The Litecoin cryptocurrency surged in value to a height of over $237 on Monday following false reports that Walmart would start accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

“The press release posted to GlobeNewswire linked to a non-functioning website, and there was no evidence of any Securities and Exchange Commission filing, which would have been expected since Walmart is publicly traded,” reported The Verge. “Walmart’s official newsroom never included the release, and the company typically uses Business Wire to distribute releases.”

As CNBC reported, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed that the press release was not authentic and that “the retailer has been in touch with the newswire company to investigate how the false press release got posted.”

“As it pertains to Litecoin, the press release is not real,” a representative for Walmart said in a statement, which fabricated a quote from CEO Doug McMillon, reported Yahoo! Finance. Meanwhile, a company spokesperson told Reuters, “Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire and there is no truth to it. Walmart has no relationship with litecoin.”

The Litecoin foundation also debunked this claim on Twitter. “The Litecoin Foundation has not entered into a partnership with Walmart,” the foundation tweeted.


“Cryptocurrency is an extremely adversarial environment. News, be it good or bad, should always be verified at the source,” Coin Center communications director Neeraj Agrawal told Yahoo Finance. “This type of thing is not unique to crypto.”

The cryptocurrency market has been notably volatile in recent months, for a variety of reasons. In June, China continued its assault on cryptocurrency as the Communist state pursues its own digital currency.

“Many bitcoin mines in Sichuan were shuttered Sunday after authorities in the southwestern Chinese province ordered a halt to crypto mining, according to a report from the Communist Party-backed newspaper Global Times. More than 90% of China’s bitcoin mining capacity is estimated to be shut down, the paper said,” CNBC reported at the time. 

In mid-May, the cryptocurrency market crashed, with Bitcoin and Ethereum posting “their largest one-day drop since March last year,” according to Reuters, “with losses in the market capitalization for the entire cryptocurrency sector approaching $1 trillion.”

Then there are efforts in the U.S. to legislate the cryptocurrency market. In July, The Daily Wire reported that “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to consider regulating cryptocurrencies.”

“Writing to Yellen, who is chair of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Warren said that the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies — which are not controlled by any central bank or other monetary authority — demands federal regulation,” added the Daily Wire.

The lawmaker’s letter explained:

I have become increasingly concerned about the dangers cryptocurrencies pose to investors, consumers, and the environment in the absence of sufficient regulation in the United States. However, as the demand for cryptocurrencies continues to grow and these assets become more embedded in our financial system, the Council must determine whether these trends raise concerns beyond investor and consumer protection and extend to broader systemic vulnerabilities that could threaten financial stability.

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