AS FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION ON JANUARY 12, 2021
REGISTRATION NO. 333-
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
MARATHON PATENT GROUP, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
I.R.S. Employer Identification Number
1180 North Town Center Drive, Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89144
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code of registrant’s principal executive offices)
Jolie Kahn, Esq.
12 E. 49th Street, 11th floor
New York , NY 10017
Phone: (516) 217-6379
Fax: (866) 705-3071
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.
If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box: [ ]
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, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plants, check the following box: [X]
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 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 registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box. [X]
If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box. [ ]
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 [X]
|Smaller reporting company [X]||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 13(a) of the Exchange Act. [ ]
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
|Title of each class of Securities to be registered|
price per unit(2)
|Common stock, $0.0001 par value per share||—||—||—||—|
|Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value per share||—||—||—||—|
|(1)||There are being registered hereunder such indeterminate number of shares of common stock, preferred stock, such indeterminate number of warrants to purchase common stock or preferred stock and such indeterminate number of units consisting of any combination of the securities registered hereunder, as shall have an aggregate initial offering price not to exceed $300,000,000. The securities registered also include such indeterminate amounts and numbers of common stock and preferred stock as may be issued upon conversion of or exchange for preferred stock that provide for conversion or exchange, upon exercise of warrants, issuance of units, or pursuant to the anti-dilution provisions of any such securities.|
|(2)||In no event will the aggregate initial offering price of all securities issued from time to time pursuant to this registration statement exceed $300,000,000.|
|(4)||Includes warrants to purchase common stock and warrants to purchase preferred stock.|
|(5)||Any of the securities registered hereunder may be sold separately, or as units with other securities registered hereby. We will determine the proposed maximum offering price per unit when we issue the above listed securities. The proposed maximum per unit and aggregate offering prices per class of securities will be determined from time to time by the registrant in connectio the issuance by the registrant of the securities registered under this registration statement and is not specified as to each class of security pursuant to General Instruction II.D of Form S-3 under the Securities Act.|
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 or until the registration statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
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 or until this Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”), acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
This registration statement contains a base prospectus. The specific terms of the securities offered pursuant to the base prospectus will be specified in a prospectus supplement to be filed subsequent to the filing of this base prospectus. The issuer’s unaffiliated market float of its common stock as of January 11, 2021 exceeded $700 million.
PROSPECTUS, DATED JANUARY 12, 2021
MARATHON PATENT GROUP INC.
We may from time to time, in one or more offerings at prices and on terms that we will determine at the time of each offering, sell common stock, preferred stock, warrants, units or a combination of these securities for an aggregate initial offering price of up to $300,000,000. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer, which is not meant to be a complete description of each of the securities. Each time we offer and sell securities, we will provide you with a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. Any prospectus supplement may also add, update, or change information contained in this prospectus. You should carefully read this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement as well as the documents incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference in this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement before you purchase any of the securities offered.
This prospectus may not be used to offer and sell securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.
Our common stock is currently traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “MARA.” On January 8, the last reported sales price for our common stock was $26.39 per share. We will apply to list any shares of common stock sold by us under this prospectus and any prospectus supplement on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The prospectus supplement will contain information, where applicable, as to any other listing of the securities on the Nasdaq Capital Market or any other securities market or exchange covered by the prospectus supplement.
We may offer the securities directly or through agents or to or through underwriters or dealers. If any agents or underwriters are involved in the sale of the securities, their names, and any applicable purchase price, fee, commission or discount arrangement between or among them, will be set forth, or will be calculable from the information set forth, in an accompanying prospectus supplement. We can sell the securities through agents, underwriters or dealers only with delivery of a prospectus supplement describing the method and terms of the offering of such securities. See “Plan of Distribution” section of this prospectus for further information.
The securities offered by this prospectus involve a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 12 of this prospectus. We may also include specific risk factors in an applicable prospectus supplement under the heading “Risk Factors.” You should carefully review these Risk Factors prior to investing in our securities.
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.
The date of this prospectus is January 12, 2021.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS||4|
|ABOUT MARATHON PATENT GROUP||5|
|CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||26|
|RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES||26|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||26|
|DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK||26|
|DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED STOCK||27|
|DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS||28|
|DESCRIPTION OF UNITS||29|
|PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION||30|
|WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION||32|
|INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE||32|
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) using a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may sell common shares, preferred shares (including convertible preferred shares), warrants for equity securities, and units comprised of any combination thereof from time to time in one or more offerings up to an initial aggregate offering price of $300,000,000. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer, which is not meant to be a complete description of each of the securities.
Each time we sell securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus or in documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus. A prospectus supplement which contains specific information about the terms of the securities being offered may also include a discussion of certain U.S. Federal income tax consequences and any risk factors or other special considerations applicable to the securities offered under this registration statement. To the extent that any statement that we make in a prospectus supplement is inconsistent with statements made in this prospectus or in documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus, you should rely on the information contained in the prospectus supplement. You should carefully read this prospectus and any prospectus supplement together with the additional information described under “Where You Can Find More Information” before buying any securities in this offering.
THIS PROSPECTUS MAY NOT BE USED TO CONSUMMATE A SALE OF SECURITIES UNLESS IT IS ACCOMPANIED BY A PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT.
Neither we, nor any agent, underwriter or dealer has authorized any person to give any information or to make any representation other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus prepared by us or on our behalf or to which we have referred you. This prospectus, any applicable supplement to this prospectus or any related free writing prospectus do not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the registered securities to which they relate, nor do this prospectus, any applicable supplement to this prospectus or any related free writing prospectus constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction.
You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus is accurate on any date subsequent to the date set forth on the front of the applicable document. You should also not assume that any information we have incorporated by reference is correct on any date subsequent to the date of the document incorporated by reference, even though this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus is delivered, or securities are sold, on a later date.
This prospectus and the information incorporated by reference in this prospectus contain summaries of provisions of certain other documents, but reference is made to the actual documents for complete information. All of the summaries are qualified in their entirety by the actual documents. Copies of some of the documents referred to in this prospectus have been filed, will be filed or will be incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and you may obtain copies of those documents as described below under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information” on page 32 of this prospectus.
You should only rely on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information different from what is contained or incorporated by reference into this prospectus, applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus. If any person does provide you with information that differs from what is contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus, you should not rely on it. No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus, applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus. You should assume that the information contained in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus is accurate only as of the date on the front of the document and that any information contained in any document we have incorporated by reference therein is accurate only as of the date on its face, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus, any prospectus supplement, any related free writing prospectus or any sale of a security under this registration statement. These documents are not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities in any circumstances under which the offer or solicitation is unlawful.
This summary highlights selected information from this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. You should carefully read the entire prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, including the risks of investing in our securities discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, and under similar headings in the documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus. You should also carefully read the information incorporated by reference into this prospectus, including our financial statements, and the exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a component.
The terms “Marathon,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us” in this prospectus refer to Marathon Patent Group, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, unless the context suggests otherwise.
About Marathon Patent Group, Inc.
We were incorporated in the State of Nevada on February 23, 2010 under the name Verve Ventures, Inc. On December 7, 2011, we changed our name to American Strategic Minerals Corporation and were engaged in exploration and potential development of uranium and vanadium minerals business. In June 2012, we discontinued our minerals business and began to invest in real estate properties in Southern California. In October 2012, we discontinued our real estate business when our former CEO joined the firm and we commenced our IP licensing operations, at which time the Company’s name was changed to Marathon Patent Group, Inc. On November 1, 2017, we entered into a merger agreement with Global Bit Ventures, Inc. (“GBV”), which is focused on mining digital assets. We purchased cryptocurrency mining machines and established a data center in Canada to mine digital assets. We intend to expand its activities in the mining of new digital assets, while at the same time harvesting the value of our remaining IP assets.
On June 28, 2018, our Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Company and our shareholders to allow the Amended Merger Agreement with GBV to expire on its current termination date of June 28, 2018 without further negotiation or extension. The Board approved to issue 3,000,000 shares of our common stock to GBV as a termination fee for us canceling the proposed merger between the two companies.
All share and per share values for all periods presented in the accompanying consolidated financial statements have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the 1:4 Reverse Split which occurred on April 8, 2019.
On September 30, 2019, the Company consummated the purchase of 6000 S-9 Bitmain 13.5 TH/s Bitcoin Antminers (“Miners”) from SelectGreen Blockchain Ltd. (the “Seller”), a British Columbia corporation, for which the purchase price was $4,086,250 or 2,335,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $1.75 per share. As a result of an exchange cap requirement imposed in conjunction with the Company’s Listing of Additional Shares application filed with Nasdaq to the transaction, the Company issued 1,276,442 shares of its common stock which represented $2,233,773 of the $4,086,250 (constituting 19.9% of the issued and outstanding shares on the date of the Asset Purchase Agreement) and upon the receipt of shareholder approval, at the Annual Shareholders Meeting to be held on November 15, 2019, the Company can issue the balance of the 1,058,558 unregistered common stock shares. The shareholders did approve the issuance of the additional shares at the Annual Shareholders Meeting. The Company has issued an additional 474,808 at $0.90 per share on December 27, 2019. On March 30, 2020, the Seller has agreed to amend the total of number of shares to be issued was reduced to 2,101,500 shares and the rest of 350,250 shares was issued at $0.49 per share. There was no mining payable outstanding as of September 30, 2020.
As of April 6, 2020, the Company received notice from the Nasdaq Capital Market that the Company has failed to maintain a minimum closing bid price of $1.00 per share of its Common Stock over the last consecutive 30 business days based upon the closing bid price for its common stock as required by Rule 5550(a)(2). However, the Rules also provide the Company a compliance period of 180 calendar days in which to regain compliance during which time it must maintain a minimum closing bid price of at least $1.00 per share for a minimum period of 10 consecutive business days, which must be completed by October 5, 2020. On April 20, 2020, the Company received a further notice from the Nasdaq Capital Market that the Company’s time to maintain a minimum closing bid price of at least $1.00 per share for a minimum period of 10 consecutive business days has been extended from October 5, 2020 to December 17, 2020. As of August 6, 2020, the Company has regained compliance with Rule 5550(a)(2) as the closing bid price has been in excess of $1.00 per share for the past ten trading days.
On May 11, 2020, the Company announced the purchase of 700 M30S+ (80 TH) miners. On May 12, 2020, the Company announced the purchase 660 Bitmain S19 Pro Miners. On June 11, 2020, the Company announced the purchase of an additional 500 of the latest generation Bitmain S19 Pro Miners, bringing the Company’s total Hashrate to approximately 240 PH/s when fully deployed.
On May 20, 2020, the Company amended its note, originally dated August 31, 2017, with Bi-Coastal Consulting Defined Benefit Plan to reduce the conversion price to $0.60 per share. The current principal balance of the Note was $999,105.60 and accrued the interest was $215,411.30. The Company agreed to the reduction in the conversion price from $0.80 to $0.60 to incentivize the Note holder to convert the Note to common stock. As the Note has been fully converted to common stock, the Company has no Long-Term debt.
On July 28, 2020, we closed a public offering of 7,666,666 shares of common stock, including the exercise in full by the underwriter of the option to purchase an additional 999,999 shares of common stock, at a public offering price of $0.90 per share. The gross proceeds of this offering, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses payable by Marathon, were approximately $6.9 million.
On July 29, 2020, the Company announced the purchase of 700 next generation M31S+ ASIC Miners from MicroBT. The miners are expected to arrive mid-August. Additionally, Bitmain has notified the Company that 660 of the 1,660 Bitmain S-19 Pro Miners previously purchased will be delivered in mid-August.
On August 13, 2020, the Company entered into a Long Term Purchase Contract with Bitmaintech PTE., LTD (“Bitmain”) for the purchase of 10,500 next generation Antminer S-19 Pro ASIC Miners. The purchase price per unit is $2,362 ($2,206 with a 6.62% discount) for a total purchase price of $24,801,000 (with a 6.62% discount for a discounted price of $23,159,174). The parties confirm that the total hashrate of the Antminers under this agreement shall not be less than 1,155,000 TH/s.
