A fake press release about Walmart accepting Litecoin has sent the cryptocurrency market topsy-turvy, with prices falling sharply on Monday.
The press release published on GlobeNewswire around 9:30 am US time revealed that Walmart will be adopting the 16th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization size from 1st October.
The company is presently searching for the origin of the hoax along with the press release distributor. However, the retail giant did advertise for a blockchain and cryptocurrency job opening some time back.
The Pay With Litecoin Option news generated so much traction that even Litecoin fell for it and tweeted in favour. The stocks of Litecoin showed a greater than 30 upward trend following the news outbreak. However, as the day progressed, it went down. Charlie Lee, the Litecoin founder, said this happened because of an unfortunate tweet from a verified Litecoin news account.
The Crypto Market Downturn
Other cryptocurrencies also showed an initial upward trend and went down in minutes. Bitcoin rose to $46k level from $44k level, which is a 3.9% increase. But it soon went back to the $44k level. Ethereum, too had the same curve.
Meanwhile, Walmart spokesperson has indicated that the news was a hoax that ate up Litecoin’s 33% surge.
Similar hoaxes and fake news were investigated by the SEC in recent years. Mostly, they looked into stock trades for clues. But this time, it will be difficult as the crypto market trades anonymously. Lee pointed out how often this occurs in the stock market but rarely in the crypto market, so the market is fragile.
Power of a Tweet
The news has revealed the volatility of the crypto market already under fire for its unexpected nature. While fake news like this continuously circulates, traders aren’t that affected by it. Most traders are pretty used to scammers making fake news on Elon Musk, Tesla etc. However, this one showed how fragile the crypto market actually is.
Litecoin developer echoed the same sentiments when he underlined the concerns of unverified information. A single tweet affected the market. Later, Litecoin Foundation tweeted that they didn’t sign a partnership deal with Walmart.
Both Litecoin and Walmart suffered losses after this fiasco as their stocks fell by 1% around midday. The press release was moved from the website at 11:15 am, but in 1 and half hours, the tweets did all the damage.