Hut 8 is a TSX/NASDAQ listed mining company based in Canada. However, we do not mine for gold or minerals. It mines Bitcoin and became the first mining company to qualify for listing on a major exchange in October 2019. This exempts innovative companies through the TSX sandbox.
At the time, finding auditors and banking relationships was a major challenge for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. Being a pioneer in a very new sector with little institutional research or traction, he was one of the many early IR issues he faced along with investor outreach and education, and deep and diverse shareholder development. was.
Sue Ennis joined the company near the end of 2020 as Vice President of Corporate Development. She has seen a lot happen in 18 months. Her CEO, Jaime Leverton, joined around the same time, forming her IR leadership her duo of women in a highly male-dominated industry.
Earlier this year, Hut 8 With the aim of helping gaming and metaverse companies build the Web3 worlds of the future, it added cloud and data center services to its offerings. Bitcoin price volatility pushed Hut8’s market cap to over C$3 billion ($2.34 billion) in late 2021, but in early July 2022 (“Crypto Winter”) In 2009 he dropped to $370 million Canadian dollars. By one estimate, the pandemic increased retail investors from 20% to 35% of all deals, and Hut 8 has benefited from this trend.
“WallStreetBets and GameStop turned the IR upside down,” said Ennis. “It was the power of retail investor volume that helped him reach his S&P/TSX Composite index of top companies, a first for a blockchain company.”
Small enough to be super large
In addition to private investors, the Internet and social media communities are integral to Hut8’s IR strategy, Ennis said. “The internet is the new decentralized hedge fund,” she says. Lacking coverage from banks and traditional analysts, buy-side and sell-side investors turn to the internet and various community forums for information. With retail making up about 65% of Hut 8’s investor base, many retail investors have a tremendous amount of influence given how freely and quickly information is shared online. So we can’t ignore small retail investors, says Ennis.
She just got this job and recalls trying to learn about investors. “She searched Hut 8 on YouTube and she noticed a lot of mentions and activities,” she says. “So I left a comment on my introduce channel and soon many community organizers started contacting me.”
YouTube communities talking about Hut 8 are typically started as side businesses by ordinary people like Paul Barron, Talkin’ Investing, and Zac Hartley, and the community has hundreds to 300,000 followers. Currently, Ennis conducts regular interviews, Ask Me Anythings, and post-earnings conference calls with multiple social media and her communities, including Twitter Spaces and Facebook. “I recently did an interview for her YouTube community that got about 75,000 views,” she recalls. Shortly thereafter, our inboxes filled with inquiries and questions. It was a big hit!
According to Ennis, these community members want more than just information. A cult of people built around their endorsement of Hut 8 and, in many cases, other blockchain and new economy companies, with very strong emotional ties. “Nowadays, more people are living their lives online and virtual, getting to know each other, following each other’s accomplishments, and even doing business with each other,” she explains.
Hut 8’s StockTwits community has 63,000 followers, and Ennis says a significant percentage of them chat online about the company every day. “As an IRO, you need to know where your end customers are and talk to them directly to get the best ROI for her,” she says.
One of her biggest challenges is ESG. “With so much misinformation remaining in the media about the environmental impact of Bitcoin her mining, education and lobbying are our major priorities.”
Hut 8 has aligned its relevant ESG metrics with SASB and GRI. In 2021, the company will reduce its environmental footprint and set specific goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, with a full set of social, governance and other goals in its first sustainability report. outlined.
Ennis wants more change, too. “These aren’t just her crypto-savvy 18-year-olds in her mother’s basement. There are value investors, too.”
Linda Montgomery is a Toronto-based fintech and digital asset marketing executive and IR expert.