19.01.2021

Former Iced Tea-Turned-Blockchain Company Sells Beverage Subsidiary

In a Sept. 20 press release, Long Blockchain announced the sale of its beverage subsidiary to Canadian firm ECC2 Ventures. 

Long Blockchain Corp., previously named Long Island Iced Tea, has reached a definitive agreement to sell its beverage subsidiary, Long Island Brand Beverages.

Lemonade company adds blockchain to its name

Andy Shape, CEO of Long Blockchain stated that this transaction will allow the company to concentrate its efforts on the underlying loyalty operating business, adding:

“Our loyalty platform has experienced strong growth over the past year with new and existing customers, and we look forward to building on that progress.”

The former iced tea and lemonade manufacturing company had rebranded itself from Long Island Iced Tea to Long Blockchain in the beginning of 2018, which resulted in the company’s share price rising from under $5 million to almost $70 million in a few days.

As Cointelegraph reported in April 2018, Long Blockchain was delisted from the Nasdaq for low market capitalization, while just a few months after, it was issued a subpoena by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 2017, it was not uncommon for companies to capitalize on the blockchain euphoria sweeping the globe and add the word “blockchain” to their names, despite having nothing to do with the technology.

FBI looking into Long Blockchain Corp.

In July, Cointelegraph reported that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into Long Island Iced Tea’s shift to blockchain for evidence of insider trading and securities fraud.

The FBI was seeking to expand a warrant from a different case in order to gain access to communications for their investigation into the former iced tea company. These communications allegedly included evidence that the firm was involved in a possible trading scam.

Former Google Exec Joins Coinbase as New Chief Product Officer

Former Google executive Surojit Chatterjee has joined Coinbase as the company’s new chief product officer.

Before joining Coinbase, Chatterjee worked as a Google’s vice president of product, tallying 11 years at the internet company, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong wrote in a Jan. 29 blog post announcing the hire.

An experienced hire

During his time at Google, Chatterjee headed up the internet giant’s shopping branch. Prior to Google, Chatterjee served at the helm of Indian e-commerce venue Flipkart as its head of product, the blog post detailed.

“Surojit’s 11 years at Google will be valuable as we continue to scale Coinbase into a company with a lasting and meaningful impact on the world’s financial system,” Armstrong detailed in the blog post.

Prior to Chatterjee, Jeremy Henrickson most recently sat as Coinbase’s chief product officer.

A crypto interest

Chatterjee’s background with Flipkart gave him perspective in his dealings with cross-border commerce and the potential to streamline the system, Armstrong wrote.

Quoted in the blog post, Chatterjee said:

“Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology can help open up the financial system for everyone by growing cross-border commerce, lowering transaction costs, providing higher security and by helping individuals have more control over their financial future.”

Cointelegraph reached out to Chatterjee but received no comments as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly upon receipt of a response.

Executives at Coinbase also recently increased their push for crypto regulation, as Cointelegraph reported yesterday.

Former Credit Agency Staffers Form Korean Blockchain Rating Firm

Korea Blockchain Evaluation, a company that issues ratings on blockchain projects, began operations on Sept. 25, according to a report from the Cheongnyeon Ilbo and other local media.

The company believes that investors are harmed by the lack of information on blockchain projects and weak regulations. It added that professional, arms-length analysis using objective criteria are needed to correct the asymmetry that exists in the market.

According to the press reports, Korea Blockchain Valuation executives previously worked at Nice Credit Information Service, a Korean rating agency tracing its origins back to 1986. The company also has an advisory committee with security and blockchain experts.

Ratings from the new firm are multi-tiered. A technology rating is issued, ranging from T1 to T10, with the lower number being better. A business rating is also published, ranging from B1 to B10. From those, a final rating is arrived at, ranging from AAA to D. Ratings are maintained for two years.

A wide range of material is reviewed by the company. It examines a project’s white paper, the profile of the project team, technical evaluation data, three-year performance, the latest monthly financials and the shareholding structure.

Korea Blockchain Evaluation also considers in its ratings the competitive landscape, the competitiveness of the project being reviewed and the state of the market.

In addition to announcing its formation, the company also issued its first rating.

The project examined was Charzin, which provides blockchain solutions for the electric vehicle charging market. Korea Blockchain Evaluation gave the project a B4 business rating and a T5 technology rating. The final rating was BB.

In its review, Korea Blockchain Evaluation noted a number of positives. It said the company benefited from the existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure, while its model can be utilized in other e-mobility markets, such as the e-scooter market. The technology was seen as being transparent, secure and scalable.

Korean Blockchain evaluation hopes to expand into a number of areas, including fintech, education and energy.

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