Ex-Iced Tea Maker Long Blockchain Is Buying Bitcoin Miners Now

Wolfie Zhao
Jan 5, 2018 at 18:33 UTC
Updated Jan 5, 2018 at 21:05 UTC
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Long Blockchain Corp. the former beverage company that announced a pivot to blockchain technology last month, is now planning to enter the bitcoin mining business, a new filing shows.

According to a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission on Jan. 5, Long Blockchain Corp, the publicly traded company that was rebranded from Long Island Iced Tea, is in the process of purchasing 1,000 units of AntMiner S9 manufactured by the China-based Bitmain.

This move came just weeks after the firm announced its business pivot, which caused its stock price at the U.S. exchange NASDAQ to surge nearly 200 percent. Similar trends in market euphoria were also seen for other public stocks that announced business strategy shifts to areas related to blockchain.

In a press release, Long Blockchain said the mining facilities would be located in a Nordic country, without specifying which one. But the agreement included in the SEC filing includes a hint: It states that the vendor will notify the purchaser when the products arrive in Iceland.

Further, the purchase price will be $4.2 million, which includes $2.9 million cash as well as an issuance of 260,000 shares of Long Blockchain’s common stock. It is not clear from the filing whether Long Blockchain is buying the equipment directly from Bitmain or from a third party.

According to the document, this purchase is scheduled to close by Jan. 31 only if Long Blockchain Corp. is able to obtain the required financing before that.

As such, Long Blockchain announced in the same document it is issuing additional 1.6 million shares of common stock at a public offering price of $5.25 per share, aiming to raise approximately $7.7 million in net proceeds.

Philip Thomas, CEO of Long Blockchain Corp. said in the announcement:

“We view this transaction as an important and validating initial step in the Company’s progression into blockchain technology. The commencement of our mining operations places us on a path to generating blockchain-related revenue through the accumulation of bitcoin.”

Mining chip image via CoinDesk’s archive.