The Company shall pay for the Antminers as follows:
|(1)||Twenty percent (20%) of the total purchase price shall be paid as a nonrefundable down payment within forty-eight (48) hours of execution of the agreement.|
|(2)||The Company shall pay the twenty percent (20%) of the total purchase price prior to September 20, 2020.|
|(3)||The Company shall pay the ten percent (10%) of the total purchase price prior to October 10, 2020.|
|(4)||The Company shall pay the remaining fifty percent (50%) of the total purchase price in equal monthly installments due not less than fifty-five (55) days prior to the scheduled delivery of the Product(s) as follows:|
|a)||eight-point thirty-three percent (8.33%) no later than 55 days prior to each scheduled delivery period as to the first installment of products to be shipped to the Company in January 2021.|
|b)||eight-point thirty-three percent (8.33%) no later than 55 days prior to each scheduled delivery period as to the second installment of the products to be shipped to the Company in February 2021.|
|c)||eight-point thirty-three percent (8.33%) no later than 55 days prior to each scheduled delivery period as to the third installment of the products to be shipped to the Company in March 2021.|
|d)||eight-point thirty-three percent (8.33%) no later than 55 days prior to each scheduled delivery period as to the fourth installment of the products to be shipped to the Company in April 2021.|
|e)||eight-point thirty-three percent (8.33%) no later than 55 days prior to each scheduled delivery period as to the fifth installment of the products to be shipped to the Company in May 2021.|
|f)||eight-point thirty-three percent (8.33%) no later than 55 days prior to each scheduled delivery period as to the sixth installment of the products to be shipped to the Company in June 2021.|
Subject to the timely payment of the purchase price, Bitmain shall deliver products according to the following schedule: 1,500 Units on or before January 31, 2021; and 1,800 units on or before each of February 28, 2021; March 31, 2021; April 30, 2021, May 31, 2021 and June 30, 2021.
On October 23, 2020, Marathon Patent Group (the “Company”) executed a contract with Bitmain to purchase an additional 10,000 next generation Antminer S-19 Pro ASIC Miners. The 2021 delivery schedule will be 2,500 Units in January, 4,500 Units in February and the final 3,000 Units in March 2021.The purchase price is $21,815,432.00 with 30% due upon the execution of the contract and the balance paid over the next 4 months.
On December 8, 2020, Marathon Patent Group (the “Company”) executed a contract with Bitmain to purchase an additional 10,000 next generation Antminer S-19j Pro ASIC Miners, with 6,000 units to be delivered in August 2021, and the remaining 4,000 units to be delivered in September 2021. The purchase price is $21,923,071.00 with 10% of the purchase price due within 48 hours of execution of the contract, 30% due on January 14, 2021, 10% due on February 15, 2021, 30% due on June 15, 2021 and 20% due on July 15, 2021.
On December 23, 2020, Marathon Patent Group (the “Company”) executed a contract with Bitmain to purchase an additional 70,000 next generation Antminer S-19 ASIC Miners, with 7,000 units to be delivered in July 2021, and the remaining 63,000 units to be delivered in December 2021. The purchase price is $167,763,451.93. The purchase price for the miners shall be paid as follows: 20% within 48 hours of signing of contract; 30% on or before March 1, 2021; 4.75% on June 15, 2021; 1.76% on July 15, 2021; 4.58% on August 15, 2021; 10.19% on September 15, 2021; 17.63% on October 15, 2021 and 11.55% on November 15, 2021.
Effective December 31, 2020, The Board of Directors of Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (the “Company”) ratified the following arrangements approved by its Compensation Committee:
Merrick Okamoto, CEO was awarded a cash bonus of $2,000,000 which was paid before year end 2020. He was also awarded a special bonus of 1,000,000 RSUs with immediate vesting. He was given a new three-year employment agreement effective January 1, 2021 with the same salary and bonus as the prior agreement. He was also granted the following: award of 1,000,000 RSUs when the company’s market capitalization reaches and sustains a market capitalization for 30 consecutive days above $500,000,000; award of 1,000,000 RSUs priced when the company’s market capitalization reaches and sustains a market capitalization for 30 consecutive days above $750,000,000; award of 2,000,000 RSUs priced at lowest closing stock price in past 30 trading days when the company’s market capitalization reaches and sustains a market capitalization for 30 consecutive days above $1,000,000,000; and award of 2,000,000 RSUs when the company’s market capitalization reaches and sustains a market capitalization for 30 consecutive days above $2,000,000,000.
Sim Salzman, CFO, was granted a bonus payment of $40,000 in cash; and a bonus of 91,324 RSUs with immediate vesting. James Crawford, COO, was granted a bonus payment of $127,308 in cash and a stock bonus of 57,990 RSUs with immediate vesting. Furthermore, per his employment agreement, his base salary for the 2021 will be increased by 3%.
Compensation for directors of the board for 2021 as follows: (i) cash compensation of $60,000 per year for each director, plus an additional $15,000 per year for each committee chair, paid 25% at the end of each calendar quarter; (ii) for existing directors, the equivalent of 54,795 RSUs; and (iii) for newly elected directors, a one-time grant of 91,324 RSUs, vesting 25% each calendar quarter during 2021. For clarification, new directors will also receive the same annual compensation as existing directors in addition to their one time grant.
On January 4, 2021, the Company received a letter from Nasdaq that because the Company had delayed its annual meeting until January 15, 2021 (in order to to enable further shareholders to vote their shares in order to meet the 50.1% quorum requirement), that it was not in compliance with Nasdaq Rules 5620(a) which requires that an annual meeting be held within one year of each fiscal year. As the Company has indicated to Nasdaq in late December, it has received reports from its proxy solicitor that the quorum requirements have been met, and all matters have received requisite approvals to pass at the Annual Meeting on January 15, 2021. Once the Annual Meeting is held and the results publicly reported, Nasdaq has indicated that the Company will be deemed back in compliance with this requirement.
On January 4, 2021, the Company also announced that it had successfully completed its previously announced $200 million shelf offering by utilizing its at-the-market (ATM) facility. As a result, the Company ended the 2020 fiscal year with $217.6 million in cash and 74,656,549 shares outstanding.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Generally
Distributed blockchain technology is a decentralized and encrypted ledger that is designed to offer a secure, efficient, verifiable, and permanent way of storing records and other information without the need for intermediaries. Cryptocurrencies serve multiple purposes. They can serve as a medium of exchange, store of value or unit of account. Examples of cryptocurrencies include: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and litecoin. Blockchain technologies are being evaluated for a multitude of industries due to the belief in their ability to have a significant impact in many areas of business, finance, information management, and governance.
Cryptocurrencies are decentralized currencies that enable near instantaneous transfers. Transactions occur via an open source, cryptographic protocol platform which uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority. The online network hosts the public transaction ledger, known as the blockchain, and each cryptocurrency is associated with a source code that comprises the basis for the cryptographic and algorithmic protocols governing the blockchain. In a cryptocurrency network, every peer has its own copy of the blockchain, which contains records of every historical transaction - effectively containing records of all account balances. Each account is identified solely by its unique public key (making it effectively anonymous) and is secured with its associated private key (kept secret, like a password). The combination of private and public cryptographic keys constitutes a secure digital identity in the form of a digital signature, providing strong control of ownership.
No single entity owns or operates the network. The infrastructure is collectively maintained by a decentralized public user base. 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 currency units. Rather, the value is determined by market factors, supply and demand for the units, the prices being set in transfers by mutual agreement or barter among transacting parties, as well as the number of merchants that may accept the cryptocurrency. Since transfers do not require involvement of intermediaries or third parties, there are currently little to no transaction costs in direct peer-to-peer transactions. Units of cryptocurrency can be converted to fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, at rates determined on various exchanges, such as Cumberland, Coinsquare (in Canada), Coinbase, Bitsquare, Bitstamp, and others. Cryptocurrency prices are quoted on various exchanges and fluctuate with extreme volatility.
We believe cryptocurrencies offer many advantages over traditional, fiat currencies, although many of these factors also present potential disadvantages and may introduce additional risks, including:
|●||acting as a fraud deterrent, as cryptocurrencies are digital and cannot be counterfeited or reversed arbitrarily by a sender;|
|●||elimination of counterparty risk;|
|●||no trusted intermediary required;|
|●||identity theft prevention;|
|●||accessible by everyone;|
|●||transactions are verified and protected through a confirmation process, which prevents the problem of double spending;|
|●||decentralized – no central authority (government or financial institution); and|
|●||recognized universally and not bound by government imposed or market exchange rates.|
However, cryptocurrencies may not provide all of the benefits they purport to offer at all or at any time.
Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 and was first introduced as a means of exchange in 2009. Bitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely new form of digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, we believe bitcoin can be viewed as cash for the Internet. The bitcoin network shares a public ledger called the “blockchain.” This ledger contains every transaction ever processed, allowing a user’s computer to verify the validity of each transaction. The authenticity of each transaction is protected by digital signatures corresponding to the sending addresses, allowing all users to have full control over sending bitcoins currency rewards from their own bitcoin addresses. In addition, anyone can process transactions using the computing power of specialized hardware and earn a reward in bitcoins for this service. This process is often called “mining.”
As with many new and emerging technologies, there are potentially significant risks. Businesses (including the Company) which are seeking to develop, promote, adopt, transact or rely upon blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies have a limited track record and operate within an untested new environment. These risks are not only related to the businesses the Company pursues, but the sector and industry as a whole, as well as the entirety of the concept behind blockchain and cryptocurrency as value. Factors such as access to computer processing capacity, interconnectivity, electricity cost, environmental factors (such as cooling capacity) and location play an important role in “mining,” which is the term for using the specialized computers in connection with the blockchain for the creation of new units of cryptocurrency.
Mathematically Controlled Supply
The method for creating new bitcoins is mathematically controlled in a manner so that the supply of bitcoins grows at a limited rate pursuant to a pre-set schedule. The number of bitcoins awarded for solving a new block is automatically halved every 210,000 blocks. Thus, the current fixed reward for solving a new block is 12.5 bitcoins per block and the reward decreased by half to become 6.25 bitcoins around May 10, 2020 (based on estimates of the rate of block solution calculated by BitcoinClock.com). This deliberately controlled rate of bitcoin creation means that the number of bitcoins in existence will never exceed 21 million and that bitcoins cannot be devalued through excessive production unless the Bitcoin Network’s source code (and the underlying protocol for bitcoin issuance) is altered. The Company monitors the Blockchain network and, as of December 9, 2020, based on the information we collected from our network access, more than 18.45 million bitcoins have been mined.
Digital Asset Mining
We intend to power and secure blockchains by verifying blockchain transactions using custom hardware and software. We are currently using our hardware to mine bitcoin (“BTC”) and expect to mine BTC, and potentially other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin relies on different technologies based on the blockchain. Wherein bitcoin is a digital currency, we will be compensated in BTC based on the mining transactions we perform, which is how we will earn revenue.
Blockchains are decentralized digital ledgers that record and enable secure peer-to-peer transactions without third party intermediaries. Blockchains enable the existence of digital assets by allowing participants to confirm transactions without the need for a central certifying authority. When a participant requests a transaction, a peer-to-peer network consisting of computers, known as nodes, validate the transaction and the user’s status using known algorithms. After the transaction is verified, it is combined with other transactions to create a new block of data for the ledger. The new block is added to the existing blockchain in a way that is permanent and unalterable, and the transaction is complete.
Digital assets (also known as cryptocurrency) are a medium of exchange that uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds. Many consumers use digital assets because it offers cheaper and faster peer-to-peer payment options without the need to provide personal details. Every single transaction and the ownership of every single digital asset in circulation is recorded in the blockchain. Miners use powerful computers that tally the transactions to run the blockchain. These miners update each time a transaction is made and ensure the authenticity of information. The miners receive a transaction fee for their service in the form of a portion of the new digital “coins” that are issued.
