- Reuters has sensationally tried to shift the blame for its Walmart/Litecoin balls up onto cryptocurrency regulation
- The outlet, which didn’t verify its sources before posting the story, blamed a lack of regulation on the space for their mistake
- Several red flags were spotted by crypto outlets who did not post about the story
Reuters has sensationally tried to pin the blame on their reposting of a fake Litecoin-Walmart linkup on the lack of cryptocurrency regulation. The international news agency was one of the first in the world to pick up a story from the GlobalNewsWire press release service which claimed that Walmart would be accepting Litecoin payments from October 1, only for the story to turn out to be false. Reuters issued an amendment before posting a story blaming the lack of cryptocurrency regulation for the fact they didn’t check their sources before posting.
Litecoin Jumped 30% on Fake News
Yesterday’s episode began for many when LTC suddenly jumped 30% out of nowhere, before the first reports began to arrive about a Walmart tie in, starting October 1. Many in the crypto space were baffled by the fact that Walmart had opted to go for Litecoin, but with the news coming through Reuters, CNBC among other outlets jumped on the press release announcing the joint venture.
However, it was cryptocurrency news sites who bothered to do any investigation, and quickly realized that the story was not all it purported to be, with a researcher for The Block realizing that the domain name associated with the press release didn’t seem right:
— Steven (@Dogetoshi) September 13, 2021
Further investigations revealed that somehow the press release had gone through official Walmart channels but was entirely fake, leading to LTC losing all its gains and Reuters and other outlets having to withdraw the story.
Reuters Shifts Blame to Crypto Sector
Rather than acknowledge their error in jumping the gun and not checking their sources however, Reuters have sought to blame the cryptocurrency space for their error, saying in a very odd three-paragraph opinion piece this morning that, “It’s hard to know what’s legitimate in the anything-goes world of cryptocurrencies”. They then complained that no one is protecting them from fake news being put out through press release channels and that “watchdogs are only looking into how to regulate read more cryptocurrencies” before opining that “The fake Walmart-litecoin news offers financial cops another reason to hop to it.”
It shouldn’t need stating here but it seems that it does – financial regulators are not responsible for vetting press releases for news companies. How a company like Reuters doesn’t have some kind of checklist for verifying authenticity of sources, such as checking the websites included in a press release, speaks to a problem within the news sector as opposed to the problem in the cryptocurrency sector. Perhaps Reuters should get their own house in order before casting aspersions on others.