The cryptocurrency markets were sent into a tailspin in response to fake news involving retail giant Walmart. Major financial media outlets erroneously reported that Walmart was partnering with Litecoin, the 15th biggest cryptocurrency. It was a false development based on a fake press release, which was reportedly published on GlobeNewswire.
According to social media accounts, some reports even attributed a fake quote to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. The Litecoin price initially rallied roughly 30% before the rumors were debunked.
The Litecoin Foundation has not entered into a partnership with Walmart.
— Litecoin Foundation (@LTCFoundation) September 13, 2021
Crypto Twitter was quick to call out the media outlets for the fake news, but the damage was already done. Confusion had set in as investors sought to decipher whether or not a major big-box retailer was about to take the cryptocurrency plunge, which would potentially be a major catalyst for wide-scale adoption. The Litecoin Foundation and Walmart eventually cleared things up, with the retailer telling Reuters that the news “was not real.”
The bitcoin price and the broader cryptocurrency markets quickly took a turn for the worse. Litecoin reversed a double-digit percentage gain to a 2% loss on the day.
The Walmart and Litecoin scandal comes at a time when cryptocurrencies are under a regulatory spotlight. Regulators are eyeing cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase for a new lending program, even threatening to sue the company if it follows through with its transparent plans. The U.S. SEC already has the decentralized finance (DeFi) space in its sights, now that the total value locked (TVL) in the market has soared to $172.5 billion.
The vulnerability in the Walmart/Litecoin scandal, however, was not the cryptocurrency industry. It was the mainstream financial media, which hastily ran with the development.
Bullish on Bitcoin
Investors also had a bullish development on bitcoin to consider. Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, who is at the helm of business software firm MicroStrategy, put his money where his mouth is once again. MicroStrategy has spent $242.9 million to buy an additional 5,050 bitcoins for the company’s balance sheet. Saylor paid an average of $48,099 for each bitcoin during the company’s fiscal Q3.
MicroStrategy has purchased an additional 5,050 bitcoins for ~$242.9 million in cash at an average price of ~$48,099 per #bitcoin. As of 9/12/21 we #hodl ~114,042 bitcoins acquired for ~$3.16 billion at an average price of ~$27,713 per bitcoin. $MSTRhttps://t.co/2ESbTy6ad7
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@michael_saylor) September 13, 2021
MicroStrategy holds approximately 114,042 bitcoins on its balance sheet in total and has spent more than $3 billion over the past year-plus to do so. The bitcoins are currently worth slightly more than $5 billion.