Monday , December 17 2018

Crypto mania turns mainstream as stock frenzy hits new phase

epa06416079 A bitcoin ATM is seen at a shopping mall in Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China, 04 January 2018. According to local media, People's Daily, China?s ruling Communist Party mouthpiece, lashed out at bitcoin on Wednesday, labelling the volatile cryptocurrency a bubble. Bitcoin investors are on alert to see whether Beijing will take further action against cryptocurrencies, such as shutting down bitcoin 'mines', the energy-hungry operations that can create bitcoin by solving complex mathematical problems by using vast banks of computers.  EPA-EFE/ALEX HOFFORD


It’s one thing for an iced-tea maker or a furniture company to reap massive returns simply by rebranding with blockchain or adding a digital currency, but now some household names are joining in on the craze.
In the recent past, at least four companies with well-known brands have seen their stocks skyrocket after reports linked them to cryptocurrencies or initial coin offerings.
Eastman Kodak Co. looked poised to double for a second day after saying it’ll sell a token, while Seagate Technology Plc jumped more than 16 percent after a simple blog mention suggested it was entering the space.
The flood of higher-profile names is perhaps the next logical step for a frenzy that’s generated massive paper profits for virtually all comers in recent weeks. Long Island Iced Tea Corp. became the poster child for the craze, when its shares tripled after morphing into Long Blockchain.
Meanwhile, bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, is struggling to hold onto its 1,400 percent gain from last year. Smaller rivals from ripple to bitcoin cash have surged as investors look for new ways to tap the euphoria.
For all the breathless coverage of the mania, there remain just as many naysayers. On Wednesday, billionaire Warren Buffett said on CNBC that most digital coins won’t hold their value.
“In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending,” Buffett said. “Now when it happens, or how or anything else, I don’t know. But I know this: If I could buy a five year-put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I’d be glad to do it, but I would never short a dime’s worth.”

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