This morning, Long Island Iced Tea, a New York-based beverage maker, announced it was changing its name to Long Blockchain Corp. The company’s relation to cryptocurrency is dubious — it says it will “leverage the benefits of blockchain technology” — but it was quickly rewarded with a 200 percent jump in stock price at the opening of trading.
Long Island Iced Tea isn’t the first or even the strangest company to try cashing in on the bitcoin craze. As bitcoin’s value skyrocketed past $15,000 earlier this month, several companies have rewritten their name or mission statement to reference blockchain technology or cryptocurrency. Just a mention of bitcoin appears enough to woo investors and get media attention (including, now, this story).
Bloomberg noted several of the stranger rebranding efforts: sports bras, juice, and e-cigarette companies that appear to have had very little to do with bitcoin previously.
Formerly known as SkyPeople Fruit Juice, the Hong Kong-based company renamed itself Future FinTech Group Inc. Despite the new label, the company still makes packaged food and, in its November presentation to investors, made mention of its plans to expand kiwi and orange plantations.
Another company, The Crypto Company, actually deals in cryptocurrency but went public by acquiring a sports bra company. The Crypto Company had its stock suspended by the SEC on Tuesday, citing concerns about accuracy and “potentially manipulative transactions.” The public sports bra company it acquired had declared quite ambitiously on its site that its bras were going to have pockets for holding money, chapstick, and ID, a tiny phone charger, and mace.
Then in the vaping business, the California-based Vapetek Inc. has decided to rename itself Nodechain Inc. and says it will explore Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. Nodechain says it has many GPU mining rigs it bought from US suppliers and estimates that it will be able to pull in around $500 in ethereum or in bitcoin per rig each day. The publicly traded company also changed its website domain from Vapetek.com to Nodecha.in.
In one of the more extreme cases, a Hong Kong group called Ping Shan Tea Group Limited, which, as its name suggested, makes tea, has redefined itself as Blockchain Group Co Ltd. Its website now incongruously shows a sleek blockchain logo alongside large stretches of a tea plantation.
Like Ping Shan, now Blockchain Group, Long Blockchain Corp. is going to continue making tea despite its new name. It’s all reminiscent of yesteryear’s dot com bubble when random companies would add dot com to their names.