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Long Blockchain exchanges shares with Singaporean mobile lender

Long Blockchain Corp. CEO Shamyl Malik. Feb 21,

Long Blockchain Corp. CEO Shamyl Malik. Feb 21, 2018. Credit: Long Block Chain Corp.

Farmingdale-based Long Blockchain Corp. said Friday it has invested in a company that lends money to individuals over mobile phones in India, in a deal that allows it to offer similar services in Latin America.

The local company, formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea Corp., acquired 7 percent of Singapore-based TSLC Pte Ltd., the parent company of digital lender CASHe, in exchange for 17 percent of Long Blockchain’s outstanding common stock, Long Blockchain said in a news release.

Shamyl Malik, chief executive of Long Blockchain, did not respond Friday to a call and email seeking comment.

The deal gives Long Blockchain the right to offer CASHe’s mobile loan services in Latin America.

CASHe makes instant loans — in amounts ranging from roughly $100 to $1,000 or more — to “young salaried millennials” for terms of 15 to 180 days, rating borrowers’ credit worthiness based on their online behavior, including finances and social media profiles, according to its website.

Malik said in the release that CASHe “has the potential to be a truly transformational technology-driven lending and asset management platform for millennials globally.”

Long Blockchain’s stock climbed as high as $9.49 in December when it announced it was shifting from iced tea to so-called cryptocurrencies, or digital currencies that are not issued by a central bank or government and that allow users to spend money anonymously.

The Nasdaq Stock Market has sent Long Blockchain a notice saying it intends to delist the company because it made "public statements designed to mislead investors and to take advantage of general investor interest” in digital currencies, Long Blockchain said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last month.

In the filing, the company said it "strongly disagrees" with the notice and has appealed.

Its stock  closed down 14 cents to $2.75 on Friday.

The company has said it will spin off its iced tea subsidiary, Long Island Brand Beverages LLC, in the second quarter of this year.

Bitcoin, the most widely known cryptocurrency, has undergone extreme price swings. Bitcoin was trading at about $8,700 Friday after reaching almost $20,000 in December.

Cryptocurrencies have drawn increased regulatory scrutiny. Last month the SEC said it suspended trading in three companies "amid questions surrounding similar statements they made about the acquisition of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology-related assets."

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