Speed Reads

is this real life?

This grab-and-go beverage company is now 'pivoting to blockchain'

With just days left before the end of the year, 2017 went ahead and outdid itself. The non-alcoholic New York-based drink manufacturer The Long Island Iced Tea Corporation announced Thursday that it will change its name to Long Blockchain Corp. and shift towards an "exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology." The decision sent shares skyrocketing 432 percent before the opening bell, Business Insider reports; it opened around 200 percent.

Long Blockchain Corp. "intends to request Nasdaq to change its trading symbol" but will "continue to operate Long Island Brand Beverages … and maintain the focus of this business on the ready-to-drink segment of the beverage industry," the press release says before going on to explain the seemingly perplexing "focus in blockchain":

Blockchain acts as a public, decentralized ledger. This ledger provides a single, unified source of data, creating a clearer audit trail and consistency across parties. [Long Blockchain Corp.] believes that emerging blockchain technologies are creating a fundamental paradigm shift across the global marketplace, with far reaching applications across all industries from financial services (smart settlements) to consumer packaged goods (supply chain verification) to healthcare (electronic medical records). [Globe Newswire]

"Blockchain" is the technology used for digital currencies, including bitcoin, which has jumped from $2,500 to more than $16,000 in 2017. Long Island Iced Tea is not the first company to jump on the trend, Business Insider notes, although it is probably the most unexpected. "[W]hat to look for isn't companies that trade in cryptocurrencies or consult in cryptocurrencies or have 'bitcoin' or 'cryptocurrency' or whatever in their name," Jeff Spross explains at The Week. "Instead, look for companies actually trying to develop and deploy blockchain technology."

Don't worry, 2017 is almost over.