Congrats on the new role! What research topics are you most excited to dig into?

Proof of work versus proof of stake Transaction fee predictions Block subsidy purpose Long term security Hashprice history Supply audit follow-up Data-usage audit SegWit and Taproot adoption Reorgs Output value, spending amount Velocity of outputs Mempool competition RBF and CPFP usage Softforks Tracking "blocks needed to close all open Lightning channels"

What's the reasoning behind a Bitcoin Miner building up a non-hardware Research department?

Riot already has excellent hardware research! Just covering all the bases