Walmart Denies Litecoin Pact After Hoax Jolts Crypto Market
Comment of the Day

September 13 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Walmart Denies Litecoin Pact After Hoax Jolts Crypto Market

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

The debacle highlights how cryptocurrency investors can profit from hoaