfully enter into definitive purchase agreements for or close on the additional plants or miners described herein, or any other potential acquisitions.

 

We are dependent on third-party brokers to source some of our miners.

 

If crypto assets are determined to be investment securities, we may inadvertently violate the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), and incur large losses and potentially be required to register as an investment company.

 

Regulatory changes or actions may alter the nature of an investment in us or restrict the use of Bitcoin in a manner that adversely affects our business, prospects or operations.

 

The open-source structure of the certain crypto asset network protocol, including Bitcoin, means that the contributors to the protocol are generally not directly compensated for their contributions in maintaining and developing the protocol. A failure to properly monitor and upgrade the protocol could damage that network and an investment in us.

 

The further development and acceptance of crypto asset networks and other crypto assets are subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate.

 

We may not be able to compete with other companies, some of whom have greater resources and experience.

 

The development and acceptance of competing blockchain platforms or technologies may cause consumers to use alternative distributed ledgers or other alternatives.

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The loss or destruction of private keys required to access any crypto assets held in custody for our own account may be irreversible.

 

The nature of our business requires the application of complex financial accounting rules, and there is limited guidance from accounting standard setting bodies. If financial accounting standards undergo significant changes, our operating results could be adversely affected.

 

The Bitcoin reward for successfully uncovering a block will halve several times in the future and Bitcoin value may not adjust to compensate us for the reduction in the rewards we receive from our mining efforts.

 

Our future success will depend upon the value of Bitcoin; the value of Bitcoin may be subject to pricing risk and has historically been subject to wide swings.

 

Cryptocurrencies, including those maintained by or for us, may be exposed to cybersecurity threats and hacks.

 

If the Bitcoin reward for solving blocks and transaction fees is not sufficiently high, we may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease mining operations.

 

The limited rights of legal recourse against us, and our lack of insurance protection expose us and our shareholders to the risk of loss of our crypto assets for which no person is liable.

 

Natural or manmade events may cause our power production to fall below our expectations.

 

We may not be able to operate the power generation facility as planned.

 

Land reclamation requirements may be burdensome and expensive.

 

Changes in tax credits related to coal refuse power generation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future development efforts.

 

Competition in power markets may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and the market value of our assets.

 

Because our power-generating reclamation facility is a member of PJM Interconnection (“PJM”), a regional transmission organization, we may be required to supply power to the grid at a time that is not optimal to our operations.

 

Our business is subject to substantial energy regulation, and we are required to obtain, and to comply with, government permits and approvals.

 

Operation of power generation facilities involves significant risks and hazards.

 

We are a holding company whose sole material asset is our equity interests in Stronghold LLC.

 

If we experience any material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to develop or maintain an effective system of internal controls in the future, we may not be able to accurately report our financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect investor confidence in us and, as a result, the value of our Class A common stock.

 

The Legacy Owners will own a significant amount of our voting stock, and their interests may conflict with those of our other stockholders.

 

In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement may be accelerated and/or significantly exceed the actual benefits, if any, Stronghold Inc. realizes.

 

Investors in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution of $             per share.

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We do not intend to pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock.

 

Future sales of our Class A common stock in the public market could reduce our stock price, and any additional capital raised by us through the sale of equity or convertible securities may dilute your ownership in us.

 

We may issue preferred stock whose terms could adversely affect the voting power or value of our Class A common stock.

See “Risk Factors” immediately following this prospectus summary for a more thorough discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties we face.

Emerging Growth Company and Smaller Reporting Company Status

As a company with less than $1.07 billion in revenue during our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). An emerging growth company may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include:

 

We are not required to engage an auditor to report on our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”);

 

We are not required to comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”) regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (i.e., an auditor discussion and analysis);

 

We are not required to submit certain executive compensation matters to stockholder advisory votes, such as “say-on-pay,” “say-on-frequency” and “say-on-golden parachutes”; and

 

We are not required to disclose certain executive compensation related items such as the correlation between executive compensation and performance and comparisons of the chief executive officer’s compensation to median employee compensation.

We may take advantage of these provisions until the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering or such earlier time that we are no longer an emerging growth company. We would cease to be an emerging growth company upon the earliest of: (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues are $1.07 billion or more; (ii) the date on which we have, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; or (iii) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer,” which will occur as of the end of any fiscal year in which we (x) have an aggregate market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates of $700 million or more as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, (y) have been required to file annual and quarterly reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), for a period of at least 12 months and (z) have filed at least one annual report pursuant to the Exchange Act.

We have elected to take advantage of the reduced disclosure obligations listed above in this prospectus, and may elect to take advantage of other reduced reporting requirements in future filings. In particular, we have elected to adopt the reduced disclosure with respect to our executive compensation disclosure. As a result of this election, the information that we provide stockholders may be different than you might get from other public companies.

The JOBS Act permits an emerging growth company like us to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period and, as a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for private companies. Our election to use the transition periods permitted by this election may make it difficult to compare our financial statements to those of non-emerging growth companies and other emerging growth companies that have opted out of the extended transition periods permitted under the JOBS Act and that will comply with new or revised financial accounting standards. If we were to

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subsequently elect instead to comply with public company effective dates, such election would be irrevocable pursuant to the JOBS Act.

For additional descriptions of the qualifications and other requirements applicable to emerging growth companies and certain elections that we have made due to our status as an emerging growth company, see “Risk Factors—Risks Related to this Offering and Our Class A Common Stock—For as long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to comply with certain reporting requirements, including those relating to accounting standards and disclosure about our executive compensation, that apply to other public companies.”

Additionally, we are a “smaller reporting company” as defined in Item 10(f)(1) of Regulation S-K. Smaller reporting companies may take advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations, including, among other things, providing only two years of audited financial statements. We will remain a smaller reporting company until the last day of the fiscal year in which (1) the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeds $250 million as of the end of that fiscal year’s second fiscal quarter and (2) our annual revenues exceeded $100 million during such completed fiscal year and the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the end of that fiscal year’s second fiscal quarter.

Our Offices

Our principal executive offices are located at 228 Park Ave S, New York, New York 10003, and our telephone number at that address is (212) 967-5294. Our website address is www.strongholddigitalmining.com. Information contained on our website does not constitute part of this prospectus.


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The Offering

 

Issuer

 

Stronghold Digital Mining Inc.

 

 

 

Class A common stock offered by us

 

                 shares.

 

 

 

Option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock

 

The underwriters have the option to purchase up to an aggregate of                 additional shares of Class A common stock from us at the initial public offering price, less the underwriting discount and commissions. The underwriters can exercise this option at any time within 30 days from the date of this prospectus.

 

 

 

Class A common stock to be outstanding immediately after completion of this offering

 

                 shares (or                  shares if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is exercised in full), taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion.

 

 

 

Class V common stock to be outstanding immediately after completion of this offering

 

                 shares, all of which will be owned by the Stronghold Unit Holders. Class V shares do not have economic rights. In connection with any redemption of Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to the Redemption Right or our Call Right, the corresponding number of shares of Class V common stock will be cancelled.

 

 

 

Voting power of Class A common stock after giving effect to this offering

 

                 (or                  % if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock is exercised in full), taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion.

 

 

 

Voting power of Class V common stock after giving effect to this offering

 

                 (or                  if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock is exercised in full), taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion.

 

 

 

Voting rights

 

Each share of our Class A common stock entitles its holder to one vote on all matters to be voted on by stockholders generally. Each share of our Class V common stock entitles its holder to one vote on all matters to be voted on by stockholders generally. Holders of our Class A common stock and Class V common stock vote together as a single class on all matters presented to our stockholders for their vote or approval, except as otherwise required by applicable law or by our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. See “Description of Capital Stock.”

 

 

 

Use of proceeds

 

We expect to receive approximately $                 million of net proceeds from the sale of Class A common stock offered by us after deducting underwriting discounts and estimated offering expenses payable by us (or approximately $                 of net proceeds if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock is exercised in full).

 

We intend to contribute the net proceeds of this offering received by us to Stronghold LLC in exchange for Stronghold LLC Units. Stronghold LLC will use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, including for acquisitions of miners and power generating assets. Please see “Use of Proceeds.”

 

 

 

17

 


 

Dividend policy

 

We currently anticipate that we will retain all future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of our business. We do not intend to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

 

 

 

Redemption rights of Stronghold Unit Holders

 

Under the Stronghold LLC Agreement, each Stronghold Unit Holder (other than Stronghold Inc.), subject to certain limitations, has the right, pursuant to the Redemption Right, to cause Stronghold LLC to acquire all or a portion of its Stronghold LLC Units for, at Stronghold LLC’s election, (i) shares of our Class A common stock at a redemption ratio of one share of Class A common stock for each Stronghold LLC Unit redeemed, subject to conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassification and other similar transactions or (ii) an approximately equivalent amount of cash as determined pursuant to the terms of the Stronghold LLC Agreement. Alternatively, upon the exercise of the Redemption Right, Stronghold Inc. (instead of Stronghold LLC) has the right, pursuant to the Call Right, to acquire each tendered Stronghold LLC Unit directly from the redeeming Stronghold Unit Holder for, at its election, (x) one share of Class A common stock, subject to conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassification and other similar transactions, or (y) an approximately equivalent amount of cash as determined pursuant to the terms of the Stronghold LLC Agreement. In addition, Stronghold Inc. has the right to require (i) upon the acquisition by Stronghold Inc. of substantially all of the Stronghold LLC Units, certain minority unitholders or (ii) upon a change of control of Stronghold Inc., each Stronghold Unit Holder (other than Stronghold Inc.), in each case, to exercise its Redemption Right with respect to some or all of such unitholder’s Stronghold LLC Units. In connection with any redemption of Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to the Redemption Right or the Call Right, the corresponding number of shares of Class V common stock will be cancelled. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Stronghold LLC Agreement.”

 

 

 

Tax Receivable Agreement

 

Stronghold Inc. has entered into the Tax Receivable Agreement, which provides for the payment by Stronghold Inc. to Q Power (or its permitted assignees) of 85% of the net cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal, state and local income tax and franchise tax (computed using the estimated impact of state and local taxes) that Stronghold Inc. actually realizes (or is deemed to realize in certain circumstances) as a result of certain tax basis increases and certain tax benefits attributable to imputed interest. Stronghold Inc. will retain the remaining net cash savings, if any. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to this Offering and Our Class A Common Stock” and “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreement.”

 

 

 

Proposed listing symbol

 

We intend to apply to list our Class A common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “                 .”

 

 

 

18

 


 

Risk factors

 

You should carefully read and consider the information beginning on page 23 of this prospectus set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” and all other information set forth in this

prospectus before deciding to invest in our Class A common stock.

 

 

 

Directed share program

 

The underwriters have reserved for sale at the initial public offering price up to        % of the shares of Class A common stock being offered by this prospectus for sale to our employees, executive officers, directors and related persons who have expressed an interest in purchasing common stock in this offering. We do not know if these persons will choose to purchase all or any portion of these reserved shares, but any purchases they make will reduce the number of shares available to the general public. Please see “Underwriting.”


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Summary Historical and Pro Forma Consolidated Financial and Operating Data

Stronghold Inc. was incorporated on March 19, 2021. The following table presents the summary historical and certain pro forma financial data and other data for our accounting predecessor and its subsidiaries. The historical results presented below are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for any future period, and should be read together with “Use of Proceeds,”  “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Corporate Reorganization” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

The summary historical financial data as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 and for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 was derived from the audited historical financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

The summary unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations data for the year ended December 31, 2020 presents our consolidated results of operations after giving effect to (i) the Series A Private Placement and the Reorganization, as described under “Corporate Reorganization,” as if such transactions occurred on January 1, 2020, (ii) this offering, (iii) the use of the estimated net proceeds to us from this offering, as described under “Use of Proceeds,” (iv) the Preferred Stock Conversion, and (v) a provision for corporate income taxes on the income attributable to Stronghold Inc. at an effective rate of           % for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, inclusive of all U.S. federal, state and local income taxes (collectively, the “pro forma adjustments”). The unaudited pro forma consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020 gives effect to the pro forma adjustments, including this offering, as if the same had occurred on December 31, 2020. The pro forma adjustments are based on available information and upon assumptions that our management believes are reasonable in order to reflect their impact, on a pro forma basis, on the historical financial information of our accounting predecessor. The summary unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information is included for informational purposes only and does not purport to reflect the results of operations or financial position of Stronghold Inc. that would have occurred had Stronghold Inc. been in existence or operated as a public company or otherwise during the periods presented. The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information should not be relied upon as being indicative of our results of operations or financial position had the described transactions occurred on the dates assumed. The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information also does not project our results of operations or financial position for any future period or date.

20

 


 

 

 

 

Accounting Predecessor

 

 

Pro Forma

Stronghold

Inc.(1)

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

2020

 

 

 

2020

 

2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(unaudited)

 

Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Revenues

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

Energy

 

 

518,397

 

 

7,047,237

 

 

 

 

Capacity

 

 

2,816,457

 

 

3,832,457

 

 

 

 

Crypto asset hosting

 

 

252,413

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crypto asset mining

 

 

339,456

 

 

33,337

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

191,661

 

 

136,299

 

 

 

 

Total operating revenues

 

 

4,118,384

 

 

11,049,330

Operating Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuel

 

 

425,126

 

 

8,435,990

 

 

 

 

Operations and maintenance

 

 

3,305,833

 

 

5,637,118

 

 

 

 

General and administrative

 

 

2,269,525

 

 

3,072,285

 

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

558,630

 

 

483,658

 

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

6,559,114

 

 

17,629,051

 

 

 

 

Operating loss

 

 

(2,440,730)

 

 

(6,579,921)

Other Income (Expense)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

 

2,982

 

 

4,177

 

 

 

 

Interest expense

 

 

(205,480)

 

 

(192,961)

 

 

 

 

Gain on extinguishment of EIDL advance

 

 

10,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Realized gain (loss) on sale of digital currencies

 

 

31,810

 

 

(1,516)

 

 

 

 

Commission on sale of ash

 

 

 

 

590,832

 

 

 

 

Derivative contracts, net

 

 

1,207,131

 

 

2,244,810

 

 

 

 

Waste coal credit

 

 

1,188,210

 

 

2,011,044

 

 

 

 

Renewable energy credits

 

 

35,493

 

 

105,532

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

25,590

 

 

(33,640)

 

 

 

 

       Total other income/ (expense)

 

 

2,295,736

 

 

4,728,278

 

 

 

 

Pretax income (loss)

 

 

(144,994)

 

 

(1,851,443)

 

 

 

 

Pro forma income taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

 

 

(144,994)

 

 

(1,851,443)

 

 

 

 

Less: Net income attributable to non-controlling interest

 

 

(147,546)

 

 

(564,980)

 

 

 

 

Net income (loss) attributable to Stronghold LLC and Stronghold

   Inc.

 

 

2,552

 

 

(1,286,463)

 

 

 

 

Pro Forma Per Share Data(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro forma net income (loss) per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro forma weighted average shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows (used in) provided by operating activities

 

 

587,223

 

 

755,182

 

 

 

 

Cash flows (used in) provided by investing activities

 

 

(1,827,786)

 

 

17,982

 

 

 

 

Cash flows (used in) provided by financing activities

 

 

1,409,607

 

 

(826,242)

 

 

 

 

Other Financial Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA(3)

 

 

616,134

 

 

(1,179,001)

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data (at end of period):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

 

9,362,316

 

 

7,950,960

 

 

 

 

Long-term debt

 

 

1,757,371

 

 

1,356,197

 

 

 

 

Total liabilities

 

 

13,409,417

 

 

10,731,916

 

 

 

 

Total members’ equity/stockholders’ equity (deficit)

 

 

(4,047,101)

 

 

(2,780,956)

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

Pro forma figures give effect to the transactions, including this offering, described under “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information.” Please see “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information” for a detailed presentation of the unaudited pro forma information, including a description of the transactions and assumptions underlying the pro forma adjustments.

21

 


 

(2)

Pro forma net income (loss), pro forma net income (loss) per share and pro forma weighted average shares outstanding reflect the estimated number of shares of Class A common stock we expect to have outstanding, taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion and this offering, and after the Reorganization. The pro forma data does not assume the exchange of any Stronghold LLC Units (and the corresponding cancellation of the outstanding shares of Class V common stock) for Class A common stock and any related adjustments to pro forma net income (loss) or pro forma net income (loss) per share. The pro forma data includes additional pro forma income tax expense of $                 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 associated with the income tax effects of the Reorganization described under “—Corporate Reorganization.” Stronghold Inc. is a corporation and is subject to U.S. federal income tax. Our accounting predecessor was not subject to U.S. federal income tax at an entity level. As a result, the consolidated and combined net income in our historical financial statements does not reflect the tax expense we would have incurred if we were subject to U.S. federal income tax at an entity level during such periods.

(3)

Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. For the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation to our most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, please read “—Non-GAAP Financial Measure.”

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure of net income as determined by GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA is a supplemental non-GAAP financial measure that is used by management and external users of our consolidated financial statements, such as industry analysts, investors, lenders and rating agencies. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, further adjusted by the removal of one-time transaction costs.

Our board of directors and management team use Adjusted EBITDA to assess our financial performance because it allows them to compare our operating performance on a consistent basis across periods by removing the effects of our capital structure (such as varying levels of interest expense), asset base (such as depreciation and amortization) and other items (such as one-time transaction costs) that impact the comparability of financial results from period to period. We present Adjusted EBITDA because we believe it provides useful information regarding the factors and trends affecting our business in addition to measures calculated under GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA is not a financial measure presented in accordance with GAAP. We believe that the presentation of this non-GAAP financial measure will provide useful information to investors and analysts in assessing our financial performance and results of operations across reporting periods by excluding items we do not believe are indicative of our core operating performance. Net income (loss) is the GAAP measure most directly comparable to Adjusted EBITDA. Our non-GAAP financial measure should not be considered as an alternative to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. You are encouraged to evaluate each of these adjustments and the reasons we consider them appropriate for supplemental analysis. In evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, you should be aware that in the future we may incur expenses that are the same as or similar to some of the adjustments in such presentation. Our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items. There can be no assurance that we will not modify the presentation of Adjusted EBITDA in the future, and any such modification may be material. Adjusted EBITDA has important limitations as an analytical tool and you should not consider Adjusted EBITDA in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Because Adjusted EBITDA may be defined differently by other companies in our industry, our definition of this non-GAAP financial measure may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, thereby diminishing its utility.

