Long Blockchain, the company which began life as Long Island Iced Tea Corp., is in hot water. Months ago, the beverage company made headlines when it abruptly renamed itself Long Blockchain. Detractors said the flailing company was trying to capitalize on the fervor over cryptocurrencies. (See more: Long Island Iced Tea Soars 280% After Renaming Itself Long Blockchain.)
Sure enough, upon changing its name, Long Blockchain's stock price skyrocketed. Now, Nasdaq is accusing Long Blockchain of lying to its investors, and is making moves to delist the company. (See also: SEC Halts Trading In 3 Firms Linked To Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.)
As it is, Long Blockchain "remains out of compliance with Nasdaq's rules for market value requirements," according to a report by CoinDesk. In order to maintain its listing in the exchange, the company must maintain a market cap at or above $35 million on at least 10 consecutive business days.
Market Cap Hovering Below Nasdaq's Required Minimum
Long Blockchain has until April 9 to meet these requirement. But earlier today, Long Blockchain's market cap hovered around $31.6 million, a decline of about $2 million from earlier in the week. Today, the company's stock is trading around $3 per share. At its peak, the stock traded for more than double that amount.
Long Blockchain turned heads when it abruptly announced plans to change its focus from beverages to blockchain in December 2017. Given the sudden nature of the shift and inconsistencies regarding the company's market cap and information related to investors, Nasdaq says it has reason to be concerned about the company's honesty. (See also: SEC May Crack Down on Firms Misusing 'Blockchain' Name.)
Plans to Appeal
For its part, Long Blockchain is not taking the news that Nasdaq aims to delist it from the exchange lightly. The company is appealing the delisting decision. According to a letter from February 21, Long Blockchain believes Nasdaq "had determined to delist the Company's securities."
The company added that "the notification letter stated that the Staff believed that the Company made a series of public statements designed to mislead investors and to take advantage of general investor interest in bitcoin and blockchain technology, thereby raising concerns about the Company's suitability for exchange listing."
Long Blockchain said it "strongly disagrees" with that determination, and has appealed Nasdaq's decision to a hearings panel. However, because of its sputtering market cap, even if Long Blockchain wins the appeal regarding having misled investors, it may still be delisted for other reasons. (See also: Former Bitcoin Exchange Operator Arrested: SEC Charges Him With Fraud.)
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