Performance Metrics – Hashing
We operate mining hardware which performs computational operations in support of the blockchain measured in “hash rate” or “hashes per second.” A “hash” is the computation run by mining hardware in support of the blockchain; therefore, a miner’s “hash rate” refers to the rate at which it is capable of solving such computations. The original equipment used for mining bitcoin utilized the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer to mine various forms of cryptocurrency. Due to performance limitations, CPU mining was rapidly replaced by the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which offers significant performance advantages over CPUs. General purpose chipsets like CPUs and GPUs have since been replaced in the mining industry by Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) chips. These ASIC chips are designed specifically to maximize the rate of hashing operations.
We measure our mining performance and competitive position based on overall hash rate being produced in our mining sites. The latest equipment utilized in our mining operation performs in the range of approximately 86 – 110 terahash per second (TH/s) per unit. This mining hardware is on the cutting edge of available mining equipment and we believe our acquisition of our units places us among leaders of publicly-traded cryptocurrency miners; however, advances and improvements to the technology are ongoing and may be available in quantities to the market in the near future which may affect our perceived position. We believe that our current inventory of miners establishes us among the top public companies in the United States mining cryptocurrency.
Government regulation of blockchain and cryptocurrency is being actively considered by the United States federal government via a number of agencies and regulatory bodies, as well as similar entities in other countries. State government regulations also may apply to our activities and other activities in which we participate or may participate in the future. Other regulatory bodies are governmental or semi-governmental and have shown an interest in regulating or investigating companies engaged in the blockchain or cryptocurrency business.
Regulations may substantially change in the future and it is presently not possible to know how regulations will apply to our businesses, or when they will be effective. As the regulatory and legal environment evolves, we may become subject to new laws, further regulation by the SEC and other agencies, which may affect our mining and other activities. For instance, various bills have also been proposed in Congress related to our business, which may be adopted and have an impact on us. For additional discussion regarding our belief about the potential risks existing and future regulation pose to our business, see the Section entitled “Risk Factors” herein.
We actively use specific hardware and software for our cryptocurrency mining operation. In certain cases, source code and other software assets may be subject to an open source license, as much technology development underway in this sector is open source. For these works, we intend to adhere to the terms of any license agreements that may be in place.
We do not currently own, and do not have any current plans to seek, any patents in connection with our existing and planned blockchain and cryptocurrency related operations. We do expect to rely upon trade secrets, trademarks, service marks, trade names, copyrights and other intellectual property rights and expect to license the use of intellectual property rights owned and controlled by others. In addition, we have developed and may further develop certain proprietary software applications for purposes of our cryptocurrency mining operation.
In cryptocurrency mining, companies, individuals and groups generate units of cryptocurrency through mining. Miners can range from individual enthusiasts to professional mining operations with dedicated data centers. Miners may organize themselves in mining pools. The Company competes or may in the future compete with other companies that focus all or a portion of their activities on owning or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, developing programming for the blockchain, and mining activities. At present, the information concerning the activities of these enterprises is not readily available as the vast majority of the participants in this sector do not publish information publicly or the information may be unreliable. Published sources of information include “bitcoin.org” and “blockchain.info”; however, the reliability of that information and its continued availability cannot be assured.
Several public companies (traded in the U.S. and Internationally), such as the following, may be considered to compete with us, although we believe there is no company, including the following, which engages in the same scope of activities as we do.
|●||Bitcoin Investment Trust|
|●||Blockchain Industries, Inc. (formerly Omni Global Technologies, Inc.)|
|●||Bitfarms Technologies Ltd. (formerly Blockchain Mining Ltd)|
|●||DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc.|
|●||Digihost International, Inc.|
|●||Hive Blockchain Technologies Inc.|
|●||Hut 8 Mining Corp.|
|●||HashChain Technology, Inc.|
|●||MGT Capital Investments, Inc.|
|●||DPW Holdings, Inc.|
|●||Layer1 Technologies, LLC|
|●||Northern Data AG|
While there is limited available information regarding our non-public competitors, we believe that our recent acquisition and deployment of miners (as discussed further above) positions us well among the publicly traded companies involved in the cryptocurrency mining industry. The cryptocurrency industry is a highly competitive and evolving industry and new competitors and/or emerging technologies could enter the market and affect our competitiveness in the future.
As of January 11, 2021, we had 3 full-time employees. We believe our employee relations to be good.
Accounting for Digital Currencies
The lack of U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP) instruction regarding the proper accounting treatment of digital currency assets has created uncertainty regarding the reporting and proper asset classification of digital currency holdings. Management intends to exercise its business judgment in determining appropriate accounting treatment for the recognition of revenue from mining of digital currencies. Management, in conjunction with its outside public accountants and its auditors, has examined various factors surrounding the substance of the Company’s operations and the available guidance published for public company accounting practices in Accounting Standards Codification.
The Company intends to account for its digital currency assets as indefinite life intangible assets. An intangible asset with an indefinite useful life is not amortized, but rather is assessed for impairment annually, or more frequently, when events or changes in circumstances occur which indicate that it is more likely than not that the indefinite-lived asset is impaired. Impairment exists when the carrying amount exceeds its fair value. In testing for impairment, the Company will have the option to first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that an impairment exists. If it is determined that it is not more likely than not that an impairment exists, a quantitative impairment test is not necessary. If the Company concludes otherwise, it is required to perform a quantitative impairment test. To the extent an impairment loss is recognized, the loss establishes the new cost basis of the asset. Subsequent reversal of impairment losses is not permitted. Realized gain or loss on the sale of digital currencies is included in other income or expenses in the Company’s statements of operations.
Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. Before making an investment decision, you should consider carefully the risks, uncertainties and all risk factors set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus, including the risk factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as amended, and each subsequent filed quarterly report on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, which may be amended, supplemented or superseded from time to time by the other reports we file with the SEC in the future.
In addition to those risk factors incorporated by reference herein, the Company has identified the following uncertainties and risk factors which may affect our business:
We may be classified as an inadvertent investment company.
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. Under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), however, a company may be deemed an investment company under Section 3(a)(1)(C) of the 1940 Act if the value of its investment securities is more than 40% of its total assets (exclusive of government securities and cash items) on a consolidated basis.
We have commenced digital asset mining, the outputs of which are cryptocurrencies, which may be deemed a security. In the event that the digital assets held by us exceed 40% of our total assets, exclusive of cash, we inadvertently become an investment company. An inadvertent investment company can avoid being classified as an investment company if it can rely on one of the exclusions under the 1940 Act. One such exclusion, Rule 3a-2 under the 1940 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. We are putting in place policies that we expect will work to keep the investment securities held by us at less than 40% of our total assets, which may include acquiring assets with our cash, liquidating our investment securities 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.
As Rule 3a-2 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 1940 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 1940 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.
Failure to effectively manage our growth could place strains on our managerial, operational and financial resources and could adversely affect our business and operating results.
Our growth has placed, and is expected to continue to place, a strain on our limited managerial, operational and financial resources and systems. Further, as our subsidiary companies’ businesses grow, we will be required to continue to manage multiple relationships. Any further growth by us or our subsidiary companies, or an increase in the number of our strategic relationships, may place additional strain on our managerial, operational and financial resources and systems. 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.
Digital Assets such as bitcoin are likely to be regulated as securities or investment securities.
Bitcoin is the oldest and most well-known form of digital asset. Bitcoin and other forms of digital assets/cryptocurrencies have been the source of much regulatory consternation, resulting in differing definitional outcomes without a single unifying statement. When the interests of investor protection are paramount, for example in the offer or sale of Initial Coin Offering (“ICO”) tokens, the SEC has no difficulty determining that the token offerings are securities under the “Howey” test as stated by the United States Supreme Court, a conclusion with which Marathon agrees. As such, ICO offerings would require registration under the Securities Act or an available exemption therefrom for offers or sales in the United States to be lawful. Section 5(a) of the Securities Act provides that, unless a registration statement is in effect as to a security, it is unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to engage in the offer or sale of securities in interstate commerce. Section 5(c) of the Securities Act provides a similar prohibition against offers to sell, or offers to buy, unless a registration statement has been filed. Although we do not believe our mining activities require registration for us to conduct such activities and accumulate digital assets the SEC, CFTC, Nasdaq or other governmental or quasi-governmental agency or organization may conclude that our activities involve the offer or sale of “securities”, or ownership of “investment securities”, and we may face regulation under the Securities Act or the 1940 Act. Such regulation or the inability to meet the requirements to continue operations, would have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.
The further development and acceptance of digital asset networks and other digital 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 digital asset systems may adversely affect an investment in us.
Digital assets such as bitcoins, that may be used, among other things, to buy and sell goods and services are a new and rapidly evolving industry of which the digital asset networks are prominent, but not unique, parts. The growth of the digital asset industry in general, and the digital asset networks of bitcoin in particular, are subject to a high degree of uncertainty. The factors affecting the further development of the digital asset industry, as well as the digital asset networks, include:
|●||continued worldwide growth in the adoption and use of bitcoins and other digital assets;|
|●||government and quasi-government regulation of bitcoins and other digital assets and their use, or restrictions on or regulation of access to and operation of the digital asset network or similar digital assets systems;|
|●||the maintenance and development of the open-source software protocol of the bitcoin network;|
|●||changes in consumer demographics and public tastes and preferences;|
|●||the availability and popularity of other forms or methods of buying and selling goods and services, including new means of using fiat currencies;|
|●||general economic conditions and the regulatory environment relating to digital assets; and|
|●||the impact of regulators focusing on digital assets and digital securities and the costs associated with such regulatory oversight.|
A decline in the popularity or acceptance of the digital asset networks of bitcoin, or similar digital asset systems, could adversely affect an investment in us.
If we acquire digital securities, even unintentionally, we may violate the Investment Company Act of 1940 and incur potential third-party liabilities.
The Company intends to comply with the 1940 Act in all respects. To that end, if holdings of cryptocurrencies are determined to constitute investment securities of a kind that subject the Company to registration and reporting under the 1940 Act, the Company will limit its holdings to less than 40% of its assets. Section 3(a)(1)(C) of the 1940 Act defines “investment company” to mean any issuer that is engaged or proposes to engage in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding, or trading in securities, and 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. Section 3(a)(2) of the 1940 Act defines “investment securities” to include all securities except (A) Government securities, (B) securities issued by employees’ securities companies, and (C) securities issued by majority-owned subsidiaries which (i) are not investment companies and (ii) are not relying on the exception from the definition of investment company in section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act. As noted above, the SEC has not stated whether bitcoin and cryptocurrency is an investment security, as defined in the 1940 Act.
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. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not been declared an essential business. As a result, we may be required to substantially reduce or cease operations in response to governmental action or decree as a result of COVID-19. We are still assessing the effect on our business from COVID-19 and any actions implemented by the federal, state and local governments. We have implemented safety protocols to protect our staff, but we cannot offer any assurance that COVID-19 or any other pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of an infectious disease in the United States or elsewhere, will not materially and adversely affect our business.
Significant contributors to all or any digital asset network could propose amendments to the respective network’s protocols and software that, if accepted and authorized by such network, could adversely affect an investment in us.
For example, with respect to bitcoins network, a small group of individuals contribute to the Bitcoin Core project on GitHub.com. This group of contributors is currently headed by Wladimir J. van der Laan, the current lead maintainer. These individuals can propose refinements or improvements to the bitcoin network’s source code through one or more software upgrades that alter the protocols and software that govern the bitcoin network and the properties of bitcoin, including the irreversibility of transactions and limitations on the mining of new bitcoin. Proposals for upgrades and discussions relating thereto take place on online forums. For example, there is an ongoing debate regarding altering the blockchain by increasing the size of blocks to accommodate a larger volume of transactions. Although some proponents support an increase, other market participants oppose an increase to the block size as it may deter miners from confirming transactions and concentrate power into a smaller group of miners. To the extent that a significant majority of the users and miners on the bitcoin network install such software upgrade(s), the bitcoin network would be subject to new protocols and software that may adversely affect an investment in the Shares. In the event a developer or group of developers proposes a modification to the bitcoin network that is not accepted by a majority of miners and users, but that is nonetheless accepted by a substantial plurality of miners and users, two or more competing and incompatible blockchain implementations could result. This is known as a “hard fork.” In such a case, the “hard fork” in the blockchain could materially and adversely affect the perceived value of digital assets as reflected on one or both incompatible blockchains, which may adversely affect an investment in us.
