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Litecoin’s Lee Admits Tweet Screw-Up, Denies Responsibility for Fake News

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 2 min read
Charlie Lee. Source: Video Screenshot / Bloomberg Technology / YouTube

Following Monday’s fake press release about a partnership between the US retail giant Walmart and the Litecoin Foundation, Litecoin (LTC) creator, Charlie Lee, says the pretty much the only thing the Foundation can do is to make sure they never “screw up” again by tweeting out fake news.

Speaking with Bloomberg on Monday, Lee said he first learned about the event when he woke up in the morning to find out that “Walmart is accepting Litecoin.”

“I was like, ‘Wow that’s awesome,’ – and it turned out to be fake. We didn’t have a partnership,” Lee told Bloomberg TV. 

Further, the Litecoin creator also said that not much can be done by the Litecoin Foundation about bad actors spreading fake news. He also reminded viewers that fake news that move markets are not exclusive to the crypto space, and that it is also a known phenomenon in the stock market.

“There is not much we can do. People can release fake news for cryptocurrencies all the time. Actually, this happens with traditional stock markets also, so it’s not just in cryptocurrencies,” Lee said.

Confronted with the possibility that it might have been someone on his end that was responsible for the fake press release, Lee denied any such possibility, saying “it’s definitely not anyone on our end.” 

He went on to explain that with litecoin being a decentralized cryptocurrency, “pretty much anyone” can release fake news to pump the price.

Meanwhile, a separate Bloomberg report from Monday also said that both Walmart and GlobeNewswire – the distribution service that published the fake press release – are now working with authorities to investigate the matter and find out who was ultimately behind it.

According to the report, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has in the past gone after people for market manipulation via fake news, but this is often done by looking at who placed large stock trades around the time of the release. 

In the cryptocurrency market, tracking down these traders may prove more difficult.

Also covering the case on Monday was the New York Times, which said the hoax will “likely lead to a call for greater regulation of the cryptocurrency industry,” while also quoting securities lawyers as saying that the event will most likely be investigated by the SEC.

“It is a misrepresentation involving a public issuer. There is no question the SEC has jurisdiction,” Andrew Calamari, a lawyer with Finn Dixon & Herling and a former director of the SEC’s securities and New York office, told the media outlet.

At 9:30 UTC, LTC is trading at USD 180. It’s up nearly 4% in a day, and it’s down 18% over the last week.


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