By Aaron Pressman
December 18, 2017

The financial market mania over digital currencies isn’t limited to digital currency prices, it appears. A tiny startup focused on financial tech called Longfin has seen its stock price skyrocket since it started trading last week.

Longfin, based in New York, started trading on the Nasdaq last week at $5. On Friday, the company announced it acquired another startup called Ziddu.com that uses the blockchain ledger accounting technology from digital currencies to make small loans.

That prompted an explosion of interest in Longfin, which saw its stock price more than quadruple on Friday to almost $24 a share. Then on Monday, the mania spread with the stock hitting a high of almost $143. In mid-afternoon trading on Monday, the stock was at $126.66. Bloomberg reported that the company’s stock market worth hit $7 billion. But the volatility had a downside and by Monday’s close the stock had fallen to $72.38.

Investor enthusiasm over everything related to digital currencies, led by bitcoin, shows no signs of abating. The price of bitcoin, the most popular and highly-valued digital currency, hit over $19,000 on Monday, up from less than $10,000 at the end of November and under $1,000 at the start of the year, according to the Coindesk web site.

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Longfin was only formed as a company in February, with plans to create new trading systems for financial and physical commodities, according to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For the first six months of 2017, Longfin reported revenue of $28 million and net income of $2 million. The company said it acquired Stampede Tradex, a Singapore-based financial firm, on June 19.

Other stocks of small, cryptocurrency-related companies have also seen tremendous swings in value in recent months. Riot Blockchain, which says it is applying the digital currency ledger technology to the biotech market, has gained over 700% in the past three months, while Marathon Patent Group, which owns some blockchain-related intellectual property, has gained over 300%.

(Update: This story was updated on Dec. 18 with Longfin’s closing stock price)

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