The open-source structure of the bitcoin network protocol 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 the bitcoin 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 digital asset network which we are mining on may adversely affect an investment in us.
If a malicious actor or botnet obtains control in excess of 50% of the processing power active on any digital 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 digital 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 digital assets or transactions using such control. Using alternate blocks, the malicious actor could “double-spend” its own digital assets (i.e., spend the same digital 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 digital 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.
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 digital asset transactions. To the extent that the digital assets ecosystems do not act to ensure greater decentralization of digital asset mining processing power, the feasibility of a malicious actor obtaining in excess of 50% of the processing power on any digital 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.
If the award of digital assets for solving blocks and transaction fees for recording transactions are not sufficiently high to incentivize miners, miners may cease expending hashrate to solve blocks and confirmations of transactions on the blockchain could be slowed temporarily. A reduction in the hashrate expended by miners on any digital asset network could increase the likelihood of a malicious actor obtaining control in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the aggregate hashrate active on such network or the blockchain, potentially permitting such actor to manipulate the blockchain in a manner that adversely affects an investment in us.
Bitcoin miners record transactions when they solve for and add blocks of information to the blockchain. When a miner solves for a block, it creates that block, which includes data relating to (i) the solution to the block, (ii) a reference to the prior block in the blockchain to which the new block is being added and (iii) all transactions that have occurred but have not yet been added to the blockchain. The miner becomes aware of outstanding, unrecorded transactions through the data packet transmission and propagation discussed above. Typically, bitcoin transactions will be recorded in the next chronological block if the spending party has an internet connection and at least one minute has passed between the transaction’s data packet transmission and the solution of the next block. If a transaction is not recorded in the next chronological block, it is usually recorded in the next block thereafter.
As the award of new digital assets for solving blocks declines, and if transaction fees are not sufficiently high, miners may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease their mining operations. For example, the current fixed reward on the bitcoin network for solving a new block is twelve and a half (12.5) bitcoins per block; the reward decreased from twenty-five (25) bitcoin in July 2016. It is estimated that it will halve again in about four (4) years. This reduction may result in a reduction in the aggregate hashrate of the bitcoin network as the incentive for miners will decrease. Moreover, miners ceasing operations would reduce the aggregate hashrate on the bitcoin network, which would adversely affect the confirmation process for transactions (i.e., temporarily decreasing the speed at which blocks are added to the blockchain until the next scheduled adjustment in difficulty for block solutions) and make the bitcoin network more vulnerable to a malicious actor obtaining control in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the aggregate hashrate on the bitcoin network. Periodically, the bitcoin network has adjusted the difficulty for block solutions so that solution speeds remain in the vicinity of the expected ten (10) minute confirmation time targeted by the bitcoin network protocol.
Marathon believes that from time to time there will be further considerations and adjustments to the bitcoin network, and others regarding the difficulty for block solutions. More significant reductions in aggregate hashrate on digital asset networks could result in material, though temporary, delays in block solution confirmation time. Any reduction in confidence in the confirmation process or aggregate hashrate of any digital asset network may negatively impact the value of digital assets, which will adversely impact an investment in us.
To the extent that the profit margins of digital asset mining operations are not high, operators of digital asset mining operations are more likely to immediately sell their digital assets earned by mining in the digital asset exchange market, resulting in a reduction in the price of digital assets that could adversely impact an investment in us.
Over the past two years, digital asset mining operations have evolved from individual users mining with computer processors, graphics processing units and first-generation servers. Currently, new processing power brought onto the digital asset networks is predominantly added by incorporated and unincorporated “professionalized” mining operations. Professionalized mining operations may use proprietary hardware or sophisticated machines. They require the investment of significant capital for the acquisition of this hardware, the leasing of operating space (often in data centers or warehousing facilities), incurring of electricity costs and the employment of technicians to operate the mining farms. As a result, professionalized mining operations are of a greater scale than prior miners and have more defined, regular expenses and liabilities. These regular expenses and liabilities require professionalized mining operations to more immediately sell digital assets earned from mining operations on the digital asset exchange market, whereas it is believed that individual miners in past years were more likely to hold newly mined digital assets for more extended periods. The immediate selling of newly mined digital assets greatly increases the supply of digital assets on the digital asset exchange market, creating downward pressure on the price of each digital asset.
The extent to which the value of digital assets mined by a professionalized mining operation exceeds the allocable capital and operating costs determines the profit margin of such operation. A professionalized mining operation may be more likely to sell a higher percentage of its newly mined digital assets rapidly if it is operating at a low profit margin—and it may partially or completely cease operations if its profit margin is negative. In a low profit margin environment, a higher percentage could be sold into the digital asset exchange market more rapidly, thereby potentially reducing digital asset prices. Lower digital asset prices could result in further tightening of profit margins, particularly for professionalized mining operations with higher costs and more limited capital reserves, creating a network effect that may further reduce the price of digital assets until mining operations with higher operating costs become unprofitable and remove mining power from the respective digital asset network. The network effect of reduced profit margins resulting in greater sales of newly mined digital assets could result in a reduction in the price of digital assets that could adversely impact an investment in us.
To the extent that any miners cease to record transactions in solved blocks, transactions that do not include the payment of a transaction fee will not be recorded on the blockchain until a block is solved by a miner who does not require the payment of transaction fees. Any widespread delays in the recording of transactions could result in a loss of confidence in that digital asset network, which could adversely impact an investment in us.
To the extent that any miners cease to record transaction in solved blocks, such transactions will not be recorded on the blockchain. Currently, there are no known incentives for miners to elect to exclude the recording of transactions in solved blocks; however, to the extent that any such incentives arise (e.g., a collective movement among miners or one or more mining pools forcing bitcoin users to pay transaction fees as a substitute for or in addition to the award of new bitcoins upon the solving of a block), actions of miners solving a significant number of blocks could delay the recording and confirmation of transactions on the blockchain. Any systemic delays in the recording and confirmation of transactions on the blockchain could result in greater exposure to double-spending transactions and a loss of confidence in certain or all digital asset networks, which could adversely impact an investment in us.
The acceptance of digital asset network software patches or upgrades by a significant, but not overwhelming, percentage of the users and miners in any digital asset network could result in a “fork” in the respective blockchain, resulting in the operation of two separate networks until such time as the forked blockchains are merged. The temporary or permanent existence of forked blockchains could adversely impact an investment in us.
Digital asset networks are open source projects and, although there is an influential group of leaders in, for example, the bitcoin network community known as the “Core Developers,” there is no official developer or group of developers that formally controls the bitcoin network. Any individual can download the bitcoin network software and make any desired modifications, which are proposed to users and miners on the bitcoin network through software downloads and upgrades, typically posted to the bitcoin development forum on GitHub.com. A substantial majority of miners and bitcoin users must consent to those software modifications by downloading the altered software or upgrade that implements the changes; otherwise, the changes do not become a part of the bitcoin network. Since the bitcoin network’s inception, changes to the bitcoin network have been accepted by the vast majority of users and miners, ensuring that the bitcoin network remains a coherent economic system; however, a developer or group of developers could potentially propose a modification to the bitcoin network that is not accepted by a vast majority of miners and users, but that is nonetheless accepted by a substantial population of participants in the bitcoin network. In such a case, and if the modification is material and/or not backwards compatible with the prior version of bitcoin network software, a fork in the blockchain could develop and two separate bitcoin networks could result, one running the pre-modification software program and the other running the modified version (i.e., a second “bitcoin” network). Such a fork in the blockchain typically would be addressed by community-led efforts to merge the forked blockchains, and several prior forks have been so merged. This kind of split in the bitcoin network could materially and adversely impact an investment in us and, in the worst-case scenario, harm the sustainability of the bitcoin network’s economy.
Intellectual property rights claims may adversely affect the operation of some or all digital asset networks.
Third parties may assert intellectual property claims relating to the holding and transfer of digital 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 digital asset networks’ long-term viability or the ability of end-users to hold and transfer digital 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 digital asset networks or holding or transferring their digital assets. As a result, an intellectual property claim against us or other large digital asset network participants could adversely affect an investment in us.
The digital asset exchanges on which digital assets trade are relatively new and, in most cases, largely unregulated and may therefore be more exposed to fraud and failure than established, regulated exchanges for other products. To the extent that the digital asset exchanges representing a substantial portion of the volume in digital asset trading are involved in fraud or experience security failures or other operational issues, such digital asset exchanges’ failures may result in a reduction in the price of some or all digital assets and can adversely affect an investment in us.
The digital asset exchanges on which the digital assets trade are new and, in most cases, largely unregulated. Furthermore, many digital asset exchanges (including several of the most prominent USD denominated digital asset exchanges) do not provide the public with significant information regarding their ownership structure, management teams, corporate practices or regulatory compliance. As a result, the marketplace may lose confidence in, or may experience problems relating to, digital asset exchanges, including prominent exchanges handling a significant portion of the volume of digital asset trading.
A lack of stability in the digital asset exchange market and the closure or temporary shutdown of digital asset exchanges due to fraud, business failure, hackers or malware, or government-mandated regulation may reduce confidence in the digital asset networks and result in greater volatility in digital asset values. These potential consequences of a digital asset exchange’s failure could adversely affect an investment in us.
Political or economic crises may motivate large-scale sales of digital assets, which could result in a reduction in some or all digital assets’ values and adversely affect an investment in us.
As an alternative to fiat currencies that are backed by central governments, digital assets such as bitcoins, which are relatively new, are subject to supply and demand forces based upon the desirability of an alternative, decentralized means of buying and selling goods and services, and it is unclear how such supply and demand will be impacted by geopolitical events. Nevertheless, political or economic crises may motivate large-scale acquisitions or sales of digital assets either globally or locally. Large-scale sales of digital assets would result in a reduction in their value and could adversely affect an investment in us.
Our ability to adopt technology in response to changing security needs or trends poses a challenge to the safekeeping of our digital assets.
The history of digital asset exchanges has shown that exchanges and large holders of digital assets must adapt to technological change in order to secure and safeguard their digital assets. We rely on Bitgo Inc.’s multi-signature enterprise storage solution to safeguard our digital assets from theft, loss, destruction or other issues relating to hackers and technological attack. Our digital assets will also be moved to various exchanges in order to exchange them for fiat currency during which time we will be relying on the security of such exchanges to safeguard our digital assets. We believe that it may become a more appealing target of security threats as the size of our bitcoin holdings grow. To the extent that either Bitgo Inc. or we are unable to identify and mitigate or stop new security threats, our digital assets may be subject to theft, loss, destruction or other attack, which could adversely affect an investment in us.
Security threats to us could result in, a loss of our digital assets, or damage to the reputation and our brand, each of which could adversely affect an investment in us.
Security breaches, computer malware and computer hacking attacks have been a prevalent concern in the digital asset exchange markets, for example since the launch of the bitcoin network. Any security breach caused by hacking, which involves efforts to gain unauthorized access to information or systems, or to cause intentional malfunctions or loss or corruption of data, software, hardware or other computer equipment, and the inadvertent transmission of computer viruses, could harm our business operations or result in loss of our digital assets. Any breach of our infrastructure could result in damage to our reputation which could adversely affect an investment in us. Furthermore, we believe that, as our assets grow, it may become a more appealing target for security threats such as hackers and malware.
We primarily rely on Bitgo Inc.’s (https://www.bitgo.com/) multi-signature enterprise storage solution to safeguard its digital assets from theft, loss, destruction or other issues relating to hackers and technological attack. Nevertheless, Bitgo Inc.’s security system may not be impenetrable and may not be free from defect or immune to acts of God, and any loss due to a security breach, software defect or act of God will be borne by the Company. The Company’s digital assets will also be stored with exchanges such as Bitgo, Kraken, Bitfinex, Itbit and Coinbase and others prior to selling them.
