SEC halts trading of iced tea company that pivoted to blockchain

Enlarge (credit: Lipton / Timothy B. Lee)

Back in 2017, we reported on the bizarre story of the Long Island Iced Tea Company rebranding itself as the Long Blockchain Corp. This happened at the peak of the last big blockchain boom, with bitcoin’s price approaching $20,000 and dubious initial coin offerings raising millions of dollars. The name change led to an immediate tripling of the company’s stock.

Beyond the name change, the Long Blockchain Corp’s blockchain strategy was vague. The company said it was “shifting its primary corporate focus toward the exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology.”

The company initially planned to buy bitcoin mining equipment, but those plans were scrapped within weeks. The NASDAQ stock exchange soon got fed up and booted the company, forcing investors to trade the stock over the counter.

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