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Recently, Walmart was the subject of a fake news release, which announced that the big box giant established an agreement with Litecoin that ultimately would end in the retailer accepting the cryptocurrency as an accepted method of payment.
While the Twitterverse buzzed with skeptics, Litecoin immediately jumped over 20% before tumbling back toward reality.
In the aftermath, everybody was pointing fingers at where the blame lay. Walmart said it had “no knowledge of the press release issued by Globe Newswire,” further noting that the company had “no relationship with Litecoin.”
Globe Newswire, the company which launched the release, advised that the statement be disregarded.
Commentators pointed out that last month there were reports ruminating that Walmart aimed to hire somebody to develop a digital currency strategy, but that since that point there had not been an executive named to fill that role or one which would similarly deal with such a development.
In the end, good old-fashioned context clues won the day – until Walmart was able to provide clarity.
The hoax drew news articles from within the industry, as well as the broader financial markets, and many experts noted that they expect more scams of a similar nature.
The fact is that fake announcements like this have been used within the crypto sphere and within other arenas as well. This isn’t new, though, –the methodology, using a press release, is far more advanced than many of the pump-and-dump schemes we’ve seen in the past.
This event gives live ammunition to those claiming that the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries should be squashed for public safety. The truth, however, is different. Blockchain technologies could be utilized to save tens of thousands of lives by using its specialized ledger technology to blunt the flow of counterfeit pharmaceuticals into the marketplace.
They could be used to limit the market for blood rubies by providing a better logistical chain of custody and origination documentation. Currently, cryptocurrency is widely used by those in nations with high rates of inflation as a way to store value. And central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) – the future of digital assets – are destined to bring a sizable percentage of the unbanked population into our financial system while simultaneously making cross-border transfer less expensive and more efficient.
In essence, digital assets will change the way we interact with the financial markets. And with so