The security system and operational infrastructure may be breached due to the actions of outside parties, error or malfeasance of an employee of ours, or otherwise, and, as a result, an unauthorized party may obtain access to our, private keys, data or bitcoins. Additionally, outside parties may attempt to fraudulently induce employees of ours to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our infrastructure. As the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently, or may be designed to remain dormant until a predetermined event and often are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. If an actual or perceived breach of our security system occurs, the market perception of the effectiveness of our security system could be harmed, which could adversely affect an investment in us.
In the event of a security breach, we may be forced to cease operations, or suffer a reduction in assets, the occurrence of each of which could adversely affect an investment in us.
A loss of confidence in our security system, or a breach of our security system, may adversely affect us and the value of an investment in us.
We will take measures to protect us and our digital assets from unauthorized access, damage or theft; however, it is possible that the security system may not prevent the improper access to, or damage or theft of our digital assets. A security breach could harm our reputation or result in the loss of some or all of our digital assets. A resulting perception that our measures do not adequately protect our digital assets could result in a loss of current or potential shareholders, reducing demand for our Common Stock and causing our shares to decrease in value.
Digital Asset transactions are irrevocable and stolen or incorrectly transferred digital assets may be irretrievable. As a result, any incorrectly executed digital asset transactions could adversely affect an investment in us.
Digital asset transactions are not, from an administrative perspective, reversible without the consent and active participation of the recipient of the transaction or, in theory, control or consent of a majority of the processing power on the respective digital asset network. Once a transaction has been verified and recorded in a block that is added to the blockchain, an incorrect transfer of digital assets or a theft of digital assets generally will not be reversible, and we may not be capable of seeking compensation for any such transfer or theft. Although our transfers of digital assets will regularly be made to or from vendors, consultants, services providers, etc. it is possible that, through computer or human error, or through theft or criminal action, our digital assets could be transferred from us in incorrect amounts or to unauthorized third parties. To the extent that we are unable to seek a corrective transaction with such third party or are incapable of identifying the third party which has received our digital assets through error or theft, we will be unable to revert or otherwise recover incorrectly transferred Company digital assets. To the extent that we are unable to seek redress for such error or theft, such loss could adversely affect 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 digital assets for which no person is liable.
The digital assets held by us are not insured. Therefore, a loss may be suffered with respect to our digital 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 digital 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 digital assets are not subject to the protections enjoyed by depositors with FDIC or SIPC member institutions.
We may not have adequate sources of recovery if our digital assets are lost, stolen or destroyed.
If our digital assets are lost, stolen or destroyed under circumstances rendering a party liable to us, the responsible party may not have the financial resources sufficient to satisfy our claim. For example, as to a particular event of loss, the only source of recovery for us might be limited, to the extent identifiable, other responsible third parties (e.g., a thief or terrorist), any of which may not have the financial resources (including liability insurance coverage) to satisfy a valid claim of ours.
The sale of our digital assets to pay expenses at a time of low digital asset prices could adversely affect an investment in us.
We may sell our digital assets to pay expenses on an as-needed basis, irrespective of then-current prices. Consequently, our digital assets may be sold at a time when the prices on the respective digital asset exchange market are low, which could adversely affect an investment in us.
Regulatory changes or actions may restrict the use of bitcoins or the operation of the bitcoin network in a manner that adversely affects an investment in us.
Until recently, little or no regulatory attention has been directed toward bitcoin and the bitcoin network by U.S. federal and state governments, foreign governments and self-regulatory agencies. 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 CFTC, the Commission, FinCEN and the Federal Bureau of Investigation) have begun to examine the operations of the bitcoin network, bitcoin users and the bitcoin exchange market.
Digital assets currently face an uncertain regulatory landscape in not only the United States but also in many foreign jurisdictions such as the European Union, China and Russia. While certain governments such as Germany, where the Ministry of Finance has declared bitcoin to be “Rechnungseinheiten” (a form of private money that is recognized as a unit of account, but not recognized in the same manner as fiat currency), have issued guidance as to how to treat bitcoin, most regulatory bodies have not yet issued official statements regarding intention to regulate or determinations on regulation of bitcoin, the bitcoin network and bitcoin users.
The effect of any future regulatory change on us, bitcoins, or other digital assets is impossible to predict, but such change could be substantial and adverse to us and could adversely affect an investment in us.
It may be illegal now, or in the future, to acquire, own, hold, sell or use digital assets in one or more countries, and ownership of, holding or trading in our securities may also be considered illegal and subject to sanction.
Although currently digital assets are not regulated or are lightly regulated in most countries, including the United States, one or more countries such as China and Russia may take regulatory actions in the future that severely restricts the right to acquire, own, hold, sell or use digital assets or to exchange digital assets for fiat currency. Such an action may also result in the restriction of ownership, holding or trading in our securities. Such restrictions may adversely affect an investment in us.
If regulatory changes or interpretations of our activities require our registration as a money services business (“MSB”) under the regulations promulgated by FinCEN under the authority of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, we may be required to register and comply with such regulations. If regulatory changes or interpretations of our activities require the licensing or other registration of us as a money transmitter (or equivalent designation) under state law in any state in which we operate, we may be required to seek licensure or otherwise register and comply with such state law. In the event of any such requirement, to the extent Marathon decides to continue, the required registrations, licensure and regulatory compliance steps may result in extraordinary, non-recurring expenses to us. We may also decide to cease Marathon’s operations. Any termination of certain Company operations in response to the changed regulatory circumstances may be at a time that is disadvantageous to investors.
To the extent that the activities of Marathon cause it to be deemed an MSB under the regulations promulgated by FinCEN under the authority of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, Marathon may be required to comply with FinCEN regulations, including those that would mandate Marathon to implement anti-money laundering programs, make certain reports to FinCEN and maintain certain records.
To the extent that the activities of Marathon cause it to be deemed a “money transmitter” (“MT”) or equivalent designation, under state law in any state in which Marathon operates, Marathon may be required to seek a license or otherwise register with a state regulator and comply with state regulations that may include the implementation of anti-money laundering programs, maintenance of certain records and other operational requirements. Currently, the NYSDFS has finalized its “BitLicense” framework for businesses that conduct “virtual currency business activity,” the Conference of State Bank Supervisors has proposed a model form of state level “virtual currency” regulation and additional state regulators including those from California, Idaho, Virginia, Kansas, Texas, South Dakota and Washington have made public statements indicating that virtual currency businesses may be required to seek licenses as money transmitters. In July 2016, North Carolina updated the law to define “virtual currency” and the activities that trigger licensure in a business-friendly approach that encourages companies to use virtual currency and blockchain technology. Specifically, the North Carolina law does not require miners or software providers to obtain a license for multi-signature software, smart contract platforms, smart property, colored coins and non-hosted, non-custodial wallets. Starting January 1, 2016, New Hampshire requires anyone exchanges a digital currency for another currency must become a licensed and bonded money transmitter. In numerous other states, including Connecticut and New Jersey, legislation is being proposed or has been introduced regarding the treatment of bitcoin and other digital assets. Marathon will continue to monitor for developments in such legislation, guidance or regulations.
Such additional federal or state regulatory obligations may cause Marathon to incur extraordinary expenses, possibly affecting an investment in the Shares in a material and adverse manner. Furthermore, Marathon and its service providers may not be capable of complying with certain federal or state regulatory obligations applicable to MSBs and MTs. If Marathon is deemed to be subject to and determines not to comply with such additional regulatory and registration requirements, we may act to dissolve and liquidate Marathon. Any such action may adversely affect an investment in us.
Current interpretations require the regulation of bitcoins under the CEA by the CFTC, we may be required to register and comply with such regulations. To the extent that we decide to continue operations, the required registrations and regulatory compliance steps may result in extraordinary, non-recurring expenses to us. We may also decide to cease certain operations. Any disruption of our operations in response to the changed regulatory circumstances may be at a time that is disadvantageous to investors.
Current and future legislation, CFTC and other regulatory developments, including interpretations released by a regulatory authority, may impact the manner in which bitcoins are treated for classification and clearing purposes. In particular, bitcoin derivatives are not excluded from the definition of “commodity future” by the CFTC. We cannot be certain as to how future regulatory developments will impact the treatment of bitcoins under the law.
Bitcoins have been deemed to fall within the definition of a commodity and, we may be required to register and comply with additional regulation under the CEA, including additional periodic report and disclosure standards and requirements. Moreover, we may be required to register as a commodity pool operator and to register us as a commodity pool with the CFTC through the National Futures Association. Such additional registrations may result in extraordinary, non-recurring expenses, thereby materially and adversely impacting an investment in us. If we determine not to comply with such additional regulatory and registration requirements, we may seek to cease certain of our operations. Any such action may adversely affect an investment in us. No CFTC orders or rulings are applicable to our business.
If regulatory changes or interpretations require the regulation of bitcoins under the Securities Act and Investment Company Act by the Commission, we may be required to register and comply with such regulations. To the extent that we decide to continue operations, the required registrations and regulatory compliance steps may result in extraordinary, non-recurring expenses to us. We may also decide to cease certain operations. Any disruption of our operations in response to the changed regulatory circumstances may be at a time that is disadvantageous to investors. This would likely have a material adverse effect on us and investors may lose their investment.
Current and future legislation and the Commission rulemaking and other regulatory developments, including interpretations released by a regulatory authority, may impact the manner in which bitcoins are treated for classification and clearing purposes. The Commission’s July 25, 2017 Report expressed its view that digital assets may be securities depending on the facts and circumstances. As of the date of this prospectus, we are not aware of any rules that have been proposed to regulate bitcoins as securities. We cannot be certain as to how future regulatory developments will impact the treatment of bitcoins under the law. Such additional registrations may result in extraordinary, non-recurring expenses, thereby materially and adversely impacting an investment in us. If we determine not to comply with such additional regulatory and registration requirements, we may seek to cease certain of our operations. Any such action may adversely affect an investment in us.
To the extent that digital assets including bitcoins and other digital assets we may own are deemed by the Commission to fall within the definition of a security, we may be required to register and comply with additional regulation under the 1940 Act, including additional periodic reporting and disclosure standards and requirements and the registration of our Company as an investment company. Additionally, one or more states may conclude bitcoins and other digital assets we may own are a security under state securities laws which would require registration under state laws including merit review laws which would adversely impact us since we would likely not comply. As stated earlier in this prospectus, some states including California define the term “investment contract” more strictly than the Commission. Such additional registrations may result in extraordinary, non-recurring expenses of our Company, thereby materially and adversely impacting an investment in our Company. If we determine not to comply with such additional regulatory and registration requirements, we may seek to cease all or certain parts of our operations. Any such action would likely adversely affect an investment in us and investors may suffer a complete loss of their investment.
If federal or state legislatures or agencies initiate or release tax determinations that change the classification of bitcoins as property for tax purposes (in the context of when such bitcoins are held as an investment), such determination could have a negative tax consequence on our Company or our shareholders.
Current IRS guidance indicates that digital assets such as bitcoin should be treated and taxed as property, and that transactions involving the payment of bitcoin for goods and services should be treated as barter transactions. While this treatment creates a potential tax reporting requirement for any circumstance where the ownership of 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 treatment to those transactions which may adversely affect an investment in our Company.
The loss or destruction of a private key required to access a digital asset may be irreversible. Our loss of access to our private keys or our experience of a data loss relating to our Company’s digital assets could adversely affect an investment in our Company.
Digital assets are controllable only by the possessor of both the unique public key and private key relating to the local or online digital wallet in which the digital assets are held. We are required by the operation of digital asset networks to publish the public key relating to a digital wallet in use by us when it first verifies a spending transaction from that digital wallet and disseminates such information into the respective network. We safeguard and keep private the private keys relating to our digital assets by primarily utilizing Bitgo Inc.’s enterprise multi-signature storage solution; to the extent a private key is lost, destroyed or otherwise compromised and no backup of the private key is accessible, we will be unable to access the digital assets held by it and the private key will not be capable of being restored by the respective digital asset network. Any loss of private keys relating to digital wallets used to store our digital assets could adversely affect an investment in us.
