Late last year, we reported on three companies that changed their names to include the word “blockchain.” These were companies that had previously not been involved in blockchain technology. In fact, they weren’t even in industries that have had a blockchain focus. Nonetheless, they changed their names and announced that now they had or were going to have a focus on the technology. Two months later, what’s happening with these companies?
Long Blockchain Corp. Formerly Known As Long Island Iced Tea Corp.
Back in December, Long Island Iced Tea Corp., which had long been engaged in the beverage distribution industry, announced its expansion into blockchain. It also revealed a name change to Long Blockchain Corp. (LBCC). After the announcement, the company’s share price soared to a high of $9.49. At the time, the company publicized that it was in “the preliminary stages of evaluating specific opportunities involving blockchain technology.” Then, in January, it broadcast a plan “to enter the bitcoin mining process,” this according to CoinDesk. In an asset purchase agreement filed with the SEC on January 4, Long Blockchain agreed to purchase “1,000 Antminer S9 mining rigs,” and other related assets. The purchase price was $2.9 million plus 260,000 shares of Long Blockchain Corp.
In a surprise announcement this past week, Long Blockchain “has scrapped the plan,” according to another article from CoinDesk. This latest move by the company does bring into question its long-term plans relating to the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. And, probably due to that uncertainty, the market has been hard on the stock. As of this writing, the stock is at $3.11 per share, a decrease of 67 percent.
Future FinTech Group
Future FinTech Group, which was previously known as SkyPeople Fruit Juice, announced in December that it was going to begin a focus on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. In an SEC filing dated January 19, the company stated its intention to “spin-off the fruit juice, food, and construction in progress—the traditional fruit juice businesses.” After the completion of such activity, the company said it intends to “transition to a light assets and financial technology company.” It also plans to “establish online sales of fruit juice and consumer products.” Consistent with its published intention back in December, the company also detailed that, “through a subsidiary, we have entered into a service contract for the development of our blockchain-based Global Shared Shopping Mall platform.”
In a noteworthy turn of events, it was revealed on January 5 that the CEO and Chairman of Future FinTech Group, Hongke Xue, was to resign from his position of CEO as of January 31. However, he will remain on the company’s board of directors.
The wild ride for this company shows in the fluctuation of its stock price. From a high of $8.00 per share on December 26, it closed last Friday at $3.05 per share, a decrease of 62 percent.
On-line Blockchain PLC
Another company that gained publicity merely from adding “blockchain” to its name was On-line Blockchain PLC. The company changed its name to On-line Blockchain PLC from On-line PLC and experienced a massive share price increase of 394 percent topside. At the time, Blockchain PLC CEO Clem Chambers had stated, “We have only changed our name once in a generation, but it was a big change, and it has had a big effect,” according to an article by the Express. He also intimated that changing the name was appropriate since they were now engaging in blockchain activities. However, what seemed like a bit of skepticism at the time was expressed by behavioral economist Professor Peter Ayton, “the idea that changing the name of something will make a difference is as old as the hills.”
This company has made no significant headlines since the name change announcement. However, it did have its highest-ever share price on January 8, when it hit $206. It closed last Friday at $117.05 per share, a decrease of 39 percent in one month.
While it remains to be seen how far these companies with actually venture into blockchain technology and its utilization, one thing is clear. While changing your name to include “blockchain” may cause the share price to surge short-term, only real action will make a difference over the long haul.