The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to the GAAP financial measure of net income (loss) for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

2020

 

2019

 

 

(in thousands)

Net income (loss)

 

(145.0)

 

(1,851.4)

Interest

 

202.5

 

188.8

Income taxes

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

558.6

 

483.7

One-time transaction costs

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

616.1

 

(1,178.9)

 

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our Class A common stock involves risks. You should carefully consider the information in this prospectus, including the matters addressed under “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and the following risks before making an investment decision. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected by any of these risks or uncertainties. The trading price of our Class A common stock could decline due to any of these risks, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business

We have a hybrid business model which is highly dependent on the price of Bitcoin. A decline in the price of Bitcoin could result in significant losses.

We have a hybrid business model. We are an independent power generation company that maintains the flexibility to both sell power to PJM, a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or part of 13 states and the District of Columbia, at higher prices and draw on PJM at lower prices. During 2018 and 2019, we began providing Bitcoin mining services to third parties and also began operating our own Bitcoin mining equipment to generate Bitcoin which we then exchange for U.S. Dollars. Our current strategy will continue to expose us to the numerous risks and volatility associated within this sector. Although, based on the current trend in Bitcoin pricing, we do not expect to incur losses from operations for the near-term, if the dollar value of Bitcoin decreases to levels sustained in 2017, we could incur future losses and these losses could be significant as we incur costs and expenses associated with recent investments and potential future acquisitions, as well as legal and administrative related expenses. We are closely monitoring our cash balances, cash needs and expense levels. Our mining operations are costly and our expenses may increase in the future.  This expense increase may not be offset by a corresponding increase in revenue.  Our expenses may be greater than we anticipate, and our investments to make our business more efficient may not succeed and may outpace monetization efforts.  Increases in our costs without a corresponding increase in our revenue would increase our losses and could seriously harm our business and financial performance.

If we fail to effectively manage our growth, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.

We are a development stage company with a small management team and are subject to the strains of ongoing development and growth, which will place significant demands on our management and our operational and financial infrastructure. Although we may not grow as we expect, if we fail to manage our growth effectively or to develop and expand our managerial, operational and financial resources and systems, our business and financial results would be materially harmed.

We may not be able to manage growth effectively, which could damage our reputation, limit our growth and negatively affect our operating results. Further, we cannot provide any assurance that we will successfully identify all emerging trends and growth opportunities in this business sector and we may lose out on those opportunities.  Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations.

We have an evolving business model which is subject to various uncertainties.

We operate a coal refuse power generation facility and crypto asset mining operation in Pennsylvania and are seeking to acquire additional power generation facilities in and around Pennsylvania. As crypto assets and blockchain technologies become more widely available, we expect the services and products associated with them to evolve.  Future regulations may require us to change our business in order to comply fully with federal and state laws regulating power generation, crypto asset (including Bitcoin) mining, or provision of Bitcoin and crypto asset mining services to third parties.  In order to stay current with the industry, our business model may need to evolve as well.  From time to time, we may modify aspects of our business model relating to our strategy. We cannot offer any assurance that these or any other modifications will be successful or will not result in harm to our business.  

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We may be unable to raise additional capital needed to grow our business.

We may operate at a loss as we continue to establish our business model, or if Bitcoin prices decline. In addition, we expect to need to raise additional capital to expand our operations, pursue our growth strategies and to respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated working capital requirements.  We may not be able to obtain additional debt or equity financing on favorable terms, if at all, which could impair our growth and adversely affect our existing operations.  If we raise additional equity financing, our stockholders may experience significant dilution of their ownership interests, and the per share value of our Class A common stock could decline. Furthermore, if we engage in additional debt financing, the holders of debt likely would have priority over the holders of our Class A common stock on order of payment preference. We may be required to accept terms that restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness, take other actions including terms that require us to maintain specified liquidity or other ratios that could otherwise not be in the interests of our stockholders.

Our loss of any of our management team, our inability to execute an effective succession plan, or our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel, could adversely affect our business.

Our success and future growth will depend to a significant degree on the skills and services of our management team, including Gregory A. Beard, William Spence, Ricardo Larroudé and Richard J. Shaffer. We will need to continue to grow our management team in order to alleviate pressure on our existing team and in order to continue to develop our business.  If our management team, including any new hires that we may make, fails to work together effectively and to execute our plans and strategies on a timely basis, our business could be harmed.  Furthermore, if we fail to execute an effective contingency or succession plan with the loss of any member of management team, the loss of such management personnel may significantly disrupt our business.

The loss of key members of management team could inhibit our growth prospects.  Our future success also depends in large part on our ability to attract, retain and motivate key management and operating personnel.  As we continue to develop and expand our operations, we may require personnel with different skills and experiences, and who have a sound understanding of our business and the Bitcoin industry.  The market for highly qualified personnel in this industry is very competitive and we may be unable to attract such personnel. If we are unable to attract such personnel, our business could be harmed.

We may be unable to successfully enter into definitive purchase agreements for or close on the additional plants or miners described herein, or any other potential acquisition, on the terms described or at all.

There is no assurance that we will enter into a definitive purchase agreement for the additional plants or miners described herein, or any other potential acquisition. We could determine through a market analysis, a review of historical and projected financial statements of the company or other due diligence that the target assets do not meet our investment standards. We also may be unable to come to an agreement. Additionally, there is no assurance that we will successfully close an acquisition once a purchase agreement has been signed, or that we will realize the expected benefits from any potential acquisition.

Additionally, on March 3, 2021, we entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Olympus for the purchase of the Panther Creek Plant, a coal refuse plant with 94 MW of electricity generation capacity located near Nesquehoning, and the Third Plant, a coal refuse plant with 134 MW of electricity generation capacity located in Pennsylvania. There can be no assurances that we will enter into a definitive agreement with Olympus relating to the acquisition of the Panther Creek Plant or the Third Plant. Furthermore, should we enter into a definitive agreement with Olympus, we anticipate that the consummation of any potential transaction will be subject to a number of conditions, and there can be no assurances that such conditions will be satisfied or waived or that any potential transaction will be completed in a timely manner or at all.

We are dependent on third-party brokers to source some of our miners, and failure to properly manage these relationships, or the failure of these brokers to perform as expected, could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations.

We currently rely on third-party brokers to source some of our miners. We have no assurance that business interruptions will not occur as a result of the failure by these brokers to perform as expected, including the failure to locate acceptable or sufficient miners for our purchase. Many of the competitors in our industry have also been

24

 


 

purchasing mining equipment at scale, which has caused a world-wide shortage of mining equipment and extended the corresponding delivery schedules for new miner purchases. We cannot ensure that our brokers will continue to perform services to our satisfaction or on commercially reasonable terms. The recent increased demand for miners has also limited the supply of miners that brokers may source for us. Our brokers may also decline our orders to fulfill those of our competitors, putting us at competitive harm. There are no assurances that any miner manufacturers will be able to keep pace with the surge in demand for mining equipment.  If our brokers are not able to provide the agreed services at the level of quality and quantity we require or become unable to handle the volume of miners we seek, we may not be able to replace such broker in a timely manner. Any delays, interruption or increased costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations.

We cannot predict the outcome of the legal proceedings with respect to our current and past business activities. An adverse determination could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are involved in legal proceedings, claims and litigation arising out of our business operations, including disputes with suppliers of raw materials to our power generation facility, with truckers on whom we rely for the delivery of coal refuse and other raw materials, labor and employment disputes, and other commercial disputes. We cannot predict the ultimate outcome of these matters, nor can we reasonably estimate the costs or liabilities that could potentially result from a negative outcome in each case.

COVID-19 or any pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of an infectious disease in the United States or elsewhere may adversely affect our business.

The COVID-19 virus has had unpredictable and unprecedented impacts in the United States and around the world. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a “pandemic,” or a worldwide spread of a new disease. Many countries around the world have imposed quarantines and restrictions on travel and mass gatherings to slow the spread of the virus. In the United States, federal, state and local governments have enacted restrictions on travel, gatherings, and workplaces, with exceptions made for essential workers and businesses. We are still assessing the effect on our business from COVID-19 and any actions implemented by the federal, state and local governments. We may experience disruptions to our business operations resulting from quarantines, self-isolations, or other movement and restrictions on the ability of our employees to perform their jobs. If we are unable to effectively service our miners, our ability to mine Bitcoin will be adversely affected as miners go offline, which would have an adverse effect on our business and the results of our operations.

China has also limited the shipment of products in and out of its borders, which could negatively impact our ability to receive mining equipment from China-based suppliers. Third-party manufacturers, suppliers, sub-contractors and customers have been and will continue to be disrupted by worker absenteeism, quarantines, restrictions on employees’ ability to work, office and factory closures, disruptions to ports and other shipping infrastructure, border closures, or other travel or health-related restrictions. Depending on the magnitude of such effects on our supply chain, shipments of parts for our existing miners, as well as any new miners we purchase, may be delayed. As our miners require repair or become obsolete and require replacement, our ability to obtain adequate replacements or repair parts from their manufacturer may therefore be hampered. Supply chain disruptions could therefore negatively impact our operations. If not resolved quickly, the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Regulatory Related Risks

If we were deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Under Sections 3(a)(1)(A) and (C) of the Investment Company Act, a company generally will be deemed to be an “investment company” for purposes of the Investment Company Act if (i) it is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities or (ii) it engages, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding or trading in securities and it owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. We do not believe

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that we are an “investment company,” as such term is defined in either of those sections of the Investment Company Act.

As the sole managing member of Stronghold LLC, we will control and operate Stronghold LLC. On that basis, we believe that our interest in Stronghold LLC is not an “investment security” as that term is used in the Investment Company Act. However, if we were to cease participation in the management of Stronghold LLC, our interest in Stronghold LLC could be deemed an “investment security” for purposes of the Investment Company Act. We and Stronghold LLC intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company.

Additionally, we believe that we are not engaged in the business of investing, reinvesting, or trading in securities, and we do not hold ourselves out as being engaged in those activities. As a result of our investments and our crypto asset mining activities, it is possible that the investment securities we hold in the future could exceed 40% of our total assets, exclusive of cash items and, accordingly, we could determine that we have become an inadvertent investment company.  To date the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) staff have treated Bitcoin as a commodity, but it is possible that the SEC may deem Bitcoins and other crypto assets an investment security in the future, although we do not believe any of the Bitcoin we own, acquire or mine are securities.  An inadvertent investment company can avoid being classified as an investment company if it can rely on one of the exclusions under the Investment Company Act.  One such exclusion, Rule 3a-2 under the Investment Company Act, allows an inadvertent investment company a grace period of one year from the earlier of (a) the date on which an issuer owns securities and/or cash having a value exceeding 50% of the issuer’s total assets on either a consolidated or unconsolidated basis and (b) the date on which an issuer owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of such issuer’s total assets (exclusive of government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis.  As of December 31, 2020, we do not believe we are an inadvertent investment company. If we do become an inadvertent investment company in the future, we may take actions to cause the investment securities held by us to be less than 40% of our total assets, which may include acquiring assets with our cash and Bitcoin on hand or liquidating our investment securities or Bitcoin or seeking a no-action letter from the SEC if we are unable to acquire sufficient assets or liquidate sufficient investment securities in a timely manner.  Liquidating our investment securities or Bitcoin could result in losses.

As the Rule 3a-2 exception is available to a company no more than once every three years, and assuming no other exclusion were available to us, we would have to keep within the 40% limit for at least three years after we cease being an inadvertent investment company. This may limit our ability to make certain investments or enter into joint ventures that could otherwise have a positive impact on our earnings. In any event, we do not intend to become an investment company engaged in the business of investing and trading securities.

Classification as an investment company under the Investment Company Act requires registration with the SEC. If an investment company fails to register, it would have to stop doing almost all business, and its contracts would become voidable. Registration is time consuming and restrictive and would require a restructuring of our operations, and we would be very constrained in the kind of business we could do as a registered investment company. Further, we would become subject to substantial regulation concerning management, operations, transactions with affiliated persons and portfolio composition, and would need to file reports under the Investment Company Act regime. The cost of such compliance would result in the Company incurring substantial additional expenses, and the failure to register if required would have a materially adverse impact to conduct our operations. Furthermore, our classification as an investment company could adversely affect our ability to engage in future combinations, acquisitions or other transactions on a tax-free basis.

We are subject to a highly-evolving regulatory landscape and any adverse changes to, or our failure to comply with, any laws and regulations could adversely affect our business, prospects or operations.

Our business is subject to extensive laws, rules, regulations, policies and legal and regulatory guidance, including those governing securities, commodities, crypto asset custody, exchange and transfer, data governance, data protection, cybersecurity and tax. Many of these legal and regulatory regimes were adopted prior to the advent of the Internet, mobile technologies, crypto assets and related technologies. As a result, they do not contemplate or address unique issues associated with the cryptoeconomy, are subject to significant uncertainty, and vary widely across U.S. federal, state and local and international jurisdictions. These legal and regulatory regimes, including the laws, rules and regulations thereunder, evolve frequently and may be modified, interpreted and applied in an inconsistent manner from one jurisdiction to another, and may conflict with one another. Moreover, the complexity

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and evolving nature of our business and the significant uncertainty surrounding the regulation of the cryptoeconomy requires us to exercise our judgement as to whether certain laws, rules and regulations apply to us, and it is possible that governmental bodies and regulators may disagree with our conclusions. To the extent we have not complied with such laws, rules and regulations, we could be subject to significant fines and other regulatory consequences, which could adversely affect our business, prospects or operations. As Bitcoin has grown in popularity and in market size, the Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Congress and certain U.S. agencies (e.g., the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the SEC, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation) have begun to examine the operations of the Bitcoin network, Bitcoin users and the Bitcoin exchange market.

Ongoing and future regulatory actions may impact our ability to continue to operate, and such actions could affect our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations.

The cryptoeconomy is novel and has little to no access to policymakers or lobbying organizations, which may harm our ability to effectively react to proposed legislation and regulation of crypto assets or crypto asset platforms adverse to our business.

As crypto assets have grown in both popularity and market size, various U.S. federal, state, and local and foreign governmental organizations, consumer agencies and public advocacy groups have been examining the operations of crypto networks, users and platforms, with a focus on how crypto assets can be used to launder the proceeds of illegal activities, fund criminal or terrorist enterprises, and the safety and soundness of platforms and other service providers that hold crypto assets for users. Many of these entities have called for heightened regulatory oversight, and have issued consumer advisories describing the risks posed by crypto assets to users and investors. For instance, in July 2019, then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that he had “very serious concerns” about crypto assets. Outside the United States, several jurisdictions have banned so-called initial coin offerings, such as China and South Korea, while Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, have opined that token offerings may constitute securities offerings subject to local securities regulations. In July 2019, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority proposed rules to address harm to retail customers arising from the sale of derivatives and exchange-traded notes that reference certain types of crypto assets, contending that they are “ill-suited” to retail investors due to extreme volatility, valuation challenges and association with financial crimes.

The cryptoeconomy is novel and has little to no access to policymakers and lobbying organizations in many jurisdictions. Competitors from other, more established industries, including traditional financial services, may have greater access to lobbyists or governmental officials, and regulators that are concerned about the potential for crypto assets for illicit usage may effect statutory and regulatory changes with minimal or discounted inputs from the cryptoeconomy. As a result, new laws and regulations may be proposed and adopted in the United States and internationally, or existing laws and regulations may be interpreted in new ways, that harm the cryptoeconomy or crypto asset platforms, which could adversely impact our business.

Bitcoin’s status as a “security,” a “commodity” or a “financial instrument” in any relevant jurisdiction is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and if we are unable to properly characterize a crypto asset, we may be subject to regulatory scrutiny, investigations, fines, and other penalties, which may adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

The SEC and its staff have taken the position that certain crypto assets fall within the definition of a “security” under the U.S. federal securities laws. To date, the SEC staff have treated Bitcoin as a commodity. The legal test for determining whether any given crypto asset is a security is a highly complex, fact-driven analysis that evolves over time, and the outcome is difficult to predict. The SEC generally does not provide advance guidance or confirmation on the status of any particular crypto asset as a security. Furthermore, the SEC’s views in this area have evolved over time and it is difficult to predict the direction or timing of any continuing evolution. It is also possible that a change in the governing administration or the appointment of new SEC commissioners could substantially impact the views of the SEC and its staff. Public statements by senior officials at the SEC indicate that the SEC does not intend to take the position that Bitcoin or Ether are securities (in their current form). Bitcoin and Ether are the only crypto assets as to which senior officials at the SEC have publicly expressed such a view. Moreover, such statements are not official policy statements by the SEC and reflect only the speakers’ views, which are not binding on the SEC or any other agency or court and cannot be generalized to any other crypto asset. With respect to all other crypto

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assets, there is currently no certainty under the applicable legal test that such assets are not securities, notwithstanding the conclusions we may draw based on our risk-based assessment regarding the likelihood that a particular crypto asset could be deemed a “security” under applicable laws. Similarly, though the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology published a framework for analyzing whether any given crypto asset is a security in April 2019, this framework is also not a rule, regulation or statement of the SEC and is not binding on the SEC.

