Long Island Iced Tea skyrockets after renaming itself Long Blockchain

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(Reuters) – Beverage maker Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s (LTEA.O) shares jumped 300 percent after the company said it would rebrand itself Long Blockchain Corp, the latest obscure U.S. firm to tap into the frenzy surrounding crypto currencies.

Long Island Ice Tea said it was shifting its primary business strategy to blockchain technology and was in the preliminary stages of evaluating specific opportunities to grow that business.

The company said it would still continue to operate its beverage business, under which it sells Long Island iced tea and Long Island lemonade.

The surge in the company’s stock price lifted its market capitalization to $92 million from $23.8 million as of Wednesday’s close.

Several other small U.S. firms in recent weeks have reshaped their business models to capitalize on the craze for blockchain technology, which supports cryptocurrency.

Earlier in the day, furniture maker Nova Lifestyle’s shares (NVFY.O) also jumped after it said it would create a unit focusing on blockchain. Diagnostic company Bioptix’s shares soared 400 percent after it changed its name to Riot Blockchain (RIOT.O) in October.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty