A major fake news has hit the cryptocurrency market by storm! On Monday, multiple international media reported that U.S. retail giant Walmart will accept payments in Litecoin (LTC). Following the news, Litecoin’s prices surged by over 30%. However, the press statement was later confirmed fake, causing Litecoin to plummet back in an instant.
On Monday (U.S. Time), GlobeNewswire published a press release announcing Walmart’s partnership with Litecoin in payments. Media including Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC, CoinDesk and Decrypt reported that customers can pay in Litecoin in Walmart’s online store.
Soon, crypto media The Block discovered that the website (Walmart-Corp.com) in the press release was a fake one. After that, Litecoin deleted its retweet of the press release on its Twitter. Also, the Litecoin Foundation issued an official statement, clarifying that it had no partnership with Walmart.
The fake press release went viral in the crypto community, leading to the surge of Litecoin and even Bitcoin (BTC). Soon, Litecoin gave up a 30% gain and tumbled back.
Later on the same day, Litecoin’s founder, also Litecoin Foundation’s Managing Director Charlie Lee, appeared for a Bloomberg interview. Charlie Lee revealed that it was one employee who mistakenly retweeted the fake press release. “We try our best to not tweet fake news and this time we really screwed up,” said Lee.
Litecoin Fake News Likely Leads to SEC Investigation
However, Lee stated that the Litecoin Foundation has nothing to do with the fake press release. They are also investigating the origins of the fake Walmart partnership news release. “This morning I woke up and found out that Walmart is accepting Litecoin, and I was like, ‘Wow that’s awesome.’ — and it turned out to be fake.”
At the end of 2017, Charlie Lee announced he had sold all his Litecoin holdings to avoid the conflict of interests. However, the price at which Charlie Lee sold Litecoin was about $330, a historical all-time high of Litecoin that year.
Moreover, the Walmart-Litecoin fake news hoax may cause more serious consequences. As it involves Walmart, a U.S.-listed company, it is likely to lead to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and possible charges against the fraudsters, according to the New York Times.
SEC’s chair Gary Gensler is aggressively calling for greater regulation of the crypto industry. The regulation would target the misinformation and pump-and-dump schemes occurring in the market, which many investors may experience huge losses.
10-year-old Litecoin positions itself as the “Digital Silver” in the crypto market — in contrast to Bitcoin’s “Digital Gold” narrative. As a hard fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin’s team modified the total supply, processing speed, encryption algorithm, etc., hoping to create a cryptocurrency more suitable for daily spending and transactions.
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