Several foreign jurisdictions have taken a broad-based approach to classifying crypto assets as “securities,” while other foreign jurisdictions, such as Switzerland, Malta, and Singapore, have adopted a narrower approach. As a result, certain crypto assets may be deemed to be a “security” under the laws of some jurisdictions but not others. Various foreign jurisdictions may, in the future, adopt additional laws, regulations, or directives that affect the characterization of crypto assets as “securities.” If Bitcoin or any other supported crypto asset is deemed to be a security under any U.S. federal, state, or foreign jurisdiction, or in a proceeding in a court of law or otherwise, it may have adverse consequences for such supported crypto asset. For instance, all transactions in such supported crypto asset would have to be registered with the SEC or other foreign authority, or conducted in accordance with an exemption from registration, which could severely limit its liquidity, usability and transactability. Moreover, the networks on which such supported crypto assets are utilized may be required to be regulated as securities intermediaries, and subject to applicable rules, which could effectively render the network impracticable for its existing purposes. Further, it could draw negative publicity and a decline in the general acceptance of the crypto asset. Also, it may make it difficult for such supported crypto asset to be traded, cleared, and custodied as compared to other crypto assets that are not considered to be securities.

Our business is subject to substantial energy regulation and may be adversely affected by legislative or regulatory changes, as well as liability under, or any future inability to comply with, existing or future energy regulations or requirements. We are required to obtain, and to comply with, government permits and approvals.

Our business is subject to extensive U.S. federal, state and local laws. Compliance with, or changes to, the requirements under these legal and regulatory regimes may cause us to incur significant additional costs or adversely impact our ability to compete on favorable terms with competitors. Failure to comply with such requirements could result in the shutdown of a non-complying facility, the imposition of liens, fines, and/or civil or criminal liability and/or costly litigations before the agencies and/or in state of federal court.

The regulatory environment has undergone significant changes in the last several years due to state and federal policies affecting wholesale competition and the creation of incentives for the addition of large amounts of new renewable generation and, in some cases, transmission. These changes are ongoing, and we cannot predict the future design of the wholesale power markets or the ultimate effect that the changing regulatory environment will have on our business. In addition, in some of these markets, interested parties have proposed material market design changes, including the elimination of a single clearing price mechanism, as well as proposals to reinstate the vertically-integrated monopoly model of utility ownership or to require divestiture by generating companies to reduce their market share. If competitive restructuring of the electric power markets is reversed, discontinued, delayed or materially altered, our business prospects and financial results could be negatively impacted. In addition, since 2010, there have been a number of reforms to the regulation of the derivatives markets, both in the United States and internationally. These regulations, and any further changes thereto, or adoption of additional regulations, including any regulations relating to position limits on futures and other derivatives or margin for derivatives, could negatively impact our ability to hedge its portfolio in an efficient, cost-effective manner by, among other things, potentially decreasing liquidity in the forward commodity and derivatives markets or limiting our ability to utilize non-cash collateral for derivatives transactions.

We are subject to environmental laws and regulations that could increase our costs of doing business and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our operations are subject to stringent federal, state and local laws and regulations governing air and water quality, hazardous and solid waste disposal and other environmental matters. See “Business – Environmental Matters” for more discussion on these matters. One or more of these developments could adversely impact our operations, increase our environmental compliance costs and potentially reduce the extent of our business, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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Our operations are subject to a number of risks arising out of the threat of climate change, which could result in increased operating and capital costs for us and reduce the extent of our business.

The threat of climate change continues to attract considerable attention in the United States and foreign countries and, as a result, our operations are subject to regulatory, political, litigation and financial risks associated with the use of fossil fuels, including coal refuse, and emission of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”). See “Business – Environmental Matters” for more discussion on the risks associated with attention to the threat of climate change and restriction of GHG emissions. New or amended legislation, executive actions, regulations or other regulatory initiatives that impose more stringent standards on us with respect to our GHG emissions could result in increased compliance costs or costs of consuming fossil fuels, including coal refuse. Additionally, political, financial and litigation risks may result in us restricting, delaying or canceling the extent of our business activities, incurring liability for infrastructure damages as a result of climatic changes, or impairing the ability to continue to operate in an economic manner. Fuel conservation measures, alternative fuel requirements and increasing consumer demand for alternative energy sources (such as wind, solar, geothermal and tidal) could also reduce demand for coal refuse-fired power generation facility activities. The occurrence of one or more of these developments could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our cost of compliance with existing and new environmental laws could have a material adverse effect on us.

We are subject to extensive environmental regulation by governmental authorities, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and state environmental agencies and/or attorneys general. We may incur significant additional costs beyond those currently contemplated to comply with these regulatory requirements. If we fail to comply with these regulatory requirements, we could be forced to reduce or discontinue operations or become subject to administrative, civil or criminal liabilities and fines. Existing environmental regulations could be revised or reinterpreted, new laws and regulations could be adopted or become applicable to us or our facilities, and future changes in environmental laws and regulations could occur, including potential regulatory and enforcement developments related to air emissions, all of which could result in significant additional costs beyond those currently contemplated to comply with existing requirements. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on us.

The EPA has recently finalized or proposed several regulatory actions establishing new requirements for control of certain emissions from sources, including electricity generation facilities. In the future, the EPA may also propose and finalize additional regulatory actions that may adversely affect our existing generation facility or our ability to cost-effectively develop new generation facilities. There is no assurance that the currently installed emissions control equipment at our generation facility will satisfy the requirements under any future EPA or state environmental regulations. Future federal and/or state regulatory actions could require us to install significant additional control equipment, resulting in potentially material costs of compliance for our generation units, including capital expenditures, higher operating and fuel costs and potential production curtailments. These costs could have a material adverse effect on us.

We may not be able to obtain or maintain all required environmental regulatory approvals. If there is a delay in obtaining any required environmental regulatory approvals, if we fail to obtain, maintain or comply with any such approval or if an approval is retroactively disallowed or adversely modified, the operation of our generation facility could be stopped, disrupted, curtailed or modified or become subject to additional costs. Any such stoppage, disruption, curtailment, modification or additional costs could have a material adverse effect on us.

In addition, we may be responsible for any on-site liabilities associated with the environmental condition of facilities that we have acquired, leased, developed or sold, regardless of when the liabilities arose and whether they are now known or unknown. In connection with certain acquisitions and sales of assets, we may obtain, or be required to provide, indemnification against certain environmental liabilities. Another party could, depending on the circumstances, assert an environmental claim against us or fail to meet its indemnification obligations to us.

We could be materially and adversely affected if current regulations are implemented or if new federal or state legislation or regulations are adopted to address global climate change, or if we are subject to lawsuits for alleged damage to persons or property resulting from greenhouse gas emissions.

There is attention and interest nationally and internationally about global climate change and how GHG emissions, such as CO2, contribute to global climate change. Over the last several years, the U.S. Congress and state

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and federal authorities have considered and debated several proposals intended to address climate change using different approaches, including a cap on carbon emissions with emitters allowed to trade unused emission allowances (cap-and-trade), a tax on carbon or GHG emissions, incentives for the development of low-carbon technology and federal renewable portfolio standards.  A number of federal court cases have been filed in recent years asserting damage claims related to GHG emissions, and the results in those proceedings could establish adverse precedent that might apply to companies (including us) that produce GHG emissions. We could be materially and adversely affected if new federal and/or state legislation or regulations are adopted to address global climate change or if we are subject to lawsuits for alleged damage to persons or property resulting from GHG emissions.

The availability and cost of emission allowances could adversely impact our costs of operations.

We are required to maintain, through either allocations or purchases, sufficient emission allowances for SO2, CO2 and NOX to support our operations in the ordinary course of operating our power generation facilities. These allowances are used to meet the obligations imposed on us by various applicable environmental laws. If our operational needs require more than our allocated allowances, we may be forced to purchase such allowances on the open market, which could be costly. If we are unable to maintain sufficient emission allowances to match our operational needs, we may have to curtail our operations so as not to exceed our available emission allowances or install costly new emission controls. As we use the emission allowances that we have purchased on the open market, costs associated with such purchases will be recognized as operating expense. If such allowances are available for purchase, but only at significantly higher prices, the purchase of such allowances could materially increase our costs of operations in the affected markets.

Our future results may be impacted by changing customer expectations and demands including heightened emphasis on environmental, social and governance concerns.

Our business outcomes are influenced by the expectations of our customers and stakeholders. Those expectations are based on the core fundamentals of reliability and affordability but are also increasingly focused on our ability to meet rapidly changing demands for new and varied products, services and offerings. Additionally, the risks of global climate change continues to shape our customers’ sustainability goals and energy needs. Failure to meet those expectations or to adequately address the risks and external pressures from regulators, investors and other stakeholders may impact favorable outcomes in future rate cases and our results of operations.

Crypto Asset Mining Related Risks

The open-source structure of the certain crypto asset network protocol, including Bitcoin, means that the contributors to the protocol are generally not directly compensated for their contributions in maintaining and developing the protocol. A failure to properly monitor and upgrade the protocol could damage that network and an investment in us.

The Bitcoin network, for example, operates based on an open-source protocol maintained by contributors, largely on the Bitcoin Core project on GitHub. As an open source project, Bitcoin is not represented by an official organization or authority. As the Bitcoin network protocol is not sold and its use does not generate revenues for contributors, contributors are generally not compensated for maintaining and updating the Bitcoin network protocol. Although the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative funds the current maintainer Wladimir J. van der Laan, among others, this type of financial incentive is not typical. The lack of guaranteed financial incentive for contributors to maintain or develop the Bitcoin network and the lack of guaranteed resources to adequately address emerging issues with the Bitcoin network may reduce incentives to address the issues adequately or in a timely manner. Changes to a crypto asset network which we are mining on may adversely affect an investment in us.

The further development and acceptance of crypto asset networks and other crypto assets, which represent a new and rapidly changing industry, are subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate. The slowing or stopping of the development or acceptance of crypto asset systems may adversely affect an investment in us.

Crypto assets built on blockchain technology were only introduced in 2008 and remain in the early stages of development. The use of crypto assets to, among other things, buy and sell goods and services and complete transactions, is part of a new and rapidly evolving industry that employs crypto assets, including Bitcoin, based upon

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a computer-generated mathematical and/or cryptographic protocol.  The further growth and development of any crypto assets and their underlying networks and other cryptographic and algorithmic protocols governing the creation, transfer and usage of crypto assets represent a new and evolving paradigm that is subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate, including:

 

continued worldwide growth in the adoption and use of crypto assets as a medium to exchange;

 

governmental and quasi-governmental regulation of Bitcoin and its use, or restrictions on or regulation of access to and operation of the Bitcoin network or similar crypto asset systems;

 

changes in consumer demographics and public tastes and preferences;

 

the maintenance and development of the open-source software protocol of the network, including software updates and changes to network protocols that could introduce bugs or security risks;

 

the increased consolidation of contributors to the Bitcoin blockchain through mining pools;

 

the availability and popularity of other forms or methods of buying and selling goods and services, including new means of using fiat currencies;

 

the use of the networks supporting crypto assets for developing smart contracts and distributed applications;

 

general economic conditions and the regulatory environment relating to crypto assets; and

 

negative consumer sentiment and perception of Bitcoin specifically and crypto assets generally.

The outcome of these factors could have negative effects on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our business strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations as well as potentially negative effect on the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, which would harm investors in our securities.

Our reliance on a third-party mining pool service provider for our mining revenue payouts may have a negative impact on our operations such as a result of cyber-attacks against the mining pool operator and/or our limited recourse against the mining pool operator with respect to rewards paid to us.

We receive crypto asset mining rewards from our mining activity through a third-party mining pool operator. Mining pools allow miners to combine their processing power, increasing their chances of solving a block and getting paid by the network. The rewards are distributed by the pool operator, proportionally to our contribution to the pool’s overall mining power, used to generate each block. Should the pool operator’s system suffer downtime due to a cyber-attack, software malfunction or other similar issues, it will negatively impact our ability to mine and receive revenue. Furthermore, we are dependent on the accuracy of the mining pool operator’s record keeping to accurately record the total processing power provided to the pool for a given Bitcoin mining application in order to assess the proportion of that total processing power we provided.

While we have internal methods of tracking both our power provided and the total used by the pool, the mining pool operator uses its own recordkeeping to determine our proportion of a given reward. We have little means of recourse against the mining pool operator if we determine the proportion of the reward paid out to us by the mining pool operator is incorrect, other than leaving the pool. If we are unable to consistently obtain accurate proportionate rewards from our mining pool operators, we may experience reduced reward for our efforts, which would have an adverse effect on our business and operations.

Banks and financial institutions vary in the services they provide to businesses that engage in Bitcoin-related activities or that accept Bitcoin as payment.

Although a number of significant U.S. banks and investment institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, Citi Group, J. P. Morgan and BlackRock, allow customers to carry and invest in Bitcoin and other crypto assets, the acceptance

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and use by banks of crypto assets, including Bitcoin, varies. Additionally, a number of companies and individuals or businesses associated with crypto assets may have had and may continue to have their existing banking services discontinued with financial institutions in response to government action, particularly in China, where regulatory response to crypto assets has been to exclude their use for ordinary consumer transactions. However, in 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency of the U.S. Treasury Department announced that national banks and federal savings associations may provide crypto asset custody services for customers. While we expect Bitcoin to continue to gain greater acceptance by banks and investment institutions, we cannot accurately predict the level and scope of services that these institutions will offer to businesses engaging in Bitcoin or other crypto asset related activities.

The usefulness of Bitcoin, the only crypto asset we currently mine, as a payment system and the public perception of Bitcoin could be damaged if banks or financial institutions were to close the accounts of businesses engaging in Bitcoin and/or other crypto asset-related activities.  This could occur as a result of compliance risk, cost, government regulation or public pressure.  The risk applies to securities firms, clearance and settlement firms, national stock and derivatives on commodities exchanges, the over-the-counter market, and the Depository Trust Company, which, if any of such entities adopts or implements similar policies, rules or regulations, could negatively affect our relationships with financial institutions and impede our ability to convert Bitcoin to fiat currencies.  Such factors could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and harm investors.

We may face risks of Internet disruptions, which could have an adverse effect on the price of Bitcoin.

A disruption of the Internet may affect the use of Bitcoin and other crypto assets and subsequently the value of our Class A common stock.  Generally, Bitcoin and our business of mining Bitcoin is dependent upon the Internet. A significant disruption in Internet connectivity could disrupt a currency’s network operations until the disruption is resolved and have an adverse effect on the price of Bitcoin and our ability to mine Bitcoin.

The impact of geopolitical and economic events on the supply and demand for crypto assets, including Bitcoin, is uncertain.

Geopolitical crises may motivate large-scale purchases of Bitcoin and other crypto assets, which could increase the price of Bitcoin and other crypto assets rapidly.  This may increase the likelihood of a subsequent price decrease as crisis-driven purchasing behavior dissipates, adversely affecting the value of our inventory following such downward adjustment.  Such risks are similar to the risks of purchasing commodities in general uncertain times, such as the risk of purchasing, holding or selling gold. Alternatively, as an emerging asset class with limited acceptance as a payment system or commodity, global crises and general economic downturn may discourage investment in Bitcoin as investors focus their investment on less volatile asset classes as a means of hedging their investment risk.

As an alternative to fiat currencies that are backed by central governments, Bitcoin, which is relatively new, is subject to supply and demand forces.  How such supply and demand will be impacted by geopolitical events is largely uncertain but could be harmful to us and investors in our Class A common stock.  Political or economic crises may motivate large-scale acquisitions or sales of Bitcoin either globally or locally.  Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.

Governmental actions may have a materially adverse effect on the crypto asset mining industry as a whole, which would have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

China is the world’s largest producer of Bitcoin and the large majority of the world’s crypto asset mining power (some observers estimate that China produces as high as 80% of the world’s crypto asset mining power). China has already made transacting in crypto assets illegal for Chinese citizens in mainland China, and additional restrictions may follow. However, thus far, China has permitted Bitcoin mining on a national scale, but provincial governments have taken action to restrict and even ban Bitcoin mining within their province. For example, actions were taken in March 2021 by the governmental authorities for the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia, which represents roughly 8% of the world’s total mining power, to ban Bitcoin mining in the province due to the industry’s intense electrical

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power demands and its negative environmental impacts (both in terms of the waste produced by mining the rare earth metals used to manufacture miners and the production of electrical power used in Bitcoin mining). While we have yet to see whether these miners will be able to relocate to another location in China to continue mining, we cannot quantify the effects of this regulatory action on our industry as a whole. If further regulation follows, it is possible that our industry may not be able to cope with the sudden and extreme loss of mining power.

Additionally, on May 3, 2021, a bill was presented to the New York Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee that, if passed, would establish a three-year moratorium on the operation of cryptocurrency mining centers pending an environmental impact study on the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the Bitcoin mining industry in the State of New York. Because we are unable to influence or predict future regulatory actions taken by governments in China, the United States or elsewhere, we may have little opportunity or ability to respond to rapidly evolving regulatory positions which may have a materially adverse effect on our industry and, therefore, our business and results of operations. If further extreme regulatory action is taken by various governmental entities, our business may suffer and investors in our securities may lose part or all of their investment.

We may not be able to compete with other companies, some of whom have greater resources and experience.

We may not be able to compete successfully against present or future competitors.  We do not have the resources to compete with larger providers of similar services at this time.  The crypto asset industry has attracted various high-profile and well-established operators, some of which have substantially greater liquidity and financial resources than we do.  With the limited resources we have available, we may experience great difficulties in expanding and improving our network of computers to remain competitive. Competition from existing and future competitors, particularly those that have access to competitively priced energy, could result in our inability to secure acquisitions and partnerships that we may need to expand our business in the future.  This competition from other entities with greater resources, experience and reputations may result in our failure to maintain or expand our business, as we may never be able to successfully execute our business plan. If we are unable to expand and remain competitive, our business could be negatively affected which would have an adverse effect on the trading price of our Class A common stock, which would harm investors in our Company.

The properties included in our mining network may experience damages, including damages that are not covered by insurance.

Our current mining operation in Venango County in Western Pennsylvania is, and any future mining operations we establish will be, subject to a variety of risks relating to physical condition and operation, including:

 

the presence of construction or repair defects or other structural or building damage;

 

any noncompliance with or liabilities under applicable environmental, health or safety regulations or requirements or building permit requirements;

 

any damage resulting from natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, floods and windstorms; and

 

claims by employees and others for injuries sustained at our properties.

