Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s shares jump 432% after new name includes word ‘blockchain’, the currency’s ledger technology
Shares in a tiny US soft drinks firm, Long Island Iced Tea Corp, have quadrupled in value in just one day after it changed its name to Long Blockchain Corporation, the latest move by a string of obscure companies rebranding themselves in an attempt to ride the bitcoin bubble.
The small business, which produces a range of soft drinks on Long Island, said it was still going to continue making the iced tea-based drinks but was “shifting its primary corporate focus towards the exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology”.
Blockchain is the ledger technology upon which bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions are lodged. Bitcoin has soared in value by more than 1,600% so far this year, surging towards $20,000 at the start of this week and trading at about $15,600 on Thursday.
Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s shares – which rose by as much as 432% at one point – appear to have spiked on the back of the name change alone, as Long Blockchain has not actually invested in or partnered with any firms involved in cryptocurrencies. The company said it had reserved the web domain longblockchain.com.
“The discussions are only in the preliminary stages but indicate the areas of focus for the company,” it said “There is no assurance that a definitive agreement with these, or any other entity, will be entered into or ultimately consummated.”
Other companies which previously focused on making sofas, sports bras and mining for gold have also changed their names and image to include references to bitcoin. Long Island Iced Tea is not even the first soft drinks company to also do so.
This week shares in a company formerly known as SkyPeople Fruit Juice jumped by more than 200% after a popular TV finance reporter pointed out that it had changed its name to Future FinTech and said its future lay in bitcoin technology.
Philip Thomas, Long Island Ice Tea Corp’s chief executive, said: “We view advances in blockchain technology as a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and have made the decision to pivot our business strategy in order to pursue opportunities in this evolving industry.
“We will, in the coming weeks and months, be taking a series of steps related to our efforts to assemble a world-class team of industry professionals to help us realise this vision. We are pursuing our new direction in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.”
Thomas went on to reassure the firm’s existing suppliers and customers that while the company was “pivoting” towards blockchain technology it would still be producing Long Island iced tea.
“Your support over the years has helped to drive our growth and elevate our brand, and we remain committed to maintaining and fostering these relationships,” he said.