The US-based publicly traded blockchain infrastructure and analytics company BTCS has announced it will offer dividends payable in bitcoin (BTC) to its shareholders, apparently becoming the world’s first public company to do so.
According to an announcement from BTCS on Wednesday, the company will give investors the option to receive their dividends paid in bitcoin later this year, saying “cryptocurrency adoption and financial freedom” is paramount to the company’s ethos.
Following today’s announcement, shares of BTCS on the Nasdaq stock exchange jumped almost 40% in a matter of just 15 minutes after the market opened. As of 09:42 ET (14:42 UTC), the stock stood at USD 4.23, up from a closing price yesterday of USD 3.03.
The bitcoin dividend – dubbed “Bividend” by the company – will be based on bitcoin’s US dollar market price as of the ex-dividend day, the company, which has developed infrastructure for blockchain technologies since 2014, further said.
BTCS said it intends to pay a dividend of USD 0.05 per share, with the ex-dividend date being March 16 this year. That means that anyone who wishes to receive a dividend in BTC must become a shareholder of BTCS before that date.
Existing shareholders, meanwhile, will have until March 17 to opt in to receive the dividend in BTC. Those who do not opt in will instead receive the same amount paid in US dollars, the firm said.
“We want to reward our long-time shareholders for their continued support and encourage financial freedom by providing the means to enable direct ownership of Bitcoin and other digital assets,” Charles Allen, CEO of BTCS, said in a comment.
In terms of future dividend pay-outs, the company did not promise that they will be made in BTC, but said it is “evaluating the appropriateness of future Bividends.”
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