For example, our mining operations could be rendered inoperable, temporarily or permanently, as a result of a fire or other natural disaster or by a terrorist or other attack on the facilities where are miners are located.  The security and other measures we take to protect against these risks may not be sufficient. Our property insurance covers both plant and mining equipment, and includes business interruption for both power plant and mining operations, subject to certain deductibles.  Therefore, our insurance may not be adequate to cover the losses we suffer as a result of any of these events.  In the event of an uninsured loss, including a loss in excess of insured limits, at any of the mines in our network, such mines may not be adequately repaired in a timely manner or at all and we may lose some or all of the future revenues anticipated to be derived from such mines.  The potential impact on our business is currently magnified because we are only operating from a single location.

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Acceptance and/or widespread use of Bitcoin and other crypto assets is uncertain.

Currently, there is a relatively limited use of any crypto assets, with Bitcoin being the most utilized, in the retail and commercial marketplace, thus contributing to price volatility that could adversely affect an investment in our Class A common stock.  Banks and other established financial institutions may refuse to process funds for Bitcoin transactions, process wire transfers to or from Bitcoin exchanges, Bitcoin-related companies or service providers, or maintain accounts for persons or entities transacting in Bitcoin.  Conversely, a significant portion of Bitcoin demand is generated by investors seeking a long-term store of value or speculators seeking to profit from the short- or long-term holding of the asset.  Price volatility undermines Bitcoin’s role as a medium of exchange, as retailers are much less likely to accept it as a form of payment.  Market capitalization for Bitcoin as a medium of exchange and payment method may always be low.

The relative lack of acceptance of Bitcoin in the retail and commercial marketplace, or a reduction of such use, limits the ability of end users to use them to pay for goods and services.  Such lack of acceptance or decline in acceptances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.

The characteristics of crypto assets have been, and may in the future continue to be, exploited to facilitate illegal activity such as fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and ransomware scams; if any of our customers do so or are alleged to have done so, it could adversely affect us.

Digital currencies and the digital currency industry are relatively new and, in many cases, lightly regulated or largely unregulated. Some types of digital currency have characteristics, such as the speed with which digital currency transactions can be conducted, the ability to conduct transactions without the involvement of regulated intermediaries, the ability to engage in transactions across multiple jurisdictions, the irreversible nature of certain digital currency transactions and encryption technology that anonymizes these transactions, that make digital currency particularly susceptible to use in illegal activity such as fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and ransomware scams. Two prominent examples of marketplaces that accepted digital currency payments for illegal activities include Silk Road, an online marketplace on the dark web that, among other things, facilitated the sale of illegal drugs and forged legal documents using digital currencies and AlphaBay, another darknet market that utilized digital currencies to hide the locations of its servers and identities of its users. Both of these marketplaces were investigated and closed by U.S. law enforcement authorities. U.S. regulators, including the SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Federal Trade Commission, as well as non-U.S. regulators, have taken legal action against persons alleged to be engaged in Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent schemes involving digital currencies. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has noted the increasing use of digital currency in various ransomware scams.

While we believe that our risk management and compliance framework, which includes thorough reviews we conduct as part of our due diligence process (either in connection with onboarding new customers or monitoring existing customers), is reasonably designed to detect any such illicit activities conducted by our potential or existing customers (or, in the case of digital currency exchanges, their customers), we cannot ensure that we will be able to detect any such illegal activity in all instances. Because the speed, irreversibility and anonymity of certain digital currency transactions make them more difficult to track, fraudulent transactions may be more likely to occur. We or our potential banking counterparties may be specifically targeted by individuals seeking to conduct fraudulent transfers, and it may be difficult or impossible for us to detect and avoid such transactions in certain circumstances. If one of our customers (or in the case of digital currency exchanges, their customers) were to engage in or be accused of engaging in illegal activities using digital currency, we could be subject to various fines and sanctions, including limitations on our activities, which could also cause reputational damage and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The decentralized nature of crypto asset systems may lead to slow or inadequate responses to crises, which may negatively affect our business.

The decentralized nature of the governance of crypto asset systems may lead to ineffective decision making that slows development or prevents a network from overcoming emergent obstacles.  Governance of many crypto asset systems is by voluntary consensus and open competition with no clear leadership structure or authority.  To the

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extent lack of clarity in corporate governance of the Bitcoin system leads to ineffective decision making that slows development and growth of Bitcoin, the value of our securities may be adversely affected.

It may be illegal now, or in the future, to acquire, own, hold, sell or use Bitcoin, Ether, or other crypto assets, participate in blockchains or utilize similar crypto assets in one or more countries, the ruling of which would adversely affect us.

Although currently crypto assets generally are not regulated or are lightly regulated in most countries, one or more countries such as China and Russia, which have taken harsh regulatory action in the past, may take regulatory actions in the future that could severely restrict the right to acquire, own, hold, sell or use these crypto assets or to exchange for fiat currency.  In many nations, particularly in China and Russia, it is illegal to accept payment in Bitcoin and other crypto assets for consumer transactions and banking institutions are barred from accepting deposits of Bitcoin. Such restrictions may adversely affect us as the large-scale use of Bitcoin as a means of exchange is presently confined to certain regions globally.  Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.

There is a lack of liquid markets, and possible manipulation of blockchain/ crypto assets.

Cryptocurrencies that are represented and trade on a ledger-based platform may not necessarily benefit from viable trading markets.  Stock exchanges have listing requirements and vet issuers; requiring them to be subjected to rigorous listing standards and rules, and monitor investors transacting on such platform for fraud and other improprieties.  These conditions may not necessarily be replicated on a distributed ledger platform, depending on the platform’s controls and other policies.  The laxer a distributed ledger platform is about vetting issuers of crypto asset assets or users that transact on the platform, the higher the potential risk for fraud or the manipulation of the ledger due to a control event.  These factors may decrease liquidity or volume or may otherwise increase volatility of investment securities or other assets trading on a ledger-based system, which may adversely affect us.  Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.

Crypto assets may have concentrated ownership and large sales or distributions by holders of such crypto assets could have an adverse effect on the market price of such crypto asset.

 

As of December 31, 2020, the largest 100 Bitcoin wallets held approximately 14% of the Bitcoins in circulation. Moreover, it is possible that other persons or entities control multiple wallets that collectively hold a significant number of Bitcoins, even if they individually only hold a small amount, and it is possible that some of these wallets are controlled by the same person or entity. Similar or more concentrated levels of concentrated ownership may exist for other crypto assets as well. As a result of this concentration of ownership, large sales or distributions by such holders could have an adverse effect on the market price of Bitcoin and other crypto assets.

 

Our operations, investment strategies and profitability may be adversely affected by competition from other methods of investing in Bitcoin.

We compete with other users and/or companies that are mining Bitcoin and other potential financial vehicles, including securities backed by or linked to Bitcoin through entities similar to us.  Market and financial conditions, and other conditions beyond our control, may make it more attractive to invest in other financial vehicles, or to invest in Bitcoin directly, which could limit the market for our shares and reduce their liquidity.  The emergence of other financial vehicles and exchange-traded funds have been scrutinized by regulators and such scrutiny and the negative impressions or conclusions resulting from such scrutiny could be applicable to us and impact our ability to successfully pursue our strategy or operate at all, or to establish or maintain a public market for our securities.  Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.

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The development and acceptance of competing blockchain platforms or technologies may cause consumers to use alternative distributed ledgers or other alternatives.

The development and acceptance of competing blockchain platforms or technologies may cause consumers to use alternative distributed ledgers or an alternative to distributed ledgers altogether. Our business utilizes presently existent digital ledgers and blockchains and we could face difficulty adapting to emergent digital ledgers, blockchains, or alternatives thereto. This may adversely affect us and our exposure to various blockchain technologies and prevent us from realizing the anticipated profits from our investments.  Such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account, and harm investors.

The loss or destruction of private keys required to access any crypto assets held in custody for our own account may be irreversible. If we are unable to access our private keys or if we experience a hack or other data loss relating to our ability to access any crypto assets, it could cause regulatory scrutiny, reputational harm, and other losses.

Crypto assets are generally controllable only by the possessor of the unique private key relating to the digital wallet in which the crypto assets are held. While blockchain protocols typically require public addresses to be published when used in a transaction, private keys must be safeguarded and kept private in order to prevent a third party from accessing the crypto assets held in such a wallet. To the extent that any of the private keys relating to our hot wallet or cold storage containing crypto assets held for our own account or for our customers is lost, destroyed, or otherwise compromised or unavailable, and no backup of the private key is accessible, we will be unable to access the crypto assets held in the related wallet. Further, we cannot provide assurance that our wallet will not be hacked or compromised. Digital assets and blockchain technologies have been, and may in the future be, subject to security breaches, hacking, or other malicious activities. Any loss of private keys relating to, or hack or other compromise of, digital wallets used to store our customers’ crypto assets could adversely affect our ability to access or sell our crypto assets, and subject us to significant financial losses. As such, any loss of private keys due to a hack, employee or service provider misconduct or error, or other compromise by third parties could hurt our brand and reputation, result in significant losses, and adversely impact our business. The total value of crypto assets in our possession and control is significantly greater than the total value of insurance coverage that would compensate us in the event of theft or other loss of funds.

Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin face significant scaling obstacles that can lead to high fees or slow transaction settlement times.

Cryptocurrencies face significant scaling obstacles that can lead to high fees or slow transaction settlement times, and attempts to increase the volume of transactions may not be effective. Scaling crypto assets is essential to the widespread acceptance of crypto assets as a means of payment, which widespread acceptance is necessary to the continued growth and development of our business.  Many crypto asset networks, including the Bitcoin network, face significant scaling challenges.  For example, crypto assets are limited with respect to how many transactions can occur per second.  Participants in the crypto asset ecosystem debate potential approaches to increasing the average number of transactions per second that the network can handle and have implemented mechanisms or are researching ways to increase scale, such as increasing the allowable sizes of blocks, and therefore the number of transactions per block, and sharding (a horizontal partition of data in a database or search engine), which would not require every single transaction to be included in every single miner’s or validator’s block.  However, there is no guarantee that any of the mechanisms in place or being explored for increasing the scale of settlement of crypto assets and, specifically, Bitcoin transactions will be effective, or how long they will take to become effective, which could adversely affect an investment in our securities.

The price of Bitcoin may be affected by the sale of Bitcoin by other vehicles investing in Bitcoin or tracking Bitcoin markets.

The global market for Bitcoin is characterized by supply constraints that differ from those present in the markets for commodities or other assets such as gold and silver.  The mathematical protocols under which Bitcoin is mined permit the creation of a limited, predetermined amount of currency, while others have no limit established on total supply.  To the extent that other vehicles investing in Bitcoin or tracking Bitcoin markets form and come to

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represent a significant proportion of the demand for Bitcoin, large redemptions of the securities of those vehicles and the subsequent sale of Bitcoin by such vehicles could negatively affect Bitcoin prices and therefore affect the value of the Bitcoin inventory we hold.  Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.

The nature of our business requires the application of complex financial accounting rules, and there is limited guidance from accounting standard setting bodies. If financial accounting standards undergo significant changes, our operating results could be adversely affected.

The accounting rules and regulations that we must comply with are complex and subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), the SEC, and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our reported financial results, and may even affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement or effectiveness of a change. Recent actions and public comments from the FASB and the SEC have focused on the integrity of financial reporting and internal controls. In addition, many companies’ accounting policies are being subject to heightened scrutiny by regulators and the public. Further, there has been limited precedents for the financial accounting of crypto assets and related valuation and revenue recognition, and no official guidance has been provided by the FASB or the SEC. As such, there remains significant uncertainty on how companies can account for crypto asset transactions, crypto assets, and related revenue. Uncertainties in or changes to in regulatory or financial accounting standards could result in the need to changing our accounting methods and restate our financial statements and impair our ability to provide timely and accurate financial information, which could adversely affect our financial statements, result in a loss of investor confidence, and more generally impact our business, operating results, and financial condition.

There are risks related to technological obsolescence, the vulnerability of the global supply chain to Bitcoin hardware disruption, and difficulty in obtaining new hardware which may have a negative effect on our business.

Our mining operations can only be successful and ultimately profitable if the costs of mining Bitcoin, including hardware and electricity costs, associated with mining Bitcoin are lower than the price of a Bitcoin. As our mining facility operates, our miners experience ordinary wear and tear and general hardware breakdown, and may also face more significant malfunctions caused by a number of extraneous factors beyond our control.  The physical degradation of our miners will require us to, over time, replace those miners which are no longer functional. Additionally, as the technology evolves, we may be required to acquire newer models of miners to remain competitive in the market.  Reports have been released which indicate that players in the mining equipment business adjust the prices of miners according to Bitcoin mining revenues, so the cost of new machines is unpredictable but could be extremely high. As a result, at times, we may obtain miners and other hardware from third parties at premium prices, to the extent they are available. In order to keep pace with technological advances and competition from other mining companies, it will be necessary to purchase new miners, which will eventually need to be repaired or replaced along with other equipment from time to time to stay competitive. This upgrading process requires substantial capital investment, and we may face challenges in doing so on a timely and cost-effective basis. Also, because we expect to depreciate all new miners, our reported operating results will be negatively affected.

The global supply chain for Bitcoin miners is presently constrained due to unprecedented demand coupled with a global semiconductor shortage, with a significant portion of available miners being acquired by companies with substantial resources. Prices for both new and older models of miners have been on the rise and these supply constraints are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.  China, a major supplier of Bitcoin miners, has seen a production slowdown as a result of COVID-19. Should similar outbreaks or other disruptions to the China-based global supply chain for Bitcoin hardware occur, we may not be able to obtain adequate replacement parts for our existing miners or to obtain additional miners on a timely basis, if at all, or we may only be able to acquire miners at premium prices. Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to pursue our strategy, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and the value of our securities.

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We may not adequately respond to price fluctuations and rapidly changing technology, which may negatively affect our business.

Competitive conditions within the Bitcoin industry require that we use sophisticated technology in the operation of our business.  The industry for blockchain technology is characterized by rapid technological changes, new product introductions, enhancements and evolving industry standards.  New technologies, techniques or products could emerge that might offer better performance than the software and other technologies we currently utilize, and we may have to manage transitions to these new technologies to remain competitive.  We may not be successful, generally or relative to our competitors in the Bitcoin industry, in timely implementing new technology into our systems, or doing so in a cost-effective manner.  During the course of implementing any such new technology into our operations, we may experience system interruptions and failures during such implementation.  Furthermore, there can be no assurances that we will recognize, in a timely manner or at all, the benefits that we may expect as a result of our implementing new technology into our operations. As a result, our business and operations may suffer, and there may be adverse effects on the value of our securities.

The Bitcoin reward for successfully uncovering a block will halve several times in the future and Bitcoin value may not adjust to compensate us for the reduction in the rewards we receive from our mining efforts.

Halving is a process incorporated into many proof-of-work consensus algorithms that reduces the coin reward paid to miners over time according to a pre-determined schedule. This reduction in reward spreads out the release of crypto assets over a long period of time resulting in an ever smaller number of coins being mined, reducing the risk of coin-based inflation. At a predetermined block, the mining reward is cut in half, hence the term “halving.” For Bitcoin, the reward was initially set at 50 Bitcoin currency rewards per block and this was cut in half to 25 on November 28, 2012 at block 210,000, then again to 12.5 on July 9, 2016 at block 420,000. The most recent halving for Bitcoin happened on May 11, 2020 at block 630,000 and the reward reduced to 6.25. The next halving will likely occur in 2024. This process will reoccur until the total amount of Bitcoin currency rewards issued reaches 21 million, which is expected around 2140. While Bitcoin price has had a history of price fluctuations around the halving of its rewards, there is no guarantee that the price change will be favorable or would compensate for the reduction in mining reward.  If a corresponding and proportionate increase in the trading price of Bitcoin or a proportionate decrease in mining difficulty does not follow these anticipated halving events, the revenue we earn from our Bitcoin mining operations would see a corresponding decrease, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.

Our future success will depend upon the value of Bitcoin and other crypto assets; the value of Bitcoin may be subject to pricing risk and has historically been subject to wide swings.

Our operating results will depend on the value of Bitcoin because it is the only crypto asset we currently mine.  Specifically, our revenues from our Bitcoin mining operations are based on two factors: (1) the number of Bitcoin rewards we successfully mine and (2) the value of Bitcoin. In addition, our operating results are directly impacted by changes in the value of Bitcoin, because under the value measurement model, both realized and unrealized changes will be reflected in our statement of operations (i.e., we will be marking Bitcoin to fair value each quarter).  This means that our operating results will be subject to swings based upon increases or decreases in the value of Bitcoin.  Further, our current miners are principally utilized for mining Bitcoin and do not generally mine other crypto assets, such as Ether, that are not mined utilizing the “SHA-256 algorithm.” If other crypto assets were to achieve acceptance at the expense of Bitcoin causing the value of Bitcoin to decline, or if Bitcoin were to switch its proof of work encryption algorithm from SHA-256 to another algorithm for which our miners are not specialized, or the value of Bitcoin were to decline for other reasons, particularly if such decline were significant or over an extended period of time, our operating results would be adversely affected, and there could be a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations, and harm investors.

The market price of Bitcoin, which has historically been volatile and is impacted by a variety of factors (including those discussed herein), is determined primarily using data from various exchanges, over-the-counter markets and derivative platforms.  Furthermore, such prices may be subject to factors such as those that impact commodities, more so than business activities, which could be subjected to additional influence from fraudulent or illegitimate actors, real or perceived scarcity, and political, economic, regulatory or other conditions.  Pricing may be the result of, and may continue to result in, speculation regarding future appreciation in the value of Bitcoin, or

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our share price, inflating and making their market prices more volatile or creating “bubble” type risks for both Bitcoin and shares of our securities.

