Beverage maker Long Island Iced Tea Corp's shares jumped almost 300 per cent on Thursday after the company said it would rebrand itself Long Blockchain Corp, the latest United States firm to tap into the frenzy surrounding cryptocurrencies. Literally just say the word "blockchain", apparently.
Long Blockchain will focus on "the exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology", according to a statement from the company. It's the latest in a near-daily phenomenon sweeping the stock market, where obscure microcap companies reorient to focus on some aspect of the mania sparked by bitcoin's 1,600-per-cent rally this year.
CEO Philip Thomas commented, "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". For instance, the SEC suspended trading in shares of The Crypto Co., which saw a surge in stock price by as much as 17,000 percent in the last three months after announcing plans for a roll out of a crypto trading floor. It now trades up 126 percent over its pre-announcement value.
Shares in the company were up 180 percent to $6.83 in afternoon trading on the tech-dominated Nasdaq.
It's unclear what actions, if any, the SEC would take for Long Blockchain, however. Shares plunged 19% on Thursday, but shares have more than quadrupled in value since October 4. The company said it had reserved the web domain longblockchain.com.
Citron said in a tweet that it believed Riot was making "fraudulent claims to investors".