A British company’s stock price went meteoric after it added the word “blockchain” to its name.
According to Bloomberg, British internet and information investment firm On-line Plc’s stock (LON: ONL) surged by 394% on Friday after the company issued a major announcement: it was changing its name to “On-line Blockchain Plc”. This constituted the largest ever single-day gain for the company, which has been publicly-listed since 1996. Moreover, the stock’s single-day trading volume rose to more than 16 times its combined year-to-date volume prior to this week’s movement.
The Essex-based company had announced the change in a statement released on Thursday, explaining that it has been “working on” entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space for some time:
“Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are a new and exciting area we have been working on for some time,” the company stated. “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.”
On-line Plc’s share price spiked almost immediately, rising as high as $85 this morning, according to data obtained from Yahoo Finance. However, shares fell to $46 after the company issued a follow-up statement clarifying that the development of its first blockchain product is still in an early stage. Even so, shares are still up 173% for the day.
This would be a humorous incident if viewed in isolation, but it is also the latest data point of a growing trend. Earlier this month, a biotechnology company named Bioptix (NASDAQ: BIOP) saw its share price double after it announced it was changing its name to “Riot Blockchain“, selling its biotech patents, and investing in crypto startups.
The hype over blockchain technology is even more evident among companies whose shares are traded over-the-counter (OTC). In August, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) temporarily suspended trading for an OTC firm called First Bitcoin Capital after its shares experienced a year-to-date increase of 6,000%.
But the trend is not limited to micro-cap and OTC stocks. Shares for online retailer Overstock have tripled in value during the past year, in large part due to investor optimism about its blockchain investments. Just this week, Overstock shares increased 30% after chief executive Patrick Byrne revealed that one of the company’s blockchain subsidiaries will seek to raise $500 million during an initial coin offering.