Because many of our digital assets are held by digital asset exchanges, we face heightened risks from cybersecurity attacks and financial stability of digital asset exchanges.
Marathon may transfer their digital asset from its wallet to digital asset exchanges prior to selling them. Digital assets not held in Marathon’s wallet are subject to the risks encountered by digital asset exchanges including a DDoS Attack or other malicious hacking, a sale of the digital asset exchange, loss of the digital assets by the digital asset exchange and other risks similar to those described herein. Marathon does not maintain a custodian agreement with any of the digital asset exchanges that hold the Marathon’s digital assets. These digital asset exchanges do not provide insurance and may lack the resources to protect against hacking and theft. If this were to occur, Marathon may be materially and adversely affected.
If the award of digital assets for solving blocks and transaction fees for recording transactions are not sufficiently high to cover expenses related to running data center operations, it may have adverse effects on an investment in us.
If the award of new digital assets for solving blocks declines and transaction fees are not sufficiently high, we may not have an adequate incentive to continue our mining operations, which may adversely impact an investment in us.
As the number of digital assets awarded for solving a block in the blockchain decreases, the incentive for miners to continue to contribute processing power to the respective digital asset network will transition from a set reward to transaction fees. Either the requirement from miners of higher transaction fees in exchange for recording transactions in the blockchain or a software upgrade that automatically charges fees for all transactions may decrease demand for digital assets and prevent the expansion of the digital asset networks to retail merchants and commercial businesses, resulting in a reduction in the price of digital assets that could adversely impact an investment in us.
In order to incentivize miners to continue to contribute processing power to any digital asset network, such network may either formally or informally transition from a set reward to transaction fees earned upon solving for a block. This transition could be accomplished either by miners independently electing to record in the blocks they solve only those transactions that include payment of a transaction fee or by the digital asset network adopting software upgrades that require the payment of a minimum transaction fee for all transactions. If transaction fees paid for digital asset transactions become too high, the marketplace may be reluctant to accept digital assets as a means of payment and existing users may be motivated to switch from one digital asset to another digital asset or back to fiat currency. Decreased use and demand for bitcoins that we have accumulated may adversely affect their value and may adversely impact an investment in us.
We initiate legal proceedings against potentially infringing companies in the normal course of our business and we believe that extended litigation proceedings would be time-consuming and costly, which may adversely affect our financial condition and our ability to operate our business.
To monetize our patent assets, we historically have initiated legal proceedings against potential infringing companies, pursuant to which we may allege that such companies infringe on one or more of our patents. Our viability could be highly dependent on the cost and outcome of the litigation, and there is a risk that we may be unable to achieve the results we desire from such litigation, which failure would substantially harm our business. In addition, the defendants in the litigations are likely to be much larger than us and have substantially more resources than we do, which could make our litigation efforts more difficult and impact the duration of the litigation which would require us to devote our limited financial, managerial and other resources to support litigation that may be disproportionate to the anticipated recovery.
These legal proceedings may continue for several years and may require significant expenditures for legal fees, patent related costs, such as inter-parties review, and other expenses. Disputes regarding the assertion of patents and other intellectual property rights are highly complex and technical. Once initiated, we may be forced to litigate against others to enforce or defend our patent rights or to determine the validity and scope of other party’s patent rights. The defendants or other third parties involved in the lawsuits in which we are involved may allege defenses and/or file counterclaims or commence re-examination proceedings by patenting issuance authorities in an effort to avoid or limit liability and damages for patent infringement or declare our patents to be invalid or non-infringed. If such defenses or counterclaims are successful, they may preclude our ability to derive revenue from the patents we own. A negative outcome of any such litigation, or an outcome which affects one or more claims contained within any such litigation or invalidating any patents, could materially and adversely impact our business. Additionally, we anticipate that our legal fees and other expenses will be material and will negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations and may result in our inability to continue our business. We have incurred significant legal expenses in our patent litigation in the past that are liabilities of the Company and may be unable to settle or reduce these expenses, regardless of the outcome of our patent litigation or the inability to license or recover damages from our patents. These liabilities may lead to litigation or claims with respect to the payment or collection of legal expenses.
Variability in intellectual property laws may adversely affect our intellectual property position.
Intellectual property laws, and patent laws and regulations in particular, have been subject to significant variability either through administrative or legislative changes to such laws or regulations or changes or differences in judicial interpretation, and it is expected that such variability will continue to occur. Additionally, intellectual property laws and regulations differ among states, and countries. Variations in the patent laws and regulations or in interpretations of patent laws and regulations in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of our intellectual property and may change the impact of third-party intellectual property on us. Accordingly, we cannot predict the scope of patents that may be granted to us, the extent to which we will be able to enforce our patents against third parties, or the extent to which third parties may be able to enforce their patents against us.
We may seek to internally develop additional new inventions and intellectual property, which would take time and be costly. Moreover, the failure to obtain or maintain intellectual property rights for such inventions would lead to the loss of our investments in such activities.
We may in the future seek to engage in commercial business ventures or seek internal development of new inventions or intellectual property. These activities would require significant amounts of financial, managerial and other resources and would take time to achieve. Such activities could also distract our management team from its present business initiatives, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business. There is also the risk that such initiatives may not yield any viable new business or revenue, inventions or technology, which would lead to a loss of our investment in such activities.
In addition, even if we are able to internally develop new inventions, in order for those inventions to be viable and to compete effectively, we would need to develop and maintain, and we would be heavily reliant upon, a proprietary position with respect to such inventions and intellectual property. However, there are significant risks associated with any such intellectual property we may develop principally including the following:
|●||patent applications we may file may not result in issued patents or may take longer than we expect to result in issued patents;|
|●||we may be subject to interference proceedings;|
|●||we may be subject to opposition proceedings in the U.S. or foreign countries;|
|●||any patents that are issued to us may not provide meaningful protection;|
|●||we may not be able to develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;|
|●||other companies may challenge patents issued to us;|
|●||other companies may have independently developed and/or patented (or may in the future independently develop and patent) similar or alternative technologies, or duplicate our technologies;|
|●||other companies may design around technologies we have developed; and|
|●||enforcement of our patents would be complex, uncertain and very expensive.|
We cannot be certain that patents will be issued as a result of any future patent applications, or that any of our patents, once issued, will provide us with adequate protection from competing products. For example, issued patents may be circumvented or challenged, declared invalid or unenforceable or narrowed in scope. In addition, since publication of discoveries in scientific or patent literature often lags behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that we will be the first to make our additional new inventions or to file patent applications covering those inventions. It is also possible that others may have or may obtain issued patents that could prevent us from commercializing our products or require us to obtain licenses requiring the payment of significant fees or royalties in order to enable us to conduct our business. As to those patents that we may acquire, our continued rights will depend on meeting any obligations to the seller and we may be unable to do so. Our failure to obtain or maintain intellectual property rights for our inventions would lead to the loss of our investments in such activities, which would have a material adverse effect on us.
Moreover, patent application delays could cause delays in recognizing revenue from our internally generated patents and could cause us to miss opportunities to license patents before other competing technologies are developed or introduced into the market. We are not actively pursuing any commercialization opportunities or internally generated patents.
Our future success depends on our ability to expand our organization to match the growth of our activities.
As our operations grow, the administrative demands upon us will grow, and our success will depend upon our ability to meet those demands. We are organized as a holding company, with numerous subsidiaries. Both the parent company and each of our subsidiaries require certain financial, managerial and other resources, which could create challenges to our ability to successfully manage our subsidiaries and operations and impact our ability to assure compliance with our policies, practices and procedures. These demands include, but are not limited to, increased executive, accounting, management, legal services, staff support and general office services. We may need to hire additional qualified personnel to meet these demands, the cost and quality of which is dependent in part upon market factors outside of our control. Further, we will need to effectively manage the training and growth of our staff to maintain an efficient and effective workforce, and our failure to do so could adversely affect our business and operating results. Currently, we have limited personnel in our organization to meet our organizational and administrative demands.
Risks Relating to Marathon’s Stock
Exercise or conversion of warrants and other convertible securities will dilute shareholder’s percentage of ownership.
We have issued convertible securities, options and warrants to purchase shares of our Common Stock to our officers, directors, consultants and certain shareholders. In the future, we may grant additional options, warrants and convertible securities. The exercise, conversion or exchange of options, warrants or convertible securities, including for other securities, will dilute the percentage ownership of our shareholders. The dilutive effect of the exercise or conversion of these securities may adversely affect our ability to obtain additional capital. The holders of these securities may be expected to exercise or convert such options, warrants and convertible securities at a time when we would be able to obtain additional equity capital on terms more favorable than such securities or when our Common Stock is trading at a price higher than the exercise or conversion price of the securities. The exercise or conversion of outstanding warrants, options and convertible securities will have a dilutive effect on the securities held by our shareholders. We have in the past, and may in the future, exchange outstanding securities for other securities on terms that are dilutive to the securities held by other shareholders not participating in such exchange.
Our Common Stock may be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market (“Nasdaq”) if we fail to comply with continued listing standards.
Our Common Stock is currently traded on Nasdaq under the symbol “MARA”. If we fail to meet any of the continued listing standards of Nasdaq, our Common Stock could be delisted from Nasdaq. During 2019, Marathon received multiple notices regarding its failure to meet several continued listing standards, including the $1.00 minimum closing bid price and the $2.5 million stockholders’ equity requirements, which were subsequently satisfied. Our repeated failures may impact our ability to continue to list our shares for trading on Nasdaq or to obtain approval of any initial listing application in connection with any acquisitions or other changes that require review and approval by Nasdaq. The continued listing standards include specifically enumerated criteria, such as:
|●||a $1.00 minimum closing bid price;|
|●||stockholders’ equity of $2.5 million;|
|●||500,000 shares of publicly-held Common Stock with a market value of at least $1 million;|
|●||300 round-lot stockholders; and|
|●||compliance with Nasdaq’s corporate governance requirements, as well as additional or more stringent criteria that may be applied in the exercise of Nasdaq’s discretionary authority.|
Our stock price may be volatile.
The market price of our Common Stock is likely to be highly volatile and could fluctuate widely in price in response to various factors, many of which are beyond our control, including the following:
|●||changes in our industry including changes which adversely affect bitcoin and other digital assets;|
|●||competitive pricing pressures;|
|●||our ability to obtain working capital financing;|
|●||additions or departures of key personnel;|
|●||sales of our Common Stock;|
|●||our ability to execute our business plan;|
|●||operating results that fall below expectations;|
|●||loss of any strategic relationship;|
|●||regulatory developments; and|
|●||economic and other external factors.|
In addition, the securities markets have from time to time experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that are unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These market fluctuations may also materially and adversely affect the market price of our Common Stock.
We have never paid nor do we expect in the near future to pay cash dividends.
We have never paid cash dividends on our capital stock and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our Common Stock for the foreseeable future. While it is possible that we may declare a dividend after a large settlement, investors should not rely on such a possibility, nor should they rely on an investment in us if they require income generated from dividends paid on our capital stock. Any income derived from our Common Stock would only come from rise in the market price of our Common Stock, which is uncertain and unpredictable.
Offers or availability for sale of a substantial number of shares of our Common Stock may cause the price of our Common Stock to decline.
If our stockholders sell substantial amounts of our Common Stock in the public market upon the expiration of any statutory holding period or lockup agreements, under Rule 144, or issued upon the exercise of outstanding warrants or other convertible securities, it could create a circumstance commonly referred to as an “overhang” and in anticipation of which the market price of our Common Stock could fall. The existence of an overhang, whether or not sales have occurred or are occurring, also could make more difficult our ability to raise additional financing through the sale of equity or equity-related securities in the future at a time and price that we deem reasonable or appropriate. The shares of our restricted Common Stock will be freely tradable upon the earlier of: (i) effectiveness of a registration statement covering such shares and (ii) the date on which such shares may be sold without registration pursuant to Rule 144 (or other applicable exemption) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”).
Investor relations activities and supply and demand factors may affect the price of our Common Stock.
