Protean Penny Stock Gets Bitcoin Facelift and Soars 15,000%

(Bloomberg) -- Of the dozens of companies that changed their names over the past two years to ride the digital-currency frenzy, many were going through that process for the first time. Not Bitcoin Services Inc.

When Tulip BioMed Inc. became Bitcoin Services in March 2016, it marked at least the fifth name change for the company since 2002. At the time, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency was going for about $400, while Tulip’s shares were trading at about 2 cents, when they traded at all. By the end of November, the digital coin was worth about $10,000 and Bitcoin Services had at one point climbed as high as 45 cents, ultimately gaining 15,000 percent in 2017.

Protean Penny Stock Gets Bitcoin Facelift and Soars 15,000%

It also registered the highest daily volume in its history, trading more than 120 million shares on Nov. 29, compared with an average of slightly over 7 million since the beginning of 2016. As Bitcoin itself has receded from all-time highs, the shares have also retreated, closing at about 11 cents Wednesday.

Bitcoin Services is not alone in rebranding itself as a crypto concern. Soft-drink company Long Island Iced Tea Corp. transformed into Long Blockchain Corp. and saw its shares skyrocket. Other firms to embrace crypto include juicemakers, gold miners and a designer of sports bras.

Bitcoin Services started out in 1997 as JLL Miami Enterprises, according to an annual report, before becoming BMX Holdings Inc. in 2002 and Direct Music Group a year later. From 2004 to 2006, the organization operated as Cell Bio-Systems Inc. and as Tulip BioMed until 2016.

Protean Penny Stock Gets Bitcoin Facelift and Soars 15,000%

Bitcoin Services, which now describes itself as a provider of online-based consumer transaction services and software, providing escrow services for Bitcoin traders, is located in Grandville, Michigan.

The company could not be reached for comment by phone, and no reply was received after several emails from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

To see company name changes, type BTSC US Equity CACS 
To see Bloomberg’s cryptocurrency monitor, type VCCY

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