Iced tea maker pivots to … blockchain? And sees its share price double

Newswire: Dec. 21, 2017.

Dateline: Farmingdale, N.Y.

Long Island Iced Tea Corp., the makers of the eponymous beverage sold across the country, will rebrand itself as Long Blockchain Corp. Investors’ positive reaction to the news sent the firm’s share price soaring more than 200 percent at the close of trading on Thursday.

Shares have since dipped, to $5.72 at time of publication, still a 6-month high. Long Island Iced Tea Corp., as Long Blockchain Corp., will also seek a new ticker symbol from Nasdaq.

“The Company believes that emerging blockchain technologies are creating a fundamental paradigm shift across the global marketplace,” Long Island Iced Tea Corp. said in a statement. The company noted that blockchain powers applications ranging from financial services to consumer packaged goods — its primary business — through supply chain verification.

Already, Long Island Iced Tea is pursuing blockchain opportunities, including acquisitions involving two firms involved in software development and financial services related to blockchain solutions in global financial markets, and developing a new smart contract platform.

“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,” said Philip Thomas, the chief executive of Long Island Iced Tea Corp.

The company’s statement said that it will continue to operate its beverage business.

Though blockchain is part of a gold-rush mentality at the moment, spurring investment, speculation and adjacent ventures, with any rush comes a spate of failures. A study by Deloitte published in November found that of 26,000 open-source blockchain projects begun in 2016, only 8 percent of them were still maintained.

Read Long Island Iced Tea Corp.’s full statement here.

(Front page image via Long Island Iced Tea on Facebook.)