We expect to utilize various techniques such as non-deal road shows and investor relations campaigns in order to generate investor awareness. These campaigns may include personal, video and telephone conferences with investors and prospective investors in which our business practices are described. We may provide compensation to investor relations firms and pay for newsletters, websites, mailings and email campaigns that are produced by third parties based upon publicly-available information concerning us. We do not intend to review or approve the content of such analysts’ reports or other materials based upon analysts’ own research or methods. Investor relations firms should generally disclose when they are compensated for their efforts, but whether such disclosure is made or complete is not under our control. In addition, investors may, from time to time, also take steps to encourage investor awareness through similar activities that may be undertaken at the expense of the investors. Investor awareness activities may also be suspended or discontinued which may impact the trading market of our Common Stock.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements. Such statements include statements regarding our expectations, hopes, beliefs or intentions regarding the future, including but not limited to statements regarding our market, strategy, competition, development plans (including acquisitions and expansion), financing, revenues, operations, and compliance with applicable laws. Forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those discussed in any such statement. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include the risks described in greater detail in the following paragraphs. All forward-looking statements in this document are made as of the date hereof, based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement. Market data used throughout this prospectus is based on published third party reports or the good faith estimates of management, which estimates are based upon their review of internal surveys, independent industry publications and other publicly available information.
You should review carefully the section entitled “Risk Factors” within this prospectus for a discussion of these and other risks that relate to our business and investing in shares of our Common Stock.
All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this prospectus. We disclaim any obligation to update or revise these statements unless required by law, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements we make in this prospectus are reasonable, we can give no assurance that these plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. We disclose important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our expectations under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf.
RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES
If we offer debt securities and/or preference equity securities under this prospectus, we will, if required at that time, provide a ratio of earnings to fixed charges and/or ratio of earnings to combined fixed charges and preference dividends to earnings, respectively, in the applicable prospectus supplement for such offering.
USE OF PROCEEDS
Unless otherwise indicated in a prospectus supplement, We intend to use to use a substantial portion of the net proceeds to purchase additional Bitcoin Mining servers. The remaining proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. We will set forth in a prospectus supplement relating to a specific offering any intended use for the net proceeds received from the sale of securities in that offering. We will have significant discretion in the use of any net proceeds. Investors will be relying on the judgment of our management regarding the application of the proceeds of any sale of securities. We may invest the net proceeds temporarily until we use them for their stated purpose, as applicable.
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK
We are authorized to issue 300,000,000 shares of common stock, at $0.0001 par value per share. As of January 10, 2021, we have 81,408,790 shares of our common stock issued and outstanding.
Holders of the Company’s common stock are entitled to one vote for each share on all matters submitted to a stockholder vote. Holders of common stock do not have cumulative voting rights. Therefore, holders of a majority of the shares of common stock voting for the election of directors can elect all of the directors. Holders of the Company’s common stock representing a third of the voting power of the Company’s capital stock issued, outstanding and entitled to vote, represented in person or by proxy, are necessary to constitute a quorum at any meeting of stockholders. A vote by the holders of a majority of the Company’s outstanding shares is required to effectuate certain fundamental corporate changes such as liquidation, merger or an amendment to the Company’s certificate of incorporation.
Holders of the Company’s common stock are entitled to share in all dividends that the board of directors, in its discretion, declares from legally available funds. In the event of a liquidation, dissolution or winding up, each outstanding share entitles its holder to participate pro rata in all assets that remain after payment of liabilities and after providing for each class of stock, if any, having preference over the common stock. The Company’s common stock has no pre-emptive rights, no conversion rights and there are no redemption provisions applicable to the Company’s common stock.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Equity Stock Transfer, Inc., NY, NY.
Our common stock is currently traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “MARA.”
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED STOCK
The Company’s articles of incorporation authorize the issuance of 50,000,000 shares of “blank check” preferred stock, $0.0001 par value per share, in one or more series, of which no series or shares were outstanding as of September 30, 2020, subject to any limitations prescribed by law, without further vote or action by the stockholders. Each such series of preferred stock shall have such number of shares, designations, preferences, voting powers, qualifications, and special or relative rights or privileges as shall be determined by our board of directors, which may include, among others, dividend rights, voting rights, liquidation preferences, conversion rights and preemptive rights.
Preferred stock is available for possible future financings or acquisitions and for general corporate purposes without further authorization of stockholders unless such authorization is required by applicable law, the rules of the Nasdaq Capital Market or other securities exchange or market on which our stock is then listed or admitted to trading.
Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock with voting or conversion rights that could adversely affect the voting power or other rights of the holders of common stock. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions and other corporate purposes could, under some circumstances, have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of the Company.
A prospectus supplement relating to any series of preferred stock being offered will include specific terms relating to the offering. Such prospectus supplement will include:
|●||the title and stated or par value of the preferred stock;|
|●||the number of shares of the preferred stock offered, the liquidation preference per share and the offering price of the preferred stock;|
|●||the dividend rate(s), period(s) and/or payment date(s) or method(s) of calculation thereof applicable to the preferred stock;|
|●||whether dividends shall be cumulative or non-cumulative and, if cumulative, the date from which dividends on the preferred stock shall accumulate;|
|●||the provisions for a sinking fund, if any, for the preferred stock;|
|●||any voting rights of the preferred stock;|
|●||the provisions for redemption, if applicable, of the preferred stock;|
|●||any listing of the preferred stock on any securities exchange;|
|●||the terms and conditions, if applicable, upon which the preferred stock will be convertible into our common stock, including the conversion price or the manner of calculating the conversion price and conversion period;|
|●||if appropriate, a discussion of Federal income tax consequences applicable to the preferred stock;|
|●||and any other specific terms, preferences, rights, limitations or restrictions of the preferred stock.|
The terms, if any, on which the preferred stock may be convertible into or exchangeable for our common stock will also be stated in the preferred stock prospectus supplement. The terms will include provisions as to whether conversion or exchange is mandatory, at the option of the holder or at our option, and may include provisions pursuant to which the number of shares of our common stock to be received by the holders of preferred stock would be subject to adjustment.
DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS
We may issue warrants for the purchase of preferred stock or common stock. Warrants may be issued independently or together with any preferred stock or common stock, and may be attached to or separate from any offered securities. Each series of warrants will be issued under a separate warrant agreement to be entered into between a warrant agent specified in the agreement and us. The warrant agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the warrants of that series and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holders or beneficial owners of warrants. This summary of some provisions of the securities warrants is not complete. You should refer to the securities warrant agreement, including the forms of securities warrant certificate representing the securities warrants, relating to the specific securities warrants being offered for the complete terms of the securities warrant agreement and the securities warrants. The securities warrant agreement, together with the terms of the securities warrant certificate and securities warrants, will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the offering of the specific warrants.
The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the following terms, where applicable, of the warrants in respect of which this prospectus is being delivered:
|●||the title of the warrants;|
|●||the aggregate number of the warrants;|
|●||the price or prices at which the warrants will be issued;|
|●||the designation, amount and terms of the offered securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants;|
|●||if applicable, the date on and after which the warrants and the offered securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants will be separately transferable;|
|●||the terms of the securities purchasable upon exercise of such warrants and the procedures and conditions relating to the exercise of such warrants;|
|●||any provisions for adjustment of the number or amount of securities receivable upon exercise of the warrants or the exercise price of the warrants;|
|●||the price or prices at which and currency or currencies in which the offered securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants may be purchased;|
|●||the date on which the right to exercise the warrants shall commence and the date on which the right shall expire;|
|●||the minimum or maximum amount of the warrants that may be exercised at any one time;|
|●||information with respect to book-entry procedures, if any;|
|●||if appropriate, a discussion of Federal income tax consequences; and|
|●||any other material terms of the warrants, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the exchange and exercise of the warrants.|
Warrants for the purchase of common stock or preferred stock will be offered and exercisable for U.S. dollars only. Warrants will be issued in registered form only.
Upon receipt of payment and the warrant certificate properly completed and duly executed at the corporate trust office of the warrant agent or any other office indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will, as soon as practicable, forward the purchased securities. If less than all of the warrants represented by the warrant certificate are exercised, a new warrant certificate will be issued for the remaining warrants.
Prior to the exercise of any securities warrants to purchase preferred stock or common stock, holders of the warrants will not have any of the rights of holders of the common stock or preferred stock purchasable upon exercise, including in the case of securities warrants for the purchase of common stock or preferred stock, the right to vote or to receive any payments of dividends on the preferred stock or common stock purchasable upon exercise.
DESCRIPTION OF UNITS
As specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may issue units consisting of shares of common stock, shares of preferred stock or warrants or any combination of such securities.
The applicable prospectus supplement will specify the following terms of any units in respect of which this prospectus is being delivered:
|●||the terms of the units and of any of the common stock, preferred stock and warrants comprising the units, including whether and under what circumstances the securities comprising the units may be traded separately;|
|●||a description of the terms of any unit agreement governing the units; and|
|●||a description of the provisions for the payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units.|
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
We may sell the securities offered through this prospectus (i) to or through underwriters or dealers, (ii) directly to purchasers, including our affiliates, (iii) through agents, (iv) via so called “at-the-market” or “ATM” offerings, or (v) through a combination of any of these methods. The securities may be distributed at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed, market prices prevailing at the time of sale, prices related to the prevailing market prices, or negotiated prices. The prospectus supplement will include the following information:
|●||the terms of the offering;|
|●||the names of any underwriters or agents;|
|●||the name or names of any managing underwriter or underwriters;|
|●||the purchase price of the securities;|
|●||any over-allotment options under which underwriters may purchase additional securities from us;|
|●||the net proceeds from the sale of the securities;|
|●||any delayed delivery arrangements;|
|●||any underwriting discounts, commissions and other items constituting underwriters’ compensation;|
|●||any initial public offering price;|
|●||any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers;|
|●||any commissions paid to agents; and|
|●||any securities exchange or market on which the securities may be listed.|
Agents, underwriters, and dealers may be entitled, under agreements entered into with us, to indemnification by us against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act. Our agents, underwriters, and dealers, or their affiliates, may be customers of, engage in transactions with or perform services for us, in the ordinary course of business.
Sale through Underwriters or Dealers
Only underwriters named in the prospectus supplement are underwriters of the securities offered by the prospectus supplement.
If underwriters are used in the sale, the underwriters will acquire the securities for their own account, including through underwriting, purchase, security lending or repurchase agreements with us. The underwriters may resell the securities from time to time in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions. Underwriters may sell the securities in order to facilitate transactions in any of our other securities (described in this prospectus or otherwise), including other public or private transactions and short sales. Underwriters may offer securities to the public either through underwriting syndicates represented by one or more managing underwriters or directly by one or more firms acting as underwriters. Unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the securities will be subject to certain conditions, and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all the offered securities if they purchase any of them. The underwriters may change from time to time any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers.
If dealers are used in the sale of securities offered through this prospectus, we will sell the securities to them as principals. They may then resell those securities to the public at varying prices determined by the dealers at the time of resale. The prospectus supplement will include the names of the dealers and the terms of the transaction.
Direct Sales and Sales through Agents
We may sell the securities offered through this prospectus directly. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. Such securities may also be sold through agents designated from time to time. The prospectus supplement will name any agent involved in the offer or sale of the offered securities and will describe any commissions payable to the agent. Unless otherwise indicated in the prospectus supplement, any agent will agree to use its reasonable best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of its appointment.
We may sell the securities directly to institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning of the Securities Act with respect to any sale of those securities. The terms of any such sales will be described in the prospectus supplement.
Delayed Delivery Contracts
If the prospectus supplement indicates, we may authorize agents, underwriters or dealers to solicit offers from certain types of institutions to purchase securities at the public offering price under delayed delivery contracts. These contracts would provide for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. The contracts would be subject only to those conditions described in the prospectus supplement. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the commission payable for solicitation of those contracts.
