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What does the Litecoin-Walmart Partnership Hoax tell us about the need for crypto regulations?

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

Cryptocurrency has become the buzzword of 2021 as its widespread adoption has its moment in the sun. With nearly $2 trillion locked in over 6,000 currencies, they are here to stay. But the decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies leaves the market susceptible to manipulation and volatility. Take, for example, the announcement of Litecoin’s, a popular cryptocurrency considered to be a fork of Bitcoin, partnership with Walmart on September 13, 2021, on GlobeNewswire. It was a momentous announcement as Walmart is one of the biggest retailers in the world. Major business publications like CNBC and Reuters featured it on their websites lending it credence. Litecoin’s Twitter handle tweeted the information eagerly affirming it as legitimate. Its market price jumped by 20 percent following the news. Many thought that a cryptocurrency had finally been acknowledged by a major retailer and other businesses would soon follow suit. It was, as the crypto community says, the first stop on its journey to the moon. What happened when the partnership was revealed to be a hoax? The enthusiasm waned as quickly as the price of Litecoin after the announcement turned out to be a hoax. Walmart rushed to clear up the confusion by stating unequivocally that it was the subject of a fake news release. “… that falsely stated Walmart announced a partnership with Litecoin. Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire, and it is incorrect. Walmart has no relationship with Litecoin,” read the official statement. The article was taken down following Walmart's comments,…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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