Bitcoin is a highly volatile digital currency that has multiplied six times in price this year. The blockchain technology behind bitcoin eliminates the need for a third party like a bank by creating a permanent, open record of all transactions. In this regard, some companies begin to use the term “blockchain” in their names. Among them appeared On-Line PLC. Now it is named “On-line Blockchain PLC”. The company сalls itself an “incubator and investor in internet and information businesses,” a description that now includes “blockchain”.
On-line PLC jumped as much as 394 percent on Friday after announcing plans to change its name to On-line Blockchain Plc, following an initial climb of 19 percent on Thursday when it first announced the news. It’s the biggest one-day gain for the small-cap company since its December 1996 listing.
The Essex-based On-line PLC said in a statement:
“Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are a new and exciting area we have been working on for some time. We feel the time is right to re-name the company to reflect these developments, where we believe the future growth will be in our sector. The Board of On-line PLC (AIM: ONL), notes the significant share price movement today.”
This is not the first situation when something like this happens in connection with the name change.
Colorado-based biotechnology company change its name from Bioptix to Riot Blockchain. The stock, which changed its Nasdaq ticker from BIOP to RIOT, has a market cap of about $37 million. The company dealt with blood testing and animal health care. While Riot said on its website that it maintains its Bioptix business, the company now “intends to gain exposure to the blockchain ecosystem through targeted investments in the sector, with a primary focus on the bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.”
Overstock.com also unexpectedly reflected on the news about how the majority shareholder tZero develops a trading platform based on blockchain. The main business of Overstock is the sale of furniture and clothing on the Internet, but in 2014 the company started a unit called Medici Ventures, focused on blockchain.
The stock has almost doubled, helping its market capitalization to crack $1 billion. For comparison, the leader in e-commerce, Amazon.com has a market value of 480 billion dollars.
Overstock also has a license for an alternative trading system and announced plans for the largest initial coin offering ever at $500 million. An initial coin offering is a way of raising funds by selling digital coins.
Authorities definitely have the high-flying “blockchain” stocks on their radar. In August, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily suspended trading in three stocks due to questions about the companies’ claims regarding investments in initial coin offerings or other token-related news.
As of Friday, the three companies had market capitalizations ranging from $52,000 to $302 million. The SEC also published an investor bulletin in July warning investors about the risks of participating in initial coin offerings.