Continuous Offering Program
Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, we may enter into a continuous offering program equity distribution agreement with a broker-dealer, under which we may offer and sell shares of our common stock from time to time through a broker-dealer as our sales agent. If we enter into such a program, sales of the shares of common stock, if any, will be made by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions on the Nasdaq Capital Market at market prices, block transactions and such other transactions as agreed upon by us and the broker-dealer. Under the terms of such a program, we also may sell shares of common stock to the broker-dealer, as principal for its own account at a price agreed upon at the time of sale. If we sell shares of common stock to such broker-dealer as principal, we will enter into a separate agreement with such broker-dealer, and we will describe this agreement in a separate prospectus supplement or pricing supplement.
Market Making, Stabilization and Other Transactions
Unless the applicable prospectus supplement states otherwise, other than our common stock all securities we offer under this prospectus will be a new issue and will have no established trading market. We may elect to list offered securities on an exchange or in the over-the-counter market. Any underwriters that we use in the sale of offered securities may make a market in such securities, but may discontinue such market making at any time without notice. Therefore, we cannot assure you that the securities will have a liquid trading market.
Any underwriter may also engage in stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions and penalty bids in accordance with Rule 104 under the Exchange Act. Stabilizing transactions involve bids to purchase the underlying security in the open market for the purpose of pegging, fixing or maintaining the price of the securities. Syndicate covering transactions involve purchases of the securities in the open market after the distribution has been completed in order to cover syndicate short positions.
Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a syndicate member when the securities originally sold by the syndicate member are purchased in a syndicate covering transaction to cover syndicate short positions. Stabilizing transactions, syndicate covering transactions and penalty bids may cause the price of the securities to be higher than it would be in the absence of the transactions. The underwriters may, if they commence these transactions, discontinue them at any time.
The validity of the issuance of the securities offered by this prospectus will be passed upon for us by Jolie Kahn, Esq. of New York, NY. If certain legal matters in connection with an offering of the securities covered by this prospectus and a related prospectus supplement are passed upon by counsel for the underwriters, if any, of such offering, that counsel will be named in the related prospectus supplement for such offering.
The consolidated balance sheets of Marathon Patent Group, Inc. as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, and the related consolidated statements of operations and other comprehensive loss, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for the years then ended have been audited by RBSM LLP, as stated in their report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements are incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such report given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
We file annual, quarterly and special reports, along with other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available to the public over the Internet at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. You may also read and copy any document we file at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the Public Reference Room. Our SEC filings are also available on our website, https://ir.marathonpatentgroup.com/under the heading “Investors.” The information on this website is expressly not incorporated by reference into, and does not constitute a part of, this prospectus.
This prospectus is part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the SEC to register the securities offered hereby under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. This prospectus does not contain all of the information included in the registration statement, including certain exhibits and schedules. You may obtain the registration statement and exhibits to the registration statement from the SEC at the address listed above or from the SEC’s internet site.
INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE
This prospectus is part of a registration statement filed with the SEC. The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” into this prospectus the information that we file with them, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus, and information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information. The following documents are incorporated by reference and made a part of this prospectus:
|●||Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed on March 24, 2020 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020, June 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020 (as amended), filed on May 14, 2020, August 14, 2020 and November 13, 2020, respectively;|
|●||Our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A and accompanying additional proxy materials filed with the SEC on November 2, 2020, and as amended;|
|●||Current Reports on Form 8-K (excluding any reports or portions thereof that are deemed to be furnished and not filed) filed on April 9, 2020, April 22, 2020, May 20, 2020, August 18, 2020, October 13, 2020, October 23, 2020, October 29, 2020, November 18, 2020, December 16, 2020, December 22, 2020, December 28, 2020 and January 7, 2021; and|
|●||Our registration statement on Form 8-A filed on April 12, 2012 and July 22, 2014.|
We also incorporate by reference all additional documents that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the terms of Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act that are made after the date of the initial registration statement but prior to effectiveness of the registration statement and after the date of this prospectus but prior to the termination of the offering of the securities covered by this prospectus. We are not, however, incorporating, in each case, any documents or information that we are deemed to furnish and not file in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission rules.
You may request, and we will provide you with, a copy of these filings, at no cost, by calling us at (702) 945-2773 or by writing to us at the following address:
Marathon Patent Group, Inc.
1180 North Town Center Drive, Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89114
MARATHON PATENT GROUP, INC.
January 12, 2021
INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS
Item 14. Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution.
The following table sets forth the costs and expenses payable by the Registrant in connection with this offering, other than underwriting commissions and discounts, all of which are estimated except for the SEC registration fee.
|SEC registration fee||$||21,820|
|Printing and engraving expenses||*|
|Legal fees and expenses||*|
|Accounting fees and expenses||*|
|Transfer agent and registrar’s fees and expenses||*|
* Unable to calculate and to be disclosed by prospectus supplement.
Item 15. Indemnification of Directors and Officers.
Nevada Revised Statutes Sections 78.7502 and 78.751 provide us with the power to indemnify any of our directors and officers. The director or officer must have conducted himself/herself in good faith and reasonably believe that his/her conduct was in, or not opposed to, our best interests. In a criminal action, the director, officer, employee or agent must not have had reasonable cause to believe his/her conduct was unlawful.
Under Nevada Revised Statutes Section 78.751, advances for expenses may be made by agreement if the director or officer affirms in writing that he/she believes he/she has met the standards and will personally repay the expenses if it is determined such officer or director did not meet the standards.
Our Articles of Incorporation provide that our officers and directors shall be indemnified and held harmless to the fullest extent legally permissible under the laws of the State of Nevada against all expenses, liability and loss (including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines and amounts paid or to be paid in settlement) reasonably incurred or suffered by them in connection with any civil, criminal, administrative or investigative action, suit or proceeding related to their service as an officer or director. Such right of indemnification shall be a contract right which may be enforced in any manner desired by such person. We must pay the expenses of officers and directors incurred in defending a civil or criminal action, suit or proceeding as they are incurred and in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit or proceeding, upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the director or officer to repay the amount if it is ultimately determined by a court of competent jurisdiction that he is not entitled to be indemnified by us. Such right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of any other right which such directors or officers may have or hereafter acquire.
Our Articles of Incorporation provide that we may adopt bylaws to provide at all times the fullest indemnification permitted by the laws of the State of Nevada, and may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any of officers and directors. The indemnification provided in our Articles of Incorporation shall continue as to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer, employee or agent, and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of such person.
Our Bylaws provide that a director or officer shall have no personal liability to us or our stockholders for damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director or officer, except for damages for breach of fiduciary duty resulting from (a) acts or omissions which involve intentional misconduct, fraud, or a knowing violation of law, or (b) the payment of dividends in violation of Nevada Revised Statutes Section 78.300.
Item 16. Exhibits.
|Number||Description of Document|
|1.1||Placement Agency Agreement*|
|1.2||Form of Underwriting Agreement.*|
|3.1||Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation of the Company dated November 25, 2011. (1)|
|3.2||Certificate of Amendment to Articles of Incorporation dated February 15, 2013. (2)|
|3.3||Certificate of Amendment to Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation dated July 18, 2013 (3) Certificate of Amendment to Articles of Incorporation dated February 15, 2013. (2)|
|3.4||Certificate of Amendment to Articles of Incorporation dated October 25, 2017. (4) Certificate of Amendment to Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation dated July 18, 2013 (3)|
|3.5||Certificate of Amendment to Articles of Incorporation dated October 25, 2017. (4)|
|3.6||Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Company dated November 25, 2011. (5)|
|4.1||Certificate of Designation of Preferences, Rights and Limitations of Series B Convertible Preferred Stock. (6)|
|4.2||Certificate of Designation of Rights, Powers, Preferences, Privileges and Restrictions of 0% Series E Convertible Preferred Stock. (7) Certificate of Designation of Preferences, Rights and Limitations of Series B Convertible Preferred Stock. (6)|
|4.3||Certificate of Correction to Certificate of Designation of Rights, Powers, Preferences, Privileges and Restrictions of 0% Series E Convertible Preferred Stock. (8) Certificate of Designation of Rights, Powers, Preferences, Privileges and Restrictions of 0% Series E Convertible Preferred Stock. (7)|
|4.4||Form of proposed Certificate of Designation of Preferences, Rights and Limitations of 0% Series E-1 Convertible Preferred Stock. (9) Certificate of Correction to Certificate of Designation of Rights, Powers, Preferences, Privileges and Restrictions of 0% Series E Convertible Preferred Stock. (8)|
|4.5||Form of proposed Certificate of Designation of Preferences, Rights and Limitations of 0% Series E-1 Convertible Preferred Stock. (9)|
|4.6||Form of Certificate of Designation.*|
|4.7||Form of Preferred Stock Certificate.*|
|4.8||Form of Warrant Agreement.*|
|4.9||Form of Warrant Certificate.*|
|4.10||Form of Stock Purchase Agreement.*|
|4.11||Form of Unit Agreement.*|
|5.1||Opinion of Jolie Kahn, Esq.**|
|23.1||Consent of RBSM, LLP**|
|23.2||Consent of Jolie Kahn, Esq. (contained in Exhibit 5.1)|
* To be filed by amendment or by a Current Report on Form 8-K and incorporated by reference herein.
** Filed herewith.
|(1)||Previously filed as Exhibit 3.1 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed December 9, 2011 and incorporated herein by reference.|
|(2)||Previously filed as Exhibit 3.1 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed February 20, 2013 and incorporated herein by reference.|
|(3)||Previously filed as Exhibit 3.1 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed July 19, 2013 and incorporated herein by reference.|
|(4)||Previously filed as Exhibit 3.4 to Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed January 24, 2018 and incorporated herein by reference.|
|(5)||Previously filed as Exhibit 3.2 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed December 9, 2011 and incorporated herein by reference|
|(6)||Previously filed as Exhibit 3.2 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed May 7, 2014 and incorporated herein by reference.|
|(7)||Previously filed as Exhibit 4.1 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed December 1, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.|
|(8)||Previously filed as Exhibit 4.1 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed December 22, 2017 and incorporated herein by reference.|
|(9)||Previously filed as Exhibit 4.4 to Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed January 24, 2018 and incorporated herein by reference.|
Item 17. Undertakings
(a) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:
(1) To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:
(i) To include any prospectus required by section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933;
(ii) To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective registration statement.
(iii) To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;
provided, however, Paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii) of this section do not apply if the registration statement is on Form S-3 and the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the registrant pursuant to section 13 or section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.
(2) That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(3) To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.
(4) That, for the purpose of determining liability under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser:
(i) Each prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and
(ii) Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5), or (b)(7) as part of a registration statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii), or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by section 10(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration statement to which that prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date; or
(5) That, for the purpose of determining liability of the registrant under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities, the undersigned registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of the undersigned registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:
(i) Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424;
(ii) Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned registrant;
(iii) The portion of any other free writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant; and
(iv) Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned registrant to the purchaser.
(b) The registrant hereby undertakes that for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of the registrant’s annual report pursuant to section 13(a) or section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(c) Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.
(d) The registrant hereby undertakes that:
(1) For purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act, the information omitted from the form of prospectus filed as part of this registration statement in reliance upon Rule 430A and contained in a form of prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(1) or (4) or 497(h) under the Securities Act shall be deemed to be part of this registration statement as of the time it was declared effective.
(2) For the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each post-effective amendment that contains a form of prospectus shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing Form S-3 and has duly caused this registration statement or Amendment thereto to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in Las Vegas, NV, on January 12, 2021
|MARATHON PATENT GROUP, INC.|
|By:||/s/ Merrick Okamoto|
|Title:||Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman|
|(Principal Executive Officer)|
|By:||/s/ Simeon Salzman|
|Title:||Chief Financial Officer|
|(Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)|
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this registration statement has been signed by the following persons in the capacities and on the dates indicated.
|/s/ Merrick Okamoto||Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman (Principal Executive Officer)||January 12, 2021|
|/s/ Simeon Salzman||Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)||January 12, 2021|
|/s/ Fred Thiel||Director||January 12, 2021|
|/s/ Peter Benz||Director||January 12, 2021|
|/s/ Michael Berg||Director||January 12, 2021|
|/s/ David Lieberman||Director||January 12, 2021|