Litecoin Foundation regrets error for fake news about Walmart


(Bloomberg) — The Litecoin Foundation recognized the mistake after one of its employees retweeted a false statement about a partnership with Walmart, said the organization’s managing director.

“We tried our best not to tweet fake news and, this time, we really ‘tread on the ball’”, said Charlie Lee, creator of litecoin and managing director of the foundation, in an interview with the program “Bloomberg Technology”. “I deny it has anything to do with us and we will do our best to find the person responsible, and we will prevent false news from spreading.”

Walmart and GlobeNewswire, the press release distributor, are investigating the fraudulent ad released Monday morning that linked the retailer to an alleged deal with litecoin. The ad was quickly identified as fake, though not before causing a rapid jump of litecoin and other cryptocurrencies. Litecoin was down 1.2% on Tuesday at 8:52 am in Hong Kong, and has accumulated losses of about 20% in the past nine days.

The Litecoin Foundation is a non-profit organization under Lee’s leadership and focuses on advancing the peer-to-peer (P2P) token and open source software project.

“I woke up and saw that Walmart was accepting litecoin. I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing,’ which turned out to be false,” Lee said of the incident on Monday. “We didn’t have a partnership,” he said, adding that anyone can start accepting litecoin without having to talk to the organization first.

The parties involved are now trying to find out how the events took place.

There’s not much the Litecoin Foundation can do about third-party reporting of false news, Lee said during the Bloomberg TV interview, adding that fabricated press releases also happen in the stock market.

Lee said that litecoin “is used a lot for payments”, although it is not as popular as bitcoin. He estimates that there are potentially hundreds of thousands of traders that support the currency.

Approximately $3 billion worth of litecoins is sent every day — not all for payments — but much of that amount is used for transactions, he estimated. Since litecoin was created 10 years ago, more than $1 trillion has been sent over the net, which “shows that litecoin is really being used and is very popular.”

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