Demand for Ether and Bitcoin is driven, in part, by their status as the two most prominent and secure crypto assets. It is possible that crypto assets other than Ether and Bitcoin could have features that make them more desirable to a material portion of the crypto asset user base, resulting in a reduction in demand for Ether and Bitcoin, which could have a negative impact on the price of Ether and Bitcoin and adversely affect an investment in us.

Bitcoin and Ether, as assets, hold “first-to-market” advantages over other crypto assets. This first-to-market advantage is driven in large part by having the largest user bases and, more importantly, the largest combined mining power in use to secure their respective blockchains and transaction verification systems. Having a large mining network results in greater user confidence regarding the security and long-term stability of a crypto asset’s network and its blockchain; as a result, the advantage of more users and miners makes a crypto asset more secure, which makes it more attractive to new users and miners, resulting in a network effect that strengthens the first-to-market advantage.

Despite the marked first-mover advantage of the Bitcoin network over other crypto asset networks, it is possible that another crypto asset could become materially popular due to either a perceived or exposed shortcoming of the Bitcoin network protocol that is not immediately addressed by the Bitcoin contributor community or a perceived advantage of an altcoin that includes features not incorporated into Bitcoin. If a crypto asset obtains significant market share (either in market capitalization, mining power or use as a payment technology), this could reduce Bitcoin’s market share as well as other crypto assets we may become involved in and have a negative impact on the demand for, and price of, such crypto assets and could adversely affect an investment in us. It is possible that we mine alternative crypto assets in the future, but we will not  have as much experience to date in comparison to our experience mining Bitcoin, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage.

We may not be able to realize the benefits of forks. Forks in a crypto asset network may occur in the future which may affect the value of Bitcoin held by us.

To the extent that a significant majority of users and miners on a crypto asset network install software that changes the crypto asset network or properties of a crypto asset, including the irreversibility of transactions and limitations on the mining of new crypto asset, the crypto asset network would be subject to new protocols and software.  However, if less than a significant majority of users and miners on the crypto asset network consent to the proposed modification, and the modification is not compatible with the software prior to its modification, the consequence would be what is known as a “fork” of the network, with one prong running the pre-modified software and the other running the modified software.  The effect of such a fork would be the existence of two versions of the crypto asset running in parallel, yet lacking interchangeability and necessitating exchange-type transaction to convert currencies between the two forks. Additionally, it may be unclear following a fork which fork represents the original asset and which is the new asset.  Different metrics adopted by industry participants to determine which is the original asset include: referring to the wishes of the core developers of a crypto asset, blockchains with the greatest amount of hashing power contributed by miners or validators; or blockchains with the longest chain.  A fork in the Bitcoin network could adversely affect an investment in our securities or our ability to operate.

We may not be able to realize the economic benefit of a fork, either immediately or ever, which could adversely affect an investment in our securities.  If we hold Bitcoin at the time of a hard fork into two crypto assets, industry standards would dictate that we would be expected to hold an equivalent amount of the old and new assets following the fork.  However, we may not be able, or it may not be practical, to secure or realize the economic benefit of the new asset for various reasons.  For instance, we may determine that there is no safe or practical way to custody the new asset, that trying to do so may pose an unacceptable risk to our holdings in the old asset, or that the costs of taking possession and/or maintaining ownership of the new crypto asset exceed the benefits of owning the new crypto asset. Additionally, laws, regulation or other factors may prevent us from benefitting from the new asset even if there is a safe and practical way to custody and secure the new asset.

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There is a possibility of Bitcoin mining algorithms transitioning to proof of stake validation and other mining related risks, which could make us less competitive and ultimately adversely affect our business and the value of our stock.

Proof of stake is an alternative method for validating Bitcoin transactions.  Should Bitcoin’s algorithm shift from a proof of work validation method to a proof of stake method, mining would require less energy and may render any company that maintains advantages in the current climate (for example, from lower priced electricity, processing, real estate, or hosting) less competitive.  We, as a result of our efforts to optimize and improve the efficiency of our Bitcoin mining operations, may be exposed to the risk in the future of losing the benefit of our capital investments and the competitive advantage we hope to gain form this as a result, and may be negatively impacted if a switch to proof of stake validation were to occur.  Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.

If a malicious actor or botnet obtains control in excess of 50% of the processing power active on any crypto asset network, including the Bitcoin network, it is possible that such actor or botnet could manipulate the blockchain in a manner that adversely affects an investment in us.

If a malicious actor or botnet (a volunteer or hacked collection of computers controlled by networked software coordinating the actions of the computers) obtains a majority of the processing power dedicated to mining on any crypto asset network, including the Bitcoin network, it may be able to alter the blockchain by constructing alternate blocks if it is able to solve for such blocks faster than the remainder of the miners on the blockchain can add valid blocks. In such alternate blocks, the malicious actor or botnet could control, exclude or modify the ordering of transactions, though it could not generate new crypto assets or transactions using such control. Using alternate blocks, the malicious actor could “double-spend” its own crypto assets (i.e., spend the same crypto assets in more than one transaction) and prevent the confirmation of other users’ transactions for so long as it maintains control. To the extent that such malicious actor or botnet does not yield its majority control of the processing power or the crypto asset community does not reject the fraudulent blocks as malicious, reversing any changes made to the blockchain may not be possible. Such changes could adversely affect an investment in us.

For example, in late May and early June 2014, a mining pool known as GHash.io approached and, during a 24- to 48-hour period in early June may have exceeded, the threshold of 50% of the processing power on the Bitcoin network. To the extent that GHash.io did exceed 50% of the processing power on the network, reports indicate that such threshold was surpassed for only a short period, and there are no reports of any malicious activity or control of the blockchain performed by GHash.io. Furthermore, the processing power in the mining pool appears to have been redirected to other pools on a voluntary basis by participants in the GHash.io pool, as had been done in prior instances when a mining pool exceeded 40% of the processing power on the Bitcoin network.

The approach towards and possible crossing of the 50% threshold indicate a greater risk that a single mining pool could exert authority over the validation of crypto asset transactions. To the extent that the crypto assets ecosystems do not act to ensure greater decentralization of crypto asset mining processing power, the feasibility of a malicious actor obtaining in excess of 50% of the processing power on any crypto asset network (e.g., through control of a large mining pool or through hacking such a mining pool) will increase, which may adversely impact an investment in us.

Cryptocurrencies, including those maintained by or for us, may be exposed to cybersecurity threats and hacks.

As with any computer code generally, flaws in crypto asset codes, including Bitcoin codes, may be exposed by malicious actors. Several errors and defects have been found previously, including those that disabled some functionality for users and exposed users’ information.  Exploitations of flaws in the source code that allow malicious actors to take or create money have previously occurred.  Despite our efforts and processes to prevent breaches, our devices, as well as our miners, computer systems and those of third parties that we use in our operations, are vulnerable to cyber security risks, including cyber-attacks such as viruses and worms, phishing attacks, denial-of-service attacks, physical or electronic break-ins, employee theft or misuse, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering with our miners and computer systems or those of third parties that we use in our operations.  Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern or to

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pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.

If the award of Bitcoin reward for solving blocks and transaction fees, is not sufficiently high, we may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease mining operations, which will likely lead to our failure to achieve profitability.

As the number of Bitcoins awarded for solving a block in a blockchain decreases, our ability to achieve profitability worsens.  Decreased use and demand for Bitcoin rewards may adversely affect our incentive to expend processing power to solve blocks.  If the award of Bitcoin rewards for solving blocks and transaction fees are not sufficiently high, we may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease our mining operations.  Miners ceasing operations would reduce the collective processing power on the network, which would adversely affect the confirmation process for transactions (i.e., temporarily decreasing the speed at which blocks are added to a blockchain until the next scheduled adjustment in difficulty for block solutions) and make the Bitcoin network more vulnerable to a malicious actor or botnet obtaining control in excess of 50 percent of the processing power active on a blockchain, potentially permitting such actor or botnet to manipulate a blockchain in a manner that adversely affects our activities.  A reduction in confidence in the confirmation process or processing power of the network could result and be irreversible.  Such events could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue to pursue our strategy at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects or operations and potentially the value of any Bitcoin we mine or otherwise acquire or hold for our own account.

Transactional fees may decrease demand for Bitcoin and prevent expansion that could adversely impact an investment in us.

As the number of Bitcoins currency rewards awarded for solving a block in a blockchain decreases, the incentive for miners to continue to contribute to the Bitcoin network may transition from a set reward to transaction fees. In order to incentivize miners to continue to contribute to the Bitcoin network, the Bitcoin network may either formally or informally transition from a set reward to transaction fees earned upon solving a block.  This transition could be accomplished by miners independently electing to record in the blocks they solve only those transactions that include payment of a transaction fee.  If transaction fees paid for Bitcoin transactions become too high, the marketplace may be reluctant to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment and existing users may be motivated to switch from Bitcoin to another crypto asset or to fiat currency. Either the requirement from miners of higher transaction fees in exchange for recording transactions in a blockchain or a software upgrade that automatically charges fees for all transactions may decrease demand for Bitcoin and prevent the expansion of the Bitcoin network to retail merchants and commercial businesses, resulting in a reduction in the price of Bitcoin that could adversely impact an investment in our securities. Decreased use and demand for Bitcoins or Ether that we have accumulated may adversely affect their value and may adversely impact an investment in us.

Because the number of Bitcoin awarded for solving a block in the Bitcoin network blockchain continually decreases, miners must invest in increasing processing power to maintain their yield of Bitcoins, which might make Bitcoin mining uneconomical for us.

The award of new Bitcoin for solving blocks continually declines, so that Bitcoin miners must invest in increasing processing power in order to maintain or increase their yield of Bitcoin. If the pricing of Bitcoin were to decline significantly, there can be no assurance that we would be able to recover our investment in the computer hardware and processing power required to upgrade our mining operations. There can, moreover, be no assurance that we will have the resources to upgrade our processing power in order to maintain the continuing profitability of our mining operations. Also, the developers of the Bitcoin network or other programmers could propose amendments to the network’s protocols and software that, if accepted, might require us to modify our Bitcoin operations, and increase our investment in Bitcoin, in order to maintain profitability. There can be no assurance, however, that we will be able to do so.

Bitcoin mining is capital intensive.

Remaining competitive in the Bitcoin mining industry requires significant capital expenditure on new chips and other hardware necessary to increase processing power as the Bitcoin network difficulty increases. If we are unable

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to fund our capital expenditures, either through our revenue stream or through other sources of capital, we may be unable to remain competitive and experience a deterioration in our result of operations and financial condition.

Our crypto assets may be subject to loss, damage, theft or restriction on access.

There is a risk that part or all of our crypto assets could be lost, stolen or destroyed. We believe that our crypto assets will be an appealing target to hackers or malware distributors seeking to destroy, damage or steal our crypto assets. We cannot guarantee that we will prevent loss, damage or theft, whether caused intentionally, accidentally or by act of God. Access to our crypto assets could also be restricted by natural events (such as an earthquake or flood) or human actions (such as a terrorist attack). Any of these events may adversely affect the Company’s operations and, consequently, an investment in us.

The limited rights of legal recourse against us, and our lack of insurance protection expose us and our shareholders to the risk of loss of our crypto assets for which no person is liable.

The crypto assets held by us are not insured. Therefore, a loss may be suffered with respect to our crypto assets which is not covered by insurance and for which no person is liable in damages which could adversely affect our operations and, consequently, an investment in us.

Digital assets held by us are not subject to FDIC or SIPC protections.

We do not hold our crypto assets with a banking institution or a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”) and, therefore, our crypto assets are not subject to the protections enjoyed by depositors with FDIC or SIPC member institutions.

Intellectual property rights claims may adversely affect the operation of some or all crypto asset networks.

Third parties may assert intellectual property claims relating to the holding and transfer of crypto assets and their source code. Regardless of the merit of any intellectual property or other legal action, any threatened action that reduces confidence in some or all crypto asset networks’ long-term viability or the ability of end-users to hold and transfer crypto assets may adversely affect an investment in us. Additionally, a meritorious intellectual property claim could prevent us and other end-users from accessing some or all crypto asset networks or holding or transferring their crypto assets. As a result, an intellectual property claim against us or other large crypto asset network participants could adversely affect an investment in us.

Power Generation Related Risks  

Our financial performance, as relating to both our power sales and Bitcoin mining operations, may be impacted by price fluctuations in the wholesale power market, as well as fluctuations in coal markets and other market factors that are beyond our control.

Our revenues, cost of doing business, results of operations and operating cash flows generally may be impacted by price fluctuations in the wholesale power market and other market factors beyond our control. Market prices for power, capacity, ancillary services, natural gas, coal and oil are unpredictable and tend to fluctuate substantially. Unlike most other commodities, electric power can only be stored on a very limited basis and generally must be produced concurrently with its use. As a result, power prices are subject to significant volatility due to supply and demand imbalances, especially in the day-ahead and spot markets. Long- and short-term power prices may also fluctuate substantially due to other factors outside of our control, including:

 

changes in generation capacity in our markets, including the addition of new supplies of power as a result of the development of new plants, expansion of existing plants, the continued operation of uneconomic power plants due to state subsidies, or additional transmission capacity;

 

environmental regulations and legislation;

 

electric supply disruptions, including plant outages and transmission disruptions;

 

changes in power transmission infrastructure;

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fuel transportation capacity constraints or inefficiencies;

 

changes in law, including judicial decisions;

 

weather conditions, including extreme weather conditions and seasonal fluctuations, including the effects of climate change;

 

changes in commodity prices and the supply of commodities, including but not limited to natural gas, coal and oil;

 

changes in the demand for power or in patterns of power usage, including the potential development of demand-side management tools and practices, distributed generation, and more efficient end-use technologies;

 

development of new fuels, new technologies and new forms of competition for the production of power;

 

fuel price volatility;

 

economic and political conditions;

 

supply and demand for energy commodities;

 

availability of competitively priced alternative energy sources, which are preferred by some customers over electricity produced from coal and customer-usage of energy-efficient equipment that reduces energy demand;

 

ability to procure satisfactory levels of inventory, such as coal refuse; and

 

changes in capacity prices and capacity markets.

Such factors and the associated fluctuations in power and prices could affect wholesale power generation profitability and cost of power for crypto asset mining activities.

Maintenance, expansion and refurbishment of power generation facilities involve significant risks that could result in unplanned power outages or reduced output and could have a material adverse effect on our Bitcoin mining and power sales revenues, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition. We are subject to liability risks relating to our competitive power generation business operations.

Our current power generation facility and plants that we may acquire in the future require periodic maintenance and repair. Any unexpected failure, including failure associated with breakdowns, forced outages or any unanticipated capital expenditures could result in reduced profitability.

We cannot be certain of the level of capital expenditures that will be required due to changing environmental and safety laws (including changes in the interpretation or enforcement thereof), needed facility repairs and unexpected events (such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks). The unexpected requirement of large capital expenditures could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and financial condition. If we significantly modify a unit, we may be required to install the best available control technology or to achieve the lowest achievable emission rates as such terms are defined under the new source review provisions of the federal Clean Air Act, as amended from time to time (“CAA”), which would likely result in substantial additional capital expenditures.

The conduct of our physical and commercial operations subjects us to many risks, including risks of potential physical injury, property damage or other financial liability, caused to or by employees, customers, contractors, vendors, contractual or financial counterparties and other third parties.

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Natural or manmade events may cause our power production to fall below our expectations.

Our electricity generation depends upon our ability to maintain the working order of our coal refuse power generation facility. A natural or manmade disaster, severe weather such as snow and ice storms, or accident could impede our ability to access the coal refuse that is necessary for our plant to operate, damage our transmission line preventing us from distributing power to the PJM grid and our miners or require us to shut down our plant or related equipment and facilities. To the extent we experience a prolonged interruption at our plant or a transmission outage due to natural or manmade events, our electricity generation levels could materially decrease. We may also incur significant repair and clean-up costs associated with these events. The effect of the failure of our plant to operate as planned as described above could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may not be able to operate the power generation facility as planned, which may increase our expenses and decrease our revenues and have an adverse effect on our financial performance.

Our operation of the power generation facility, information technology systems and other assets and conduct of other activities subjects us to a variety of risks, including the breakdown or failure of equipment, accidents, security breaches, viruses or outages affecting information technology systems, labor disputes, obsolescence, delivery/transportation problems and disruptions of fuel supply and performance below expected levels. These events may impact our ability to conduct our businesses efficiently and lead to increased costs, expenses or losses. Planned and unplanned outages at our power generation facilities may require us to purchase power at then-current market prices to satisfy our commitments or, in the alternative, pay penalties and damages for failure to satisfy them.  Having to purchase power at then-market rates could also have a negative impact on the cost structure of our crypto asset mining operations.  

Although we maintain customary insurance coverage for certain of these risks, no assurance can be given that such insurance coverage will be sufficient to compensate us fully in the event losses occur.

Changes in tax credits related to coal refuse power generation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future development efforts.

Our profitability depends, in part, on the continued availability of state renewable energy tax credits offered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through programs such as the one established under The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004 or the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit Program established by Act 84 of July 13, 2016. This tax credit program could be changed or eliminated as a result of state budget considerations or otherwise. Reduction or elimination of such credits could materially and adversely harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and future development efforts.

Land reclamation requirements may be burdensome and expensive.

We operate in partnership with PADEP and local environmental authorities to reclaim coal refuse piles. Reclamation may include requirements to control dispersion of potentially deleterious effluents, treat ground and surface water to drinking water standards and reasonably re-establish pre-disturbance land forms and vegetation. In order to carry out reclamation obligations, we must allocate financial resources that might otherwise be spent on implementing our business plan. We have established reserves for our reclamation obligations, but these reserves may not be adequate. If the costs associated with our reclamation work are higher than we anticipate, our financial position could be adversely affected.

Fluctuations in fuel costs could affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We rely on third party carriers for delivery of the coal refuse used at our plant. The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events beyond our control, including among others, geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regional production patterns. Because fuel is needed to deliver coal refuse to our facility, any future increases in shipping rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Competition in power markets may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and the market value of our assets.

