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Litecoin Creator Charlie Lee on Fake Walmart News: "This Time, We Really Screwed Up"

Lee admitted that the Litecoin Foundation was partially responsible for spreading the false story.

Litecoin Creator Charlie Lee on Fake Walmart News: "This Time, We Really Screwed Up"

Key Takeaways

  • Charlie Lee appeared on Bloomberg this afternoon to discuss a fake press release that suggested Walmart would use Litecoin.
  • Lee denied that the Litecoin Foundation was involved in the incident and said that neither he nor the project profited from it.
  • However, he did take responsibility for the Litecoin Foundation's accidental role in spreading the story.

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Litecoin creator Charlie Lee appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss a fake press release that appeared this morning.

Lee Was Fooled by the News

Earlier today, a fake news release suggesting that Walmart had plans to accept Litecoin as payment was published. It quickly circulated among various news outlets including Reuters.

During an interview this afternoon, Lee said that he was initially taken in by the fake news. “I was like, wow, that’s awesome… and it turned out to be fake,” Lee told Bloomberg reporter Emily Chang.

He explained that GlobeNewswire, which initially published the press release, is working with authorities to investigate the incident and its perpetrator. Reportedly, GlobeNewswire also intends to implement stronger authentication for those who submit future press releases.

Lee said that his project has little role to play in the investigation. “In terms of us as the Litecoin Foundation, there’s not much we can do,” Lee said. He added that fake news is often spread, both in the crypto industry and the world of traditional stock trading.

Lee Says Litecoin Foundation Saw No Benefits

Lee asserted that the fake news did not come from an individual involved in the Litecoin Foundation. “It’s definitely not anyone on our end… so I’m going to deny it,” he said.

He also argued that the Litecoin Foundation did not benefit from the price surge that resulted from the press release. Lee revealed that he only holds about 20 LTC ($3,500) personally. “This means I have no incentive to do something like this,” he said.

Lee noted that Litecoin is a decentralized project, meaning that anyone may have had the motive to submit fake news.

Despite those denials, Lee took responsibility for Litecoin’s social media accounts, one of which accidentally shared the news today. He said that the Litecoin Foundation now understands how influential its Twitter account is and that it will better verify news in the future.

“I mean, we try very hard not to tweet fake news, and this time we really screwed up… we will try harder,” Lee said.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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