‘Blockchain’ Mentions in Press Releases Have Soared This Year
Word appeared in 110 releases in 2018, up from five a year ago
It’s part of the frenzy surrounding all things cryptocurrency
If you want to create the next hot stock, just say the magic word: blockchain. In the four days since the start of the year, there have been more than 110 corporate releases that contain the word “blockchain,” data compiled by Bloomberg shows. That’s up from five in the same span last year. The surge in citations comes amid a frenzy surrounding cryptocurrencies following bitcoin’s 1,400 percent gain last year. Companies mentioning the term often see their stock jump, with some even renaming themselves despite having no ties to blockchain in their businesses.
Long Island Iced Tea Corp., for instance, soared as much as 289 percent Dec. 21 after rebranding itself Long Blockchain Corp., while Hooters franchisee Chanticleer Holdings Inc. rose 41 percent Tuesday after announcing plans to start a blockchain-based customer loyalty program. However, there is a question over how much longer this can last, and analysts and investors continue to warn of a bubble in bitcoin. Warren Buffett, GMO’s Jeremy Grantham and even bitcoin-bull Mike Novogratz have urged caution.
Government Think Tank to Trial Blockchain Verification in India
An Indian government policymaking body is eyeing the potential applications of blockchain technology across various sectors.As part of that process, the National Institution for Transforming India, known as NITI Aayog, is developing a proof-of-concept to explore blockchain in key sectors including education, health and agriculture, the Economic Times says. An anonymous senior government official reportedly said that blockchain's promise in secure document verification is the primary reason for potential adoption of the tech.
The move comes after the think tank conducted a hackathon in November 2017 on the use of blockchain technology – an event jointly organised with Harvard-based blockchain startup Proffer. While India's government has been largely skeptical on cryptocurrencies, it has looked on blockchain technology more favorably. In June 2017, several regional governments in India, including Andhra Pradesh, revealed they were looking into applications of blockchain technology in land registries – systems used to keep track of who owns which properties. Further, in September of last year, India's central bank research group announced plans to launch a new blockchain platform to build and support a range of banking-related services.
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