We have numerous competitors in all aspects of our business, and additional competitors may enter the industry. New parties may offer wholesale electricity bundled with other products or at prices that are below our rates.

Other companies with which we compete may have greater liquidity, greater access to credit and other financial resources, lower cost structures, more effective risk management policies and procedures, greater ability to incur losses or greater flexibility in the timing of their sale of generation capacity and ancillary services than we do. Competitors may also have better access to subsidies or other out-of-market payments that put us at a competitive disadvantage.

Our competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new laws or regulations or emerging technologies, or to devote greater resources to marketing of wholesale power than we can. In addition, current and potential competitors may make strategic acquisitions or establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties. Accordingly, it is possible that new competitors or alliances among current and new competitors may emerge and rapidly gain significant market share. There can be no assurance that we will be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors, and any failure to do so would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.

Changes in technology may negatively impact the value of our power generation facility.

Research and development activities are ongoing in the industry to provide alternative and more efficient technologies to produce power. There are alternate technologies to supply electricity, most notably fuel cells, micro turbines, batteries, windmills and photovoltaic (solar) cells, the development of which has been expanded due to global climate change concerns. Research and development activities are ongoing to seek improvements in alternate technologies. It is possible that advances will reduce the cost of alternative generation to a level that is equal to or below that of certain central station production. Also, as new technologies are developed and become available, the quantity and pattern of electricity usage (the “demand”) by customers could decline, with a corresponding decline in revenues derived by generators. These alternative energy sources could result in a decline to the dispatch and capacity factors of our plants. As a result of all of these factors, the value of our generation facilities could be significantly reduced.

Our results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected if energy market participants continue to construct additional generation facilities (i.e., new-build) or expand or enhance existing generation facilities despite relatively low power prices and such additional generation capacity results in a reduction in wholesale power prices.

Given the overall attractiveness of certain of the markets in which we operate, and certain tax benefits associated with renewable energy, among other matters, energy market participants have continued to construct new generation facilities (i.e., new-build) or invest in enhancements or expansions of existing generation facilities despite relatively low wholesale power prices. If this market dynamic continues, and/or if our crypto asset mining competitors begin to build or acquire their own power plants to fuel their crypto asset mining operations, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected if such additional generation capacity results in a cheaper supply of electricity to our crypto asset mining competitors.

We sell capacity, energy, and ancillary services to the wholesale power grid managed by PJM. Our business may be affected by state interference in the competitive wholesale marketplace.

We sell capacity, energy, and ancillary services to the wholesale power grid managed by PJM. The competitive wholesale marketplace may be impacted by out-of-market subsidies provided by states or state entities, including bailouts of uneconomic nuclear plants, imports of power from Canada, renewable mandates or subsidies, mandates to sell power below its cost of acquisition and associated costs, as well as out-of-market payments to new or existing generators. These out-of-market subsidies to existing or new generation undermine the competitive wholesale marketplace, which can lead to premature retirement of existing facilities, including those owned by us. If these measures continue, capacity and energy prices may be suppressed, and we may not be successful in our efforts to insulate the competitive market from this interference. Our wholesale power revenue may be materially impacted by

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rules or regulations that allow regulated utilities to participate in competitive wholesale markets or to own and operate rate-regulated facilities that provide capacity, energy and ancillary services that could be provided by competitive market participants.

Because our coal refuse power generation facility is a member of PJM, a regional transmission organization, we may be required to supply power to the grid at a time that is not optimal to our operations.

As a member of PJM, we are subject to the operations of PJM, and our coal refuse power generation facility is under dispatch control of PJM. PJM balances its participants’ power requirements with the power resources available to supply those requirements.  Based on this evaluation of supply and demand, PJM schedules and dispatches available generating facilities throughout its region in a manner intended to meet the demand for energy in the most reliable and cost-effective manner. Thus we may be required to supply power to PJM, diverting capacity away from our mining operations, at a time that is not economical for our business strategy. To the extent we are required to supply power to PJM for a sustained period of time, we could experience unplanned and extended outages of our mining operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are required to obtain, and to comply with, government permits and approvals.

We are required to obtain, and to comply with, numerous permits and licenses from federal, state and local governmental agencies. The process of obtaining and renewing necessary permits and licenses can be lengthy and complex and can sometimes result in the establishment of conditions that make the project or activity for which the permit or license was sought unprofitable or otherwise unattractive. In addition, such permits or licenses may be subject to denial, revocation or modification under various circumstances. Failure to obtain or comply with the conditions of permits or licenses, or failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations, may result in the delay or temporary suspension of our operations and electricity sales or the curtailment of our delivery of electricity to our customers and may subject us to penalties and other sanctions. Although various regulators routinely renew existing permits and licenses, renewal of our existing permits or licenses could be denied or jeopardized by various factors, including (i) failure to provide adequate financial assurance for closure, (ii) failure to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations or permit conditions, (iii) local community, political or other opposition and (iv) executive, legislative or regulatory action.

Our inability to procure and comply with the permits and licenses required for our operations, or the cost to us of such procurement or compliance, could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, new environmental legislation or regulations, if enacted, or changed interpretations of existing laws, may cause activities at our facilities to need to be changed to avoid violating applicable laws and regulations or elicit claims that historical activities at our facilities violated applicable laws and regulations. In addition to the possible imposition of fines in the case of any such violations, we may be required to undertake significant capital investments and obtain additional operating permits or licenses, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Operation of power generation facilities involves significant risks and hazards customary to the power industry that could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations, and we may not have adequate insurance to cover these risks and hazards. Our employees, contractors, customers and the general public may be exposed to a risk of injury due to the nature of our operations.

Power generation involves hazardous activities, including acquiring, transporting and unloading fuel, operating large pieces of equipment and delivering electricity to transmission and distribution systems, including the transmission lines that run from our power generation facility to our Bitcoin mining operations. In addition to natural risks such as earthquake, flood, lightning, hurricane and wind, other human-made hazards, such as nuclear accidents, dam failure, gas or other explosions, mine area collapses, fire, structural collapse, machinery failure and other dangerous incidents are inherent risks in our operations. These and other hazards can cause significant personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property, plant, equipment, and transmission lines, contamination of, or damage to, the environment and suspension of operations. Further, our employees and contractors work in, and customers and the general public may be exposed to, potentially dangerous environments at or near our operations. As a result, employees, contractors, customers and the general public are at risk for serious injury, including loss of life.

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The occurrence of any one of these events may result in us being named as a defendant in lawsuits asserting claims for substantial damages, including for environmental cleanup costs, personal injury and property damage and fines and/or penalties. We maintain an amount of insurance protection that we consider adequate, but we cannot provide any assurance that our insurance will be sufficient or effective under all circumstances and against all hazards or liabilities to which we may be subject and, even if we do have insurance coverage for a particular circumstance, we may be subject to a large deductible and maximum cap. A successful claim for which we are not fully insured could hurt our financial results and materially harm our financial condition. Further, due to rising insurance costs and changes in the insurance markets, we cannot provide any assurance that our insurance coverage will continue to be available at all or at rates or on terms similar to those presently available. Any losses not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Adverse economic conditions could adversely affect our wholesale power business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Adverse economic conditions and declines in wholesale energy prices, partially resulting from adverse economic conditions, may impact the results of our operations. The breadth and depth of negative economic conditions may have a wide-ranging impact on the U.S. business environment, including our wholesale power businesses. In addition, adverse economic conditions also reduce the demand for energy commodities. Reduced demand from negative economic conditions continues to impact the key domestic wholesale energy markets we serve. The combination of lower demand for power and increased supply of natural gas has put downward price pressure on wholesale energy markets in general, further impacting our energy marketing results. In general, economic and commodity market conditions will continue to impact our unhedged future energy margins, liquidity, earnings growth and overall financial condition. In addition, adverse economic conditions, declines in wholesale energy prices, reduced demand for power and other factors may negatively impact the value of our securities and impact forecasted cash flows, which may require us to evaluate its goodwill and other long-lived assets for impairment. Any such impairment could have a material impact on our financial statements.

Our use of hedging instruments could impact our liquidity.

We use various hedging instruments, including forwards, futures, financial transmission rights, and options, to manage our power market price risks.  These hedging instruments generally include collateral requirements that require us to deposit funds or post letters of credit with counterparties when a counterparty’s credit exposure to us is in excess of agreed upon credit limits. When commodity prices decrease to levels below the levels where we have hedged future costs, we may be required to use a material portion of our cash or liquidity facilities to cover these collateral requirements.  Additionally, existing or new regulations related to the use of hedging instruments may impact our access to and use of hedging instruments.

Financial, Tax and Accounting-Related Risks

Future developments regarding the treatment of crypto assets for U.S. federal income and foreign tax purposes could adversely impact our business.

Due to the new and evolving nature of crypto assets and the absence of comprehensive legal guidance with respect to crypto asset products and transactions, many significant aspects of the U.S. federal income and foreign tax treatment of transactions involving crypto assets, such as Bitcoin and Ether, are uncertain, and it is unclear what guidance may be issued in the future on the treatment of crypto asset transactions, including mining, for U.S. federal income and foreign tax purposes. Current IRS guidance indicates that crypto assets such as Ether and Bitcoin should be treated and taxed as property, and that transactions involving the payment of Ether or Bitcoin for goods and services should be treated as barter transactions. While this treatment creates a potential tax reporting requirement for circumstances in which a Bitcoin passes from one person to another, usually by means of Bitcoin transactions (including off-blockchain transactions), it preserves the right to apply capital gains (as opposed to ordinary income) treatment to those transactions generally.

There can be no assurance that the IRS or other foreign tax authority will not alter its existing position with respect to crypto assets in the future or that a court would uphold the treatment of Bitcoin or Ether as property, rather than currency. Any such alteration of existing IRS and foreign tax authority positions or additional guidance regarding crypto asset products and transactions could result in adverse tax consequences for holders of digital

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assets and could have an adverse effect on the value of crypto assets and the broader crypto assets markets. Future technological and operational developments that may arise with respect to crypto assets may increase the uncertainty of the treatment of crypto assets for U.S. federal income and foreign tax purposes. The uncertainty regarding the tax treatment of crypto asset transactions, as well as the potential promulgation of new U.S. federal income, state or foreign tax laws or guidance relating to crypto asset transactions, or changes to existing laws or guidance, could adversely impact the price of Bitcoin, Ether or other crypto assets, our business and the trading price of our Class A common stock.

Changes to applicable U.S. tax laws and regulations or exposure to additional income tax liabilities could affect our and Stronghold LLC’s business and future profitability.

We have no material assets other than our equity interests in Stronghold LLC, which holds, directly or indirectly, all of the operating assets of our business. Stronghold LLC generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax, but may be subject to certain U.S. state and local and non-U.S. taxes. We are a U.S. corporation that is subject to U.S. corporate income tax on our worldwide operations, including our share of income of Stronghold LLC. Moreover, our operations and customers are located in the United States, and as a result, we and Stronghold LLC are subject to various U.S. federal, state and local taxes. New U.S. laws and policy relating to taxes may have an adverse effect on us and our business and future profitability. Further, existing U.S. tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us or Stronghold LLC.

For example, on December 22, 2017, legislation sometimes known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”), was signed into law making significant changes to the Code, and certain provisions of the TCJA may adversely affect us or Stronghold LLC. In particular, sweeping changes were made to the U.S. taxation of foreign operations. Changes include, but are not limited to, a permanent reduction to the corporate income tax rate, limiting interest deductions, a reduction to the maximum deduction allowed for net operating losses generated in tax years after December 31, 2017, the elimination of carrybacks of net operating losses, adopting elements of a territorial tax system, assessing a repatriation tax or “toll-charge” on undistributed earnings and profits of U.S.-owned foreign corporations, and introducing certain anti-base erosion provisions, including a new minimum tax on global intangible low-taxed income and base erosion and anti-abuse tax. The TCJA could be subject to potential amendments and technical corrections, and is subject to interpretations and implementing regulations by the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), any of which could mitigate or increase certain adverse effects of the legislation.

In addition to the impact of the TCJA on our U.S. federal income taxes, the TCJA may adversely affect the taxation of us or Stronghold LLC in other jurisdictions, including with respect to state income taxes as state legislatures may not have had sufficient time to respond to the TCJA. Accordingly, there is uncertainty as to how the laws will apply in various state jurisdictions. Additionally, other foreign governing bodies may enact changes to their tax laws in reaction to the TCJA that could result in changes to our global tax profile and materially adversely affect our business and future profitability.

President Joe Biden has set forth several tax proposals that would, if enacted, make significant changes to U.S. tax laws (including provisions enacted pursuant to the TCJA). Such proposals include, but are not limited to, (i) an increase in the U.S. income tax rate applicable to corporations (including us) from 21% to 28%, (ii) an increase in the maximum U.S. federal income tax rate applicable to individuals, (iii) a minimum book income tax on certain large corporations, (iv) the modification or replacement of the minimum tax on global intangible low-taxed income and base erosion and anti-abuse tax and (v) an increase in the U.S. federal income tax rate for long-term capital gain for certain taxpayers with income in excess of a threshold amount. Congress may consider, and could include, some or all of these proposals in connection with tax reform to be undertaken by the current administration. It is unclear whether these or similar changes will be enacted and, if enacted, how soon any such changes could take effect. The passage of any legislation as a result of these proposals and other similar changes in U.S. federal income tax laws could adversely affect our or Stronghold LLC’s business and future profitability.

In the event our business expands internationally or domestically, including to jurisdictions in which tax laws may not be favorable, our and Stronghold LLC’s obligations may change or fluctuate, become significantly more

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complex or become subject to greater risk of examination by taxing authorities, any of which could adversely affect our or Stronghold LLCs after-tax profitability and financial results.

In the event our operating business expands domestically or internationally, our and Stronghold LLC’s effective tax rates may fluctuate widely in the future. Future effective tax rates could be affected by operating losses in jurisdictions where no tax benefit can be recorded under U.S. GAAP, changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities, or changes in tax laws. Additionally, we may be subject to tax on more than one-hundred percent of our income and Stronghold LLC may be subject to tax on more than one-hundred percent of its income as a result of such income being subject to tax in multiple state, local or non-U.S. jurisdictions. Factors that could materially adversely affect our and Stronghold LLC’s future effective tax rates include, but are not limited to: (a) changes in tax laws or the regulatory environment, (b) changes in accounting and tax standards or practices, (c) changes in the composition of operating income by tax jurisdiction and (d) pre-tax operating results of our business.

Additionally, we and Stronghold LLC may be subject to significant income, withholding and other tax obligations in the United States and may become subject to taxation in numerous additional state, local and non-U.S. jurisdictions with respect to income, operations and subsidiaries related to those jurisdictions. Our and Stronghold LLC’s after-tax profitability and financial results could be subject to volatility or be affected by numerous factors, including (a) the availability of tax deductions, credits, exemptions, refunds and other benefits to reduce tax liabilities, (b) changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, if any, (c) the expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowances, (d) the tax treatment of stock-based compensation, (e) changes in the relative amount of earnings subject to tax in the various jurisdictions, (f) the potential business expansion into, or otherwise becoming subject to tax in, additional jurisdictions, (g) changes to existing intercompany structure (and any costs related thereto) and business operations, (h) the extent of intercompany transactions and the extent to which taxing authorities in relevant jurisdictions respect those intercompany transactions and (i) the ability to structure business operations in an efficient and competitive manner. Outcomes from audits or examinations by taxing authorities could have an adverse effect on our or Stronghold LLC’s after-tax profitability and financial condition. Additionally, the IRS and several foreign tax authorities have increasingly focused attention on intercompany transfer pricing with respect to sales of products and services and the use of intangibles. Tax authorities could disagree with our or Stronghold LLC’s intercompany charges, cross-jurisdictional transfer pricing or other matters and assess additional taxes. If we or Stronghold LLC, as applicable, do not prevail in any such disagreements, our profitability may be adversely affected.

Our or Stronghold LLC’s after-tax profitability and financial results may also be adversely affected by changes in relevant tax laws and tax rates, treaties, regulations, administrative practices and principles, judicial decisions and interpretations thereof, in each case, possibly with retroactive effect.

Risks Relating to Us and our Organizational Structure

Q Power owns the majority of our voting stock and will have the right to appoint a majority of our board members, and its interests may conflict with those of other stockholders.

Q Power owns the majority of our voting stock and will initially appoint the majority of our board of directors. As a result, subject to certain approval rights of holders of our preferred stock included in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, Q Power will be able to substantially influence matters requiring our stockholder or board approval, including the election of directors, approval of any potential acquisition of us, changes to our organizational documents and significant corporate transactions, and certain decisions we make as the managing member of Stronghold LLC. This concentration of ownership makes it unlikely that any other holder or group of holders of our common stock or any holder or group of holders of our preferred stock will be able to affect the way we and Stronghold LLC are managed or the direction of our business. The interests of Q Power with respect to matters potentially or actually involving or affecting us, such as future acquisitions, financings and other corporate opportunities and attempts to acquire us, may conflict with the interests of our other stockholders.

For example, Q Power may have different tax positions from us, especially in light of the Tax Receivable Agreement, that could influence its decisions regarding whether and when to support the disposition of assets, the incurrence or refinancing of new or existing indebtedness, the timing or amount of distributions by Stronghold LLC, or the termination of the Tax Receivable Agreement and acceleration of our obligations thereunder. In addition, the determination of future tax reporting positions, the structuring of future transactions and the handling of any

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challenge by any taxing authority to our tax reporting positions may take into consideration tax or other considerations of Q Power, including the effect of such positions on our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement and with respect to the amount of tax distributions, which may differ from the considerations of us or other stockholders. These decisions could adversely affect our liquidity or financial condition.  

We are a holding company whose sole material asset is our equity interests in Stronghold LLC; accordingly, we will be dependent upon distributions from Stronghold LLC to pay taxes, make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement and cover our corporate and other overhead expenses.

