What happened

Shares of Phunware (PHUN 5.19%) rose 1,988% higher in January, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The provider of development tools for mobile apps, including a unique blockchain-based security token known as PhunCoin, started the month as a penny stock with a $310 million market cap. By the end of January, Phunware's stock closed at nearly $300 per share and a total market value of $9 billion.

So what

The surge started with Phunware completing its merger with capital investment firm Stellar Acquisition III. The deal brought Phunware onto the public markets after a decade of operations as a private company, while putting Stellar Acquisition's capital to use after two and a half years of accumulating funds without a clear target.

Share prices continued to soar as Phunware announced a handful of new patents and developer programs, topped off by a launch platform for a public version of PhunCoin and a blockchain partnership with the mighty IBM.

Green charting arrow pointing upward in front of several well-known cryptocurrency names.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The stock has settled down a bit in February and is now trading just 752% higher since the new year. Phunware's surge is proof positive that the market still can get excited about blockchain tools and cryptocurrency stocks, but we don't have any actual business results available for this company yet. Is it an empty air bubble with zero long-term value, or are we in the early days of a future titan in the mobile app development market? Only time will tell, and I'm perfectly happy to stay on the sidelines until we know more about this freshly reformed company's business plans.

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