Here is something new.
Global Tech Industries Group Inc. is a small public company that trades over the counter and is, as far as I can tell, in the business of being a meme stock? It has no revenue, two employees, a strong generic name and a market capitalization of about $300 million. The overview of its business in its most recent quarterly report notes that it was named Western Exploration Inc. from 1980 to 1990, Nugget Exploration Inc. from 1990 to 1999, GoHealthMD Inc. from 1999 to 2004 and Tree Top Industries from 2004 until 2017, when it settled on the current name. Just in 2021 it signed deals to get into businesses that included buying and selling gold in Dubai, “full scope optometry” in the Bronx, diagnostic medical care on the internet, cryptocurrency trading on the blockchain, tokenizing fine art, green energy, online learning tools, and mining in Chile. In 2022 it signed a deal to “develop a Chinatown art district within the Company’s planned Metaverse.” There is more, but I will stop here.
Here is the “News” section of its website, which is dominated these days by one transaction: Global Tech Industries is trying to pay a crypto dividend. “Holders of the Company’s common stock will receive four (4) Shiba Inu tokens for every one (1) share of the Company’s common stock,” says a May 3 press release, though other press releases call it a “Shibu Ino” or “Shibu Inu” token so really who knows. One Shiba Inu token is worth about $0.0000103 these days, give or take a zero or two, making four of them worth, you know, a small fraction of a penny.
Why do this? Well, why do anything? But there are some obvious advantages, for a meme stock, to paying a dividend in crypto:
- People like Shiba Inu memes and cryptocurrency, so you’ll attract some attention, which might make your stock go up.
- The dividend will be paid on the Beyond Blockchain platform that GTII bought in 2021 and then sold in 2022 for “cash payment of $25,000, and a continuing 10% interest from Parabolic Technologies which will be distributed in the form of a proprietary token.” If you own a stake in a blockchain platform, you might as well drum up business for it by offering your shareholders a tiny amount of money to sign up for accounts on that platform.
- It is a general odd fact of US public companies that it is hard to get to know your shareholders: Your relationship with shareholders is intermediated by brokers and “street name” ownership, so most companies don’t have good lists of their shareholders. Having a list of your most enthusiastic, meme-curious shareholders seems valuable. So many of the press releases that GTII has put out are basically urging people to send in their forms to get this dividend. The point is not just distributing the dividend, it is also about getting the forms back to know how to contact shareholders.
- If you are a short seller who has borrowed GTII stock to sell it, now you have to deliver four Shiba Inu tokens per share back to your lender, I guess, which seems like a pain, and making life painful for short sellers is a key meme-stock aim.