Bitcoin miner Hut 8 (HUT) experienced a significant drop in its shares, falling as much as 8% on Wednesday, following the departure of CEO Jamie Leverton. This news comes just weeks after the company was hit by a report from short seller JCapital Research, which claimed that Hut 8 was a “pump and dump” waiting to happen.
Leverton had served as CEO for three years before leaving the company. Hut 8 announced that Asher Genoot, the company’s president, would be taking over as CEO with immediate effect. Genoot, who co-founded U.S. Bitcoin Corp. (USBTC), joined Hut 8 in November after the merger between the two companies.
Hut 8 Chairman Bill Tai expressed confidence in Genoot’s ability to lead the company, stating, “The merger of equals of Hut 8 and US Bitcoin Corp was a transformational moment for both companies. Hut 8 is now at a pivotal inflection point, and we believe that Asher is uniquely qualified to accelerate our path to market leadership.”
The departure of Leverton and the subsequent decline in Hut 8’s shares come in the wake of the report released by JCapital Research on January 18. The report suggested that the merger between Hut 8 and USBTC was a “pump and dump” scheme. In response, Hut 8 issued a statement a week later, denouncing the report as a deliberate attempt to spread misinformation about the company.
Hut 8’s stock has experienced a significant decline of over 50% this year. In comparison, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI), which tracks miners’ performance, has lost about 39%, while the price of bitcoin has increased by approximately 2%.
The news of CEO Jamie Leverton’s departure and the subsequent drop in Hut 8’s shares highlight the challenges faced by the company in the volatile cryptocurrency market. Hut 8 will now look to Asher Genoot to navigate these challenges and steer the company towards market leadership.