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Long Blockchain adds directors with tech, Wall Street savvy

Long Island Iced Tea chief executive officer Philip

Long Island Iced Tea chief executive officer Philip Thomas Credit: Long Island Iced Tea

Long Blockchain Corp., the Farmingdale company formerly named Long Island Iced Tea Corp., Tuesday announced it has filled two vacancies on its board of directors with a Wall Street veteran and a “technology entrepreneur with experience in blockchain technology.”

The company’s shares climbed 21 percent Tuesday to close at $6.17. The stock has risen about 47 percent over the past 12 months, making a major jump after Long Island Iced Tea’s Dec. 21 announcement it was changing the focus of its business to blockchain technology though it plans to continue selling ready-to-drink iced tea.

Long Blockchain’s new board members are Shamyl Malik, global head of trading at Voltaire Capital, with offices in London and Chicago, and Som Ghosh, co-founder of United Kingdom health startup Earthmiles and an entrepreneur “with over 11 years of experience in technology and computing, with its applications in . . . algorithmic trading and cryptocurrency,” the company said.

“They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in the financial technology sector, and we are confident that they will help to shape the future of the company as it pivots into blockchain technology,” Long Blockchain chief executive Philip Thomas said in a statement.

Blockchain is the decentralized digital ledger that records transactions for bitcoin and other digital currencies, also called cryptocurrencies, across many computers. Cryptocurrencies are not tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously.

Bitcoin, which has risen more than 1,300 percent during the past 12 months, moved about 9 percent higher from its Monday value to $14,756 late Tuesday afternoon, according to CoinDesk, a digital information services company.

Before joining Voltaire Capital, Malik was head of foreign exchange electronic trading at Morgan Stanley and head of electronic market making for emerging markets and precious metals in the capital markets division at Citibank, Long Blockchain said.

Long Blockchain “has a fantastic opportunity ahead of itself, as the industry is only in the early stages of tapping into the full potential of blockchain technology,” Ghosh said in a statement.

The board members were nominated by Court Cavendish Ltd., a Surrey, United Kingdom, investment firm, as part of a deal announced in December under which Long Blockchain receives a loan of as much as $4 million.

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