We are a holding company and we have no material assets other than our equity interests in Stronghold LLC and no independent means of generating revenue or cash flow. To the extent Stronghold LLC has available cash and subject to the terms of any current or future debt instruments, the Stronghold LLC Agreement requires Stronghold LLC to make pro rata cash distributions to holders of Stronghold LLC Units, in an amount sufficient to allow us to pay our taxes and to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement. We generally expect Stronghold LLC to fund such distributions out of available cash, and if payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement are accelerated, we generally expect to fund such accelerated payment out of the proceeds of the change of control transaction giving rise to such acceleration. When Stronghold LLC makes regular distributions, the holders of Stronghold LLC Units are entitled to receive proportionate distributions based on their interests in Stronghold LLC at the time of such distribution. In addition, the Stronghold LLC Agreement requires Stronghold LLC to make non-pro rata payments to us to reimburse us for our corporate and other overhead expenses, which payments are not treated as distributions under the Stronghold LLC Agreement. To the extent that we need funds and Stronghold LLC or its subsidiaries do not have sufficient funds, or are restricted from making such distributions or payments under applicable law or regulation or under the terms of any current or future financing arrangements, or are otherwise unable to provide such funds, our liquidity and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

Moreover, because we will have no independent means of generating revenue, our ability to make tax payments and payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement is dependent on the ability of Stronghold LLC to make distributions to us in an amount sufficient to cover our tax obligations and obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement. This ability, in turn, may depend on the ability of Stronghold LLC’s subsidiaries to make distributions to it. The ability of Stronghold LLC, its subsidiaries and other entities in which it directly or indirectly holds an equity interest to make such distributions will be subject to, among other things, (i) the applicable provisions of Delaware law (or other applicable jurisdiction) that may limit the amount of funds available for distribution and (ii) restrictions in relevant debt instruments issued by Stronghold LLC or its subsidiaries and other entities in which it directly or indirectly holds an equity interest. To the extent that we are unable to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement for any reason, such payments will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid.

We are required to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement for certain tax benefits that we may claim, and the amounts of such payments could be significant.

We entered into a Tax Receivable Agreement on April 1, 2021 with Q Power and an agent named by Q Power. This agreement generally provides for the payment by us to Q Power (or its permitted assignees) of 85% of the net cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal, state and local income tax and franchise tax (computed using simplifying assumptions to address the impact of state and local taxes) that we actually realize (or are deemed to realize in certain circumstances) as a result of certain increases in tax basis available to us as a result of this or prior offerings, the acquisition of Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to an exercise of the Redemption Right or the Call Right and payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, and certain benefits attributable to imputed interest. We will retain the  remaining net cash savings, if any.

The term of the Tax Receivable Agreement commenced on April 1, 2021 and will continue until all tax benefits that are subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement have been utilized or expired, and all required payments are made, unless we exercise our right to terminate the Tax Receivable Agreement (or the Tax Receivable Agreement is terminated due to other circumstances, including our breach of a material obligation thereunder or certain mergers or other changes of control), in which case we will make the termination payment specified in the Tax Receivable Agreement. In addition, payments we make under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be increased by any interest accrued from the due date (without extensions) of the corresponding tax return.

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The payment obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement are our obligations and not obligations of Stronghold LLC, and we expect that the payments we will be required to make under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be substantial. Estimating the amount and timing of our realization of tax benefits subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement is by its nature imprecise. The actual increases in tax basis covered by the Tax Receivable Agreement, as well as the amount and timing of our ability to use any deductions (or decreases in gain or increases in loss) arising from such increases in tax basis, are dependent upon future events, including but not limited to the timing of redemptions of Stronghold LLC Units, the value of our common stock at the time of each redemption, the extent to which such redemptions are taxable transactions, the amount of the redeeming member’s tax basis in its Stronghold LLC Units at the time of the relevant redemption, the depreciation and amortization periods that apply to the increase in tax basis, the amount, character, and timing of taxable income we generate in the future, the timing and amount of any earlier payments that we may have made under the Tax Receivable Agreement, the U.S. federal income tax rate then applicable, and the portion of our payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement that constitute imputed interest or give rise to depreciable or amortizable tax basis. Accordingly, estimating the amount and timing of payments that may become due under the Tax Receivable Agreement is also by its nature imprecise. For purposes of the Tax Receivable Agreement, net cash savings in tax generally are calculated by comparing our actual tax liability (determined by using the actual applicable U.S. federal income tax rate and an assumed combined state and local income tax rate) to the amount we would have been required to pay had we not been able to utilize any of the tax benefits subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement. Thus, the amount and timing of any payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement are also dependent upon significant future events, including those noted above in respect of estimating the amount and timing of our realization of tax benefits. Any distributions made by Stronghold LLC to us to enable us to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, as well as any corresponding pro rata distributions made to the other holders of Stronghold LLC Units, could have an adverse impact on our liquidity.

Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement are not conditioned upon a holder of rights under the Tax Receivable Agreement having an ownership interest in us or Stronghold LLC. In addition, certain rights of the holders of Stronghold LLC Units (including the right to receive payments) under the Tax Receivable Agreement are transferable in connection with transfers permitted under the Stronghold LLC Agreement of the corresponding Stronghold LLC Units or after the corresponding Stronghold LLC Units have been acquired pursuant to the Redemption Right or Call Right.  For additional information regarding the Tax Receivable Agreement, see “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreement.”

In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement may be accelerated and/or significantly exceed the actual benefits, if any, we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement.

If we experience a change of control (as defined under the Tax Receivable Agreement, which includes certain mergers, asset sales and other forms of business combinations, but generally would not include an initial public offering or combination with a special purpose acquisition company (a “SPAC”)) or the Tax Receivable Agreement terminates early (at our election or as a result of our breach), we would be required to make an immediate payment equal to the present value of the anticipated future payments to be made by us under the Tax Receivable Agreement (determined by applying a discount rate equal to one-year LIBOR (or an agreed successor rate, if applicable) plus 100 basis points) and such early termination payment is expected to be substantial and may exceed the future tax benefits realized by Stronghold Inc. The calculation of anticipated future payments will be based upon certain assumptions and deemed events set forth in the Tax Receivable Agreement, including (i) that we have sufficient taxable income on a current basis to fully utilize the tax benefits covered by the Tax Receivable Agreement, and (ii) that any Stronghold LLC Units (other than those held by us) outstanding on the termination date or change of control date, as applicable, are deemed to be redeemed on such date. Any early termination payment may be made significantly in advance of, and may materially exceed, the actual realization, if any, of the future tax benefits to which the early termination payment relates.

If we experience a change of control (as defined under the Tax Receivable Agreement) or the Tax Receivable Agreement otherwise terminates early (at our election or as a result of our breach), our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, or other forms of business combinations or changes of control. If our obligation to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement is accelerated as a result of a change of control, we generally expect the accelerated payments due under the Tax Receivable Agreement to be

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funded out of the proceeds of the change of control transaction giving rise to such acceleration. However, we may be required to fund such payment from other sources, and as a result, any early termination of the Tax Receivable Agreement could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity. We do not currently expect to cause an acceleration due to our breach, and we do not currently expect that we will elect to terminate the Tax Receivable Agreement early, except in cases where the early termination payment would not be material. There can be no assurance that we will be able to meet our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement.

Please read “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreement.”

If our payment obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement are accelerated upon certain mergers, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control, the consideration payable to holders of our common stock could be substantially reduced.

If we experience a change of control (as defined under the Tax Receivable Agreement, which includes certain mergers, asset sales and other forms of business combinations, but generally would not include an initial public offering or a combination with a SPAC), then our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement would be based upon certain assumptions and deemed events set forth in the Tax Receivable Agreement, and in such situations, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement may be significantly in advance of, and may materially exceed, the actual realization, if any, of the future tax benefits to which the payment relates. As a result of our payment obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement, holders of our common stock could receive substantially less consideration in connection with a change of control transaction than they would receive in the absence of such obligation. Further, our payment obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement are not conditioned upon holders of Stronghold LLC Units having a continued interest in us or Stronghold LLC. Accordingly, the interests of the holders of Stronghold LLC Units may conflict with those of the holders of our common stock.

We will not be reimbursed for any payments made under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the event that any tax benefits are subsequently disallowed.

Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be based on the tax reporting positions that we will determine, and the IRS or another tax authority may challenge all or part of the tax basis increases upon which payment under the Tax Receivable Agreement are based, as well as other related tax positions we take, and a court could sustain such challenge. The holders of Stronghold LLC Units will not reimburse us for any payments previously made under the Tax Receivable Agreement if any tax benefits that have given rise to payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement are subsequently disallowed, except that excess payments made to any holder of Stronghold LLC Units will be netted against future payments that would otherwise be made to such holder of Stronghold LLC Units, if any, after our determination of such excess (which determination may be made a number of years following the initial payment and after future payments have been made). As a result, in such circumstances, we could make payments that are much greater than our actual cash tax savings, if any, and may not be able to recoup those payments, which could materially adversely affect our liquidity. 

If Stronghold LLC were to become a publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we and Stronghold LLC might be subject to potentially significant tax inefficiencies, and we would not be able to recover payments previously made by us under the Tax Receivable Agreement even if the corresponding tax benefits were subsequently determined to have been unavailable due to such status.

We intend to operate such that Stronghold LLC does not become a publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A “publicly traded partnership” is a partnership the interests of which are traded on an established securities market or are readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof. Under certain circumstances, redemptions of Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to the Redemption Right (or the Call Right) or other transfers of Stronghold LLC Units could cause Stronghold LLC to be treated as a publicly traded partnership. Applicable U.S. Treasury regulations provide for certain safe harbors from treatment as a publicly traded partnership, and we intend to operate such that redemptions or other transfers of Stronghold LLC Units qualify for one or more such safe harbors. For example, we intend to limit the number of holders of Stronghold LLC Units, and the Stronghold LLC Agreement provides for limitations on the ability of holders of Stronghold LLC Units to transfer their Stronghold LLC Units and provides us, as the managing member of Stronghold LLC, with the right to impose restrictions (in addition to those already in place) on the ability of holders of Stronghold LLC Units to redeem their Stronghold LLC Units pursuant to the Redemption Right (or Call Right) to

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the extent we believe it is necessary to ensure that Stronghold LLC will continue to be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

If Stronghold LLC were to become a publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, significant tax inefficiencies might result for us and Stronghold LLC, including as a result of our inability to file a consolidated U.S. federal income tax return with Stronghold LLC.  In such case, we might not be able to realize tax benefits covered under the Tax Receivable Agreement, and we would not be able to recover any payments we previously made under the Tax Receivable Agreement, even if the corresponding tax benefits (including any claimed increase in the tax basis of Stronghold LLC’s assets) were subsequently determined to have been unavailable.

Unanticipated changes in effective tax rates or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We may be subject to taxes by the U.S. federal, state, and local tax authorities and our future effective tax rates could be subject to volatility or adversely affected by a number of factors, including:

 

changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities;

 

expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowances;

 

tax effects of stock-based compensation; or

 

changes in tax laws, regulations or interpretations thereof.

In addition, we may be subject to audits of our income, sales and other transaction taxes by U.S. federal, state, and local taxing authorities. Outcomes from these audits could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

Risks Related to this Offering and Our Class A Common Stock

The requirements of being a public company, including compliance with the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, and the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, may strain our resources, increase our costs and distract management, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner.

As a public company, we will need to comply with new laws, regulations and requirements, certain corporate governance provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, related regulations of the SEC and the requirements of The Nasdaq Stock Market (the “Nasdaq”), with which we are not required to comply as a private company. Complying with these statutes, regulations and requirements will occupy a significant amount of time of our board of directors and management and will significantly increase our costs and expenses. We will need to:

 

institute a more comprehensive compliance function;

 

comply with rules promulgated by Nasdaq;

 

prepare and distribute periodic public reports in compliance with our obligations under the federal securities laws;

 

accurately implement and interpret GAAP;

 

establish new internal policies, such as those relating to insider trading; and

 

involve and retain to a greater degree outside counsel and accountants in the above activities.

Upon becoming a public company, we will be required to comply with the SEC’s rules implementing Sections 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which will require management to certify financial and other information in our quarterly and annual reports and provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of internal controls

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over financial reporting. Although we will be required to disclose changes made in our internal controls and procedures on a quarterly basis, we will not be required to make our first annual assessment of our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 until the year following our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC. Additionally, we are not required to have our independent registered public accounting firm attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls until our first annual report subsequent to our ceasing to be an “emerging growth company” within the meaning of Section 2(a)(19) of the Securities Act. Accordingly, we may not be required to have our independent registered public accounting firm attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls until as late as our annual report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2026. Once it is required to do so, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed. Compliance with these requirements may strain our resources, increase our costs and distract management, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner.

In addition, we expect that being a public company subject to these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. We are currently evaluating these rules, and we cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.

If we experience any material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to develop or maintain an effective system of internal controls in the future, we may not be able to accurately report our financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect investor confidence in us and, as a result, the value of our Class A common stock.

Effective internal controls are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports, prevent fraud and operate successfully as a public company. If we cannot provide reliable financial reports or prevent fraud, our reputation and operating results would be harmed. As a result of being a public company, we will be required, under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, to furnish a report by management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting beginning in the year following our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC. This assessment will need to include disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. We will take steps to improve control processes as appropriate, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented, and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for our internal control over financial reporting. If we identify one or more material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting during the evaluation and testing process, we may be unable to conclude that our internal controls are effective.

Additionally, when we cease to be an “emerging growth company” under the federal securities laws, our independent registered public accounting firm may be required to express an opinion on the effectiveness of our internal controls. If we are unable to confirm that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an unqualified opinion on the effectiveness of our internal controls, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which could cause the price of our Class A common stock to decline.

The initial public offering price of our Class A common stock may not be indicative of the market price of our Class A common stock after this offering. In addition, an active, liquid and orderly trading market for our Class A common stock may not develop or be maintained, and our stock price may be volatile.

Prior to this offering, our Class A common stock was not traded on any market. An active, liquid and orderly trading market for our Class A common stock may not develop or be maintained after this offering. Active, liquid and orderly trading markets usually result in less price volatility and more efficiency in carrying out investors’ purchase and sale orders. The market price of our Class A common stock could vary significantly as a result of a number of factors, some of which are beyond our control. In the event of a drop in the market price of our Class A common stock, you could lose a substantial part or all of your investment in our Class A common stock. The initial public offering price will be negotiated between us and representatives of the underwriters, based on numerous factors which we discuss in “Underwriting,” and may not be indicative of the market price of our Class A common

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stock after this offering. Consequently, you may not be able to sell shares of our Class A common stock at prices equal to or greater than the price paid by you in this offering.

The following factors could affect our stock price:

 

quarterly variations in our financial and operating results;

 

the public reaction to our press releases, our other public announcements and our filings with the SEC;

 

strategic actions by our competitors;

 

changes in revenue or earnings estimates, or changes in recommendations or withdrawal of research coverage, by equity research analysts;

 

failure to obtain additional plants or miners;

 

the failure of our operating results to meet the expectations of equity research analysts and investors;

 

the failure of research analysts to cover our Class A common stock;

 

sales of our Class A common stock by us or other stockholders, or the perception that such sales may occur;

 

changes in accounting principles, policies, guidance, interpretations or standards;

 

additions or departures of key management personnel;

 

general market conditions, including fluctuations in commodity prices or price of Bitcoins and other crypto assets;

 

regulatory changes or actions may alter the nature of an investment in us or our business;

 

domestic and international economic, legal and regulatory factors unrelated to our performance; and

 

the realization of any risks described under this “Risk Factors” section.

The stock markets in general have experienced extreme volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the trading price of our Class A common stock. Securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the overall market and in the market price of a company’s securities. Such litigation, if instituted against us, could result in very substantial costs, divert our management’s attention and resources and materially harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

The Legacy Owners will own a significant amount of our voting stock, and their interests may conflict with those of our other stockholders.

Upon completion of this offering and taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion, the Legacy Owners will own approximately                  % of our voting stock (or approximately                   % if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is exercised in full), assuming no purchases by any of our affiliates in our directed share program. As a result, the Legacy Owners may be able to influence matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors, approval of any potential acquisition of us, changes to our organizational documents and significant corporate transactions. This concentration of ownership makes it unlikely that any other holder or group of holders of our Class A common stock will be able to affect the way we are managed or the direction of our business. The interests of the Legacy Owners with respect to matters potentially or actually involving or affecting us, such as future acquisitions, financings and other corporate opportunities and attempts to acquire us, may conflict with the interests of our other stockholders.

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For example, certain of the Legacy Owners may have different tax positions from us, especially in light of the Tax Receivable Agreement, that could influence their decisions regarding whether and when to support the disposition of assets, the incurrence or refinancing of new or existing indebtedness, or the termination of the Tax Receivable Agreement and acceleration of our obligations thereunder. In addition, the determination of future tax reporting positions, the structuring of future transactions and the handling of any challenge by any taxing authority to our tax reporting positions may take into consideration the Legacy Owners’ tax or other considerations which may differ from the considerations of us or our other stockholders. Please read “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Tax Receivable Agreement.”

Certain of our executive officers and directors have significant duties with, and spend significant time serving, entities that may compete with us in seeking business opportunities and, accordingly, may have conflicts of interest in allocating time or pursuing business opportunities.

Certain of our executive officers and directors, who are responsible for managing the direction of our operations, hold positions of responsibility with other entities (including affiliated entities). These executive officers and directors may become aware of business opportunities that may be appropriate for presentation to us as well as to the other entities with which they are or may become affiliated. Due to these existing and potential future affiliations, they may present potential business opportunities to other entities prior to presenting them to us, which could cause additional conflicts of interest. They may also decide that certain opportunities are more appropriate for other entities with which they are affiliated, and as a result, they may elect not to present those opportunities to us. These conflicts may not be resolved in our favor. For additional discussion of our management’s business affiliations and the potential conflicts of interest of which our stockholders should be aware, see “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.”

