by Robert DeVoe
A tobacco company is making waves in the tech industry following their December 14 announcement that they will be getting out of the high-end cigar business entirely, and making a hard shift into mining “bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”
Cigars to Bitcoin
In what seems like a completely unexpected turn of events, the company previously known as Rich Cigars will be undergoing a complete shift in its business strategy. Along with the change in strategy comes a new name, “Intercontinental Technology, Inc.”
According to Richard Davis, president of what is now Intercontinental Technologies, the company “has become a holding company with subsidiaries in fields unrelated to our traditional [cigar] business, which is being phased out.” In other words, out with cigars and in with mining machines. The company will also be relocating from Florida to Colorado.
The goals of the new company will be to invest in the “development and multinational marketing of proprietary patent-protected products” and the “development of a unique cryptocurrency mining business for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.” The company does not make any specific claims about that first part, however. We still do not know what sort of “patent-protected products” in which the company plans to invest. Bitcoin mining, perhaps?
The original cigar selling operation was not without its high profile fans, however. DJ Khaled, a celebrity with more than 8.7 million followers on Instagram, is, or was, an ambassador for the brand. The official Facebook page for Rich Cigars appears to have been taken down.
On the announcement of the shift to cryptocurrency, stock prices for the company jumped over 2,000 percent, from just a few cents each to over $0.70 per unit, indicating a bullish opinion from the market at large over the shift.
Bull Market Attracting New Players
To anyone who regularly follows the cryptocurrency markets at large, this news should come as no big surprise. Bitcoin is up massively this year, alongside other major players in the space such as Litecoin, Ethereum, and Dash.
It seems more and more US companies are looking to get into cryptocurrency mining. This move could also be good for the crypto economy at large, as it will lead to a more distributed network model. At present, China controls vast swathes of the mining territory, and this has led to concerns of centralization.
Now that the economic incentives for mining have exceeded the costs in traditionally expensive areas of operation like the U.S., we may very well see more large-scale operations popping up.