Litecoin Pumps and Dumps on Fake Walmart News, Bitcoin, Ethereum React Too
Litecoin (LTC), the 12th most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, gained more than 36% in less than one hour today, after a news report that turned out to be fake said the US retail giant Walmart had entered into “a major partnership” with Litecoin.
The news report, first published as a press release that appeared to come from Walmart Inc., was also picked up by the business news outlet CNBC, Reuters as well as other outlets, which all originally reported it as a real story. In a later correction, CNBC wrote that a Walmart spokesperson has “confirmed the press release is not authentic.”
The source of the fake press release remains unknown.
The price of litecoin jumped from USD 174 to 237 on Coinbase immediately following the news, before later giving back almost all the gains. At 14:40 UTC, LTC was still up about 4% from before the pump started, trading at USD 181.60.
Moreover, the fake news also appears to have had an impact on the broader crypto market, with both bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) rising at the time of the news, before a selloff started at around 13:45 UTC, the same time as LTC sold off.
Similarly, Walmart’s stock price also opened up for the day in New York trading, where the opening of the stock market coincided with the release of the fake news at 13:30 UTC (09:30 ET). However, the stock quickly moved lower, and is currently trading at USD 145.5, 0.9% below its opening price.
(Updated at 16:11 UTC with additional details.)