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as well as Delaware law, contain provisions that could discourage acquisition bids or merger proposals, which may adversely affect the market price of our Class A common stock and could deprive our investors of the opportunity to receive a premium for their shares.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval in one or more series, designate the number of shares constituting any series, and fix the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions thereof, including dividend rights, voting rights, rights and terms of redemption, redemption price or prices and liquidation preferences of such series. If our board of directors elects to issue preferred stock, it could be more difficult for a third party to acquire us. In addition, some provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us, even if the change of control would be beneficial to our stockholders. These provisions include:

 

providing that all vacancies, including newly created directorships, may, except as otherwise required by law or, if applicable, the rights of holders of a series of preferred stock, only be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of directors then in office, even if less than a quorum;

 

permitting special meetings of our stockholders to be called only by our Chief Executive Officer, the chairman (or any co-chairman) of our board of directors, the President or by a majority of the board of directors, or by a majority of the executive committee (if any), called by the chairman (or any co-chairman) of our board of directors, by our Chief Executive Officer, the President or the Secretary upon written request, in each case with written notice stating the purposes of such meeting, delivered to such office and signed by the holder(s) of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the issued and outstanding stock entitled to vote at such meeting;

 

prohibiting cumulative voting in the election of directors;

 

providing that the board of directors is expressly authorized to adopt, or to alter or repeal our bylaws.

In addition, certain change of control events have the effect of accelerating the payment due under the Tax Receivable Agreement, which could be substantial and accordingly serve as a disincentive to a potential acquirer of our company. Please see “—Risks Relating to Us and our Organizational Structure—In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement may be accelerated and/or significantly exceed the actual benefits, if any, we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement.”

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Investors in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution of $                 per share.

Based on the initial public offering price of $                 per share (the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover of this prospectus), purchasers of our Class A common stock in this offering will experience an immediate and substantial dilution of $                 per share in the as adjusted net tangible book value per share of Class A common stock from the initial public offering price, and our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 31, 2020 after giving effect to this offering would be $                 per share. If the initial public offering price were to increase or decrease by $1.00 per share, then dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering would equal $                 or $                 , respectively. This dilution is due to, among other things, earlier investors having paid less than the initial public offering price when they purchased their shares. See “Dilution.”

We do not intend to pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock. Consequently, your only opportunity to achieve a return on your investment is if the price of our Class A common stock appreciates.

We do not plan to declare cash dividends on shares of our Class A common stock in the foreseeable future. Any future credit agreements or financing arrangements may also contain restrictions on our ability to pay cash dividends. Consequently, your only opportunity, while such dividend restrictions remain in place, to achieve a return on your investment in us may be to sell your Class A common stock at a price greater than you paid for it. There is no guarantee that the price of our Class A common stock that will prevail in the market will ever exceed the price that you pay in this offering.

Future sales of our Class A common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales may occur, could reduce our stock price, and any additional capital raised by us through the sale of equity or convertible securities may dilute your ownership in us.

We may sell additional shares of Class A common stock in subsequent public offerings. We may also issue additional shares of Class A common stock or convertible securities. After the completion of this offering and taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion, we will have                  outstanding shares of Class A common stock (or                  shares of Class A common stock if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is exercised in full). This number includes                  shares of Class A common stock that may be issued as part of the Preferred Stock Conversion,                  shares that we are selling in this offering, and                  shares that we may sell in this offering if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is fully exercised, which may be resold immediately in the public market. Following the completion of this offering, and assuming full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, the Legacy Owners will own                  shares of our Class A common stock and                  shares of our Class V common stock, or approximately                  of our total voting stock outstanding.

In connection with this offering, we intend to file a registration statement with the SEC on Form S-8 providing for the registration of                  shares of our Class A common stock issued or reserved for issuance under our long term incentive plan. Subject to the satisfaction of vesting conditions, the expiration of lock-up agreements and the requirements of Rule 144, shares registered under the registration statement on Form S-8 may be made available for resale immediately in the public market without restriction.

We cannot predict the size of future issuances of our Class A common stock or securities convertible into Class A common stock or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of shares of our Class A common stock will have on the market price of our Class A common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock (including shares issued in connection with an acquisition), or the perception that such sales could occur, may adversely affect prevailing market prices of our Class A common stock.

The underwriters of this offering may waive or release parties to the lock-up agreements entered into in connection with this offering, which could adversely affect the price of our Class A common stock.

We, all of our directors that will own equity in us following the completion of this offering, all of our executive officers and certain of the Legacy Owners have entered or will enter into lock-up agreements pursuant to which we and they will be subject to certain restrictions with respect to the sale or other disposition of our Class A common stock for a period of 180 days following the date of this prospectus. The underwriters, at any time and without

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notice, may release all or any portion of the Class A common stock subject to the foregoing lock-up agreements. See “Underwriting” for more information on these agreements. If the restrictions under the lock-up agreements are waived, then the Class A common stock, subject to compliance with the Securities Act or exceptions therefrom, will be available for sale into the public markets, which could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline and impair our ability to raise capital.

We may issue preferred stock whose terms could adversely affect the voting power or value of our Class A common stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue, without the approval of our stockholders, one or more classes or series of preferred stock having such designations, preferences, limitations and relative rights, including preferences over our Class A common stock respecting dividends and distributions, as our board of directors may determine. The terms of one or more classes or series of preferred stock could adversely impact the voting power or value of our Class A common stock. For example, we might grant holders of preferred stock the right to elect some number of our directors in all events or on the happening of specified events or the right to veto specified transactions. Similarly, the repurchase or redemption rights or liquidation preferences we might assign to holders of preferred stock could affect the residual value of the Class A common stock.

For as long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to comply with certain reporting requirements, including those relating to accounting standards and disclosure about our executive compensation, that apply to other public companies.

We are classified as an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act. For as long as we are an emerging growth company, which may be up to five full fiscal years, unlike other public companies, we will not be required to, among other things: (i) provide an auditor’s attestation report on management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our system of internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; (ii) comply with any new requirements adopted by the PCAOB requiring mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report in which the auditor would be required to provide additional information about the audit and the financial statements of the issuer; (iii) provide certain disclosures regarding executive compensation required of larger public companies; or (iv) hold nonbinding advisory votes on executive compensation. We will remain an emerging growth company for up to five years, although we will lose that status sooner if we have more than $1.07 billion of revenues in a fiscal year, have more than $700.0 million in market value of our Class A common stock held by non-affiliates, or issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a three-year period.

To the extent that we rely on any of the exemptions available to emerging growth companies, you will receive less information about our executive compensation and internal control over financial reporting than issuers that are not emerging growth companies. Additionally, we intend to take advantage of the extended transition periods for the adoption of new or revised financial accounting standards under the JOBS Act until we are no longer an emerging growth company. Our election to use the transition periods permitted by this election may make it difficult to compare our financial statements to those of non-emerging growth companies and other emerging growth companies that have opted out of the extended transition periods permitted under the JOBS Act and who will comply with new or revised financial accounting standards.

Additionally, we are a “smaller reporting company” as defined in Item 10(f)(1) of Regulation S-K. Smaller reporting companies may take advantage of certain reduced disclosure obligations, including, among other things, providing only two years of audited financial statements. We will remain a smaller reporting company until the last day of the fiscal year in which (1) the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates equals or exceeds $250 million as of the end of that fiscal year’s second fiscal quarter, and (2) our annual revenues exceeded $100 million during such completed fiscal year and the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the end of that fiscal year’s second fiscal quarter. To the extent we take advantage of such reduced disclosure obligations, it may also make comparison of our financial statements with other public companies difficult or impossible.

If some investors find our Class A common stock to be less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

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If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, if they adversely change their recommendations regarding our Class A common stock or if our operating results do not meet their expectations, our stock price could decline.

The trading market for our Class A common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline. Moreover, if one or more of the analysts who cover our company downgrades our Class A common stock or if our operating results do not meet their expectations, our stock price could decline.


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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The information in this prospectus includes “forward-looking statements.” All statements, other than statements of historical fact included in this prospectus, regarding our strategy, future operations, financial position, estimated revenues and losses, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. When used in this prospectus, the words “could,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions about future events and are based on currently available information as to the outcome and timing of future events. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the risk factors and other cautionary statements described under the heading “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business” included in this prospectus. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current belief, based on currently available information, as to the outcome and timing of future events.

Forward-looking statements may include statements about:

 

the hybrid nature of our business model, which is highly dependent on the price of Bitcoin;

 

our dependence on the level of demand and financial performance of the crypto asset industry;

 

our ability to manage growth, business, financial results and results of operations;

 

uncertainty regarding our evolving business model;

 

our ability to raise capital to fund business growth;

 

our ability to retain management and key personnel;

 

our ability to enter into purchase agreements and acquisitions;

 

our ability to maintain our relationships with our third party brokers and our dependence on their performance;

 

public health crises, epidemics, and pandemics such as the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

our ability to procure crypto asset mining equipment from foreign-based suppliers;

 

developments and changes in laws and regulations, including increased regulation of the crypto asset industry through legislative action and revised rules and standards applied by The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network under the authority of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act and the Investment Company Act;

 

the future acceptance and/or widespread use of, and demand for, Bitcoin and other crypto assets;

 

our ability to respond to price fluctuations and rapidly changing technology;

 

our ability to operate our coal refuse power generation facilities as planned;

 

our ability to avail ourselves of tax credits for the clean-up of coal refuse piles; and

 

legislative or regulatory changes, and liability under, or any future inability to comply with, existing or future energy regulations or requirements.

We caution you that these forward-looking statements are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. These risks include, but are not limited to, decline in demand for our products and services, the seasonality and volatility of the crypto asset industry, our acquisition strategies, the inability to comply with developments and changes in regulation, cash flow and access to

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capital, maintenance of third party relationships, the COVID-19 pandemic and the other risks described under “Risk Factors” in this prospectus.

Should one or more of the risks or uncertainties described in this prospectus occur, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results and plans could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements, expressed or implied, included in this prospectus are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This cautionary statement should also be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that we or persons acting on our behalf may issue.

Any forward-looking statement that we make in this prospectus speaks only as of the date of such statement. Except as otherwise required by applicable law, we disclaim any duty to update any forward-looking statements, all of which are expressly qualified by the statements in this section, to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus.


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USE OF PROCEEDS

We expect to receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $                 million, assuming an initial public offering price of $                 per share (based on the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus) and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses of approximately $                 million, in the aggregate. If the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock, we expect to receive approximately $                 million of net proceeds.

We intend to contribute all of the net proceeds from this offering to Stronghold LLC in exchange for Stronghold LLC Units. Stronghold LLC will use such contribution amount for general corporate purposes, including acquisitions of miners and power generating assets and to pay the expenses of this offering.

A $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $                 per share would cause the net proceeds from this offering, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses received by us to increase or decrease, respectively, by approximately $                 million, assuming the number of shares offered by us as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus remains the same. An increase or decrease of                  shares offered by us at an assumed offering price of $                 per share would cause the net proceeds from this offering after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses received by us to increase or decrease, respectively, by approximately $                 million. Any increase or decrease in proceeds due to a change in the initial public offering price or number of shares issued would increase or decrease, respectively, the amount of net proceeds contributed to Stronghold LLC to be used by it for acquisitions and general corporate purposes.

If the proceeds increase due to a higher initial public offering price or due to the issuance of additional shares by us, we would contribute the additional net proceeds received by us to Stronghold LLC in exchange for Stronghold LLC Units. Stronghold LLC intends to use the additional net proceeds for general corporate purposes. If the proceeds decrease due to a lower initial public offering price or a decrease in the number of shares issued by us, then we would decrease the amount of net proceeds contributed to Stronghold LLC and Stronghold LLC would reduce by a corresponding amount the net proceeds directed for general corporate purposes.


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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never paid any cash dividends on our Class A common stock. Holders of our Class V common stock are not entitled to participate in any dividends declared by our board of directors. Our future dividend policy is within the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon then-existing conditions, including our results of operations, financial condition, leverage or other financial ratios, capital requirements, investment opportunities, statutory restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant. Our ability to pay cash dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred equity securities that we or our subsidiaries may issue.


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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of December 31, 2020:

 

of our accounting predecessor and its subsidiaries on an actual basis;

 

of Stronghold Inc. on an as adjusted basis after giving effect to the Reorganization and the Private Placements; and

 

of Stronghold Inc. on an as further adjusted basis after giving effect to (i) the sale of shares of our Class A common stock in this offering at the initial offering price of $                 per share (the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover of this prospectus), after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, (ii) the application of the net proceeds from this offering as set forth under “Use of Proceeds,” and (iii) the Preferred Stock Conversion.

You should read the following table in conjunction with “Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Financial Information,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Corporate Reorganization,” “Use of Proceeds” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

 

 

As of December 31, 2020

 

 

Accounting

Predecessors

Actual(1)

 

 

Stronghold Inc.

As Adjusted

 

 

Stronghold Inc.

As Further

Adjusted(2)

Cash and cash equivalents

 

 

303,187

 

 

76,803,187(3)(4)

 

 

(5)

Current Liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current portion of long-term debt

 

 

449,447

 

 

 

449,447

 

 

 

Related-party notes

 

 

2,024,250

 

 

 

2,024,250

 

 

 

Due to related parties

 

 

698,338

 

 

 

698,338

 

 

 

Long-Term liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Long-term debt

 

 

482,443

 

 

 

482,443

 

 

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

 

 

150,000

 

 

 

150,000

 

 

 

Paycheck Protection Program Loan

 

 

638,800

 

 

 

638,800

 

 

 

Total debt

 

 

4,443,278

 

 

 

4,443,278

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mezzanine Equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series A redeemable convertible preferred stock at redemption value,

   $.0001 par value; 3,600,000 shares issued  (as adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

90,000,000

 

 

 

Series B redeemable convertible preferred stock at redemption value,

   $.0001 par value;          shares issued (as adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ / Partners’ Capital (Deficit):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Partners

 

 

(2,710,317)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limited Partners

 

 

(1,336,784)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Stock - Class A, $.0001 par value; 238,000,000 shares authorized

   and 11,600,000 shares issued (as adjusted);          shares authorized and

            shares issued (as further adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Stock - Class V, $.0001 par value; 12,000,000 shares authorized

   and 9,400,000 shares issued (as adjusted and as further adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

940

 

 

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retained earnings (deficit)

 

 

0

 

 

 

(16,194,016)

 

 

 

Non-controlling interests (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1,354,025)

 

 

 

Total equity

 

 

(4,047,101)

 

 

 

72,452,899

 

 

 

Total capitalization

 

 

(4,047,101)

 

 

 

72,452,899

 

 

 

 

(1)

Stronghold Inc. was incorporated on March 19, 2021. The data in this table has been derived from the historical consolidated financial statements included in this prospectus which pertain to the assets, liabilities and expenses of our accounting predecessor.

(2)

A $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $                 per share would increase or decrease total equity and total capitalization by approximately $                 million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We may also increase or decrease the number of shares we are offering. An increase or decrease of                  shares offered by us at an assumed offering price of $                 per share

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would increase or decrease total equity and total capitalization by approximately $                 million after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

(3)

Reflects $85 million in proceeds from the Series A Private Placement net of approximately $6.0 million in expenses.

(4)

Reflects $2.5 million paid in expenses in connection with the completion of the Reorganization.

(5)

Reflects $          million in proceeds from this offering net of approximately $         million in expenses.

(6)

On a pro forma basis, includes the membership interests not owned by us, which represents                  % of Stronghold LLC’s outstanding units. Q Power will hold a           % non-controlling interest in Stronghold LLC. Stronghold Inc. will hold            % of the economic interests in Stronghold LLC and Q Power will hold            % of the economic interests in Stronghold LLC.


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DILUTION

Purchasers of the Class A common stock in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution in the net tangible book value per share of the Class A common stock for accounting purposes. Our net tangible book value as of December 31, 2020, after giving pro forma effect to the transactions described under “Corporate Reorganization,” was approximately $                 million, or $                 per share of Class A common stock. Pro forma net tangible book value per share is determined by dividing our pro forma tangible net worth (tangible assets less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of Class A common stock that will be outstanding immediately prior to the closing of this offering but giving effect to the Reorganization and the Preferred Stock Conversion. After giving effect to the sale of the shares in this offering, at the assumed initial public offering price of $                 per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and further assuming the receipt of the estimated net proceeds of $                 million (after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses and the application of such proceeds as described in “Use of Proceeds”), our as adjusted pro forma net tangible book value as of December 31, 2020 would have been approximately $                 million, or $                 per share. This represents an immediate decrease in the net tangible book value of $                 per share to the Legacy Owners and an immediate dilution (i.e., the difference between the offering price and the as adjusted pro forma net tangible book value after this offering) to new investors purchasing shares in this offering of $                 per share. The following table illustrates the per share dilution to new investors purchasing shares in this offering (assuming that 100% of the Stronghold LLC Units have been exchanged for Class A common stock):

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share

 

$

 

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2020 (before this offering and after giving effect to our Reorganization and the Preferred Stock Conversion)

$

 

 

Less a decrease per share attributable to new investors in this offering

 

 

As adjusted pro forma net tangible book value per share after giving further effect to this offering

 

 

Dilution in pro forma reduced net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering(1)

 

$

 

 

(1)

If the initial public offering price were to increase or decrease by $1.00 per share, then dilution in pro forma reduced net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering would equal $                 or $                 , respectively.

The following table summarizes, on an as adjusted pro forma basis as of December 31, 2020, the total number of shares of Class A common stock owned by the Legacy Owners (taking into account the Preferred Stock Conversion and assuming that 100% of the Stronghold LLC Units held by the Legacy Owners have been exchanged for Class A common stock (and the corresponding shares of Class V common stock have been cancelled)) and to be owned by new investors, the total consideration paid, and the average price per share paid by the Legacy Owners and to be paid by new investors in this offering at $                 , calculated before deduction of estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

 

 

 

Shares Acquired

 

Total Consideration

 

Average Price

Per Share