Crypto investors love nothing more than to get a new payment option for their digital currencies; of course, when you have money, you want to spend some of it. Litecoin (CCC:LTC-USD) is a crypto that is often seen as a prime candidate for real-world retail adoption. This morning, investors were teased news of a big breakthrough for Litecoin. But as it turns out, it’s a hoax that’s moving the LTC crypto today.
Litecoin is one of the earliest crypto hard forks; it was created in 2011 after forking off of the Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) blockchain. One of the crypto’s largest points of emphasis is its utility as a small transaction currency. Boasting much faster block hashing times and far lower transaction fees than Bitcoin, Litecoin is a great candidate for retail adoption.
Litcoin has made headlines for itself recently with news that it is creating its own non-fungible token (NFT) exchange. Of course, with the booming popularity of NFTs as a mode of trading digital art, the coin rose on the news. Investors are excited to see a new network compete for the NFT market share hoarded almost entirely by Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD). Today looked as though the blockchain would be building on that momentum with a huge partnership. It did, momentarily — a fake press release sent LTC surging 25% and then sent it plummeting shortly after.
Walmart Accepts Litecoin, or Does it?
A press release out of the Walmart (NYSE:WMT) offices broke news of the chain’s plans to accept the LTC crypto as a payment method. Published by the well-known PR firm GlobeNewswire, the release detailed a legitimate-looking plan to accept LTC as a payment method in stores beginning Oct. 1.
Of course, this would be huge news for Litecoin. Walmart is one of the largest grocery chains in the nation, and picking Litecoin as a first crypto payment method would lead to a huge adoption of the coin. However, it’s since been confirmed that the news is fraudulent.
The release came fully decked out with fake comments from CEO Doug McMillon. It also included contact information for Chief Marketing Officer William White. The email domain attached to the release was meant to look legitimate, but the domain does not actually go to an official Walmart website.
Also precipitating confusion around the news is the fact that major news outlets have reported the fake press. Reuters and CNBC both published articles seemingly confirming the fake news. Since publishing, CNBC has revised their article to reflect the illegitimacy of the press release.
LTC Crypto Rises, Then Falls With Walmart PR Rollercoaster
Obviously, everything might seem legitimate here at first glance. GlobeNewswire is a huge PR publicist, Litecoin retweeted the news on their official channel, and major news outlets picked up the story. It was only officially confirmed as fake when CNBC confirmed with Walmart representatives in its follow-up.
The news initially carried huge momentum for Litecoin. Appearing to build on a steady summer of partnerships and new tech, the release precipitated a 25% surge in LTC prices. With the release being confirmed fake, the coin is plummeting. It’s not just erasing the 25% gains of the early hours; the crypto is now trading negatively to the tune of 2.5%. Trading volume is up over 170% as investors quickly buy in and sell-off their LTC holdings.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.