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Litecoin spikes 20% after hoax reports that Walmart would accept the cryptocurrency

By Mark DeCambre

Holders of litecoin enjoyed a short-lived, 20% bounce on Monday, following a fake report that Walmart would accept the cryptocurrency as payment at its retail venues.

However, the Walmart Inc.(WMT) said that the release wasn't authentic, sending the digital asset's price skidding lower.

Shares of Walmart were little changed on the day and has gained 1.2% in the year to date, trailing gains of over 14% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 19% for the S&P 500 index .

Litecoin is a virtual coin that has largely been overshadowed by the likes of bitcoin and Ether on the Ethereum blockchain. Some describe as crypto silver compared against bitcoin, which is seen as digital gold.

A message on a verified Twitter account associated with litecoin, which touted the fake partnership with Walmart, was deleted and a number of media venues retracted headlines and stories that had published the falsified report.

A request for comment from Walmart via email wasn't immediately returned.

At last check, litecoin was changing hands at $181.26, or down about 1.5% on CoinDesk, but was still boasting a year-to-date return of about 50%. It had reached a 24-hour high on Monday of $236.26.

Litecoin was created by Charlie Lee in 2011 and is the first alternative to bitcoin, using the same software architecture as the world's most popular crypto.

Lee is a software engineer who worked at Google Inc.(GOOGL)(GOOGL) and Coinbase Global (COIN). About a decade ago, he created litecoin, using the bitcoin's open-source software to create what he hoped was a crypto that offered faster settlement times and lower transaction fees than bitcoin.

A request for comment from the Litecoin Foundation, which Lee founded, also wasn't immediately returned.

-Mark DeCambre

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-13-21 1104ET

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.