EF Hutton Is Talking About Cryptocurrencies. Will Anyone Listen?

(Bloomberg) -- Hardly anyone’s listened to EF Hutton since the 1980s. An over-the-counter fintech company thinks a foray into cryptocurrencies will change that.

HUTN Inc., parent of EF Hutton Inc., plans to raise $60 million from issuing cryptocurrencies, the firm said in a press release dated Sept. 10 but sent to reporters Thursday. There are no white papers describing the “use cases” for the tokens yet, but Hutton intends to release those “this autumn.”

EF Hutton Is Talking About Cryptocurrencies. Will Anyone Listen?

For the millennials out there, the EF Hutton stock brokerage gained widespread pop culture cachet in the 1970s and ’80s for its ubiquitous television commercials with the tag line, “When EF Hutton talks, people listen.” The firm was embroiled in a bogus-deposit scandal in the mid-80s that precipitated its eventual sale.

Now the latest incarnation of the brand is trying to join a crypto craze that’s showing serious signs of fatigue, with the price of Bitcoin down by two-thirds since its peak. Gone are the days when penny stocks that rebranded to anything crypto saw prices double or triple. ICOs last month raised the smallest amount since May 2017 and half of all ICOs failed after just four months.

HUTN shares were unchanged Thursday at 74 cents in over-the-counter trading. The stock has averaged 61 cents in the past year and trades an average 3,000 shares a day.

Thursday’s missive from EF Hutton was the firm’s third this month after it announced plans to start a crypto exchange and subscription-based research. EF Hutton has “special insight and experience in the cryptocurrency market,” the latest press release said, citing the research and a social media app for mining coins. The link provided to the research did not work. A representative for the firm did not return voice mail or email seeking comment.

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