Fake Walmart Story Causes 20% Litecoin Spike
In the beginning of 2021, the price of Bitcoin experienced a 15% surge in only a few days when Tesla CEO Elon Musk proudly announced that his car company (the man leads multiple businesses) would soon accept the world’s largest digital currency as payment. When Tesla reversed course a few month later, the price of Bitcoin started to tumble again.
Yesterday saw a similar story play out, only this time in the span of only a few hours. As Walmart, one of the world’s biggest supermarket chains, apparently announced it would shortly be accepting Litecoin as a means of payment for its goods, the price of Litecoin shot up by some 20%.
This morning @CNBC was duped into helping orchestrate a pump-and-dump in #Litecoin, which also lifted #Bitcoin, by promoting a false headline that Walmart had partnered with Litecoin to accept #crypto currency payments. CNBC's crypto bias helped the fraudsters pull off this scam.— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) September 13, 2021
When Walmart declared the press release used for the announcement was a fake, the price collapsed again. Not the best type of publicity for crypto of course.
The criminal who probably created the press release used quite a professional manner to spread the word. He recreated a fake Walmart email address and sent the text to newswire distribution network GlobeNewswire, which is used for all major announcements of Fortune 500 companies.
Litecoin tweeted a bogus press release that Walmart planned to start accepting Litecoin. Mainstream outlets picked it up, without checking, even fake-quoting Walmart’s CEO.— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) September 13, 2021
All part of a giant pump and dump.
Only a matter of time before the industry is heavily regulated. pic.twitter.com/U6r1vRaBWJ
Soon the news was trending on Reuters and other news sites and the price of Litecoin rocketed upwards from $185 to some $230.
When Walmart was asked about it by eager reporters, they of course denounced the news and the price of Litecoin tumbled again. Part of a giant pump and dump scheme of course, but one that could have serious consequences for the world of crypto.
Litecoin holders 30 minutes ago vs. now pic.twitter.com/sD8nRZkM6r— Fintwit (@fintwit_news) September 13, 2021
As analyst Nick Belton noted:
Litecoin tweeted a bogus press release that Walmart planned to start accepting Litecoin. Mainstream outlets picked it up, without checking, even fake-quoting Walmart’s CEO. All part of a giant pump and dump. Only a matter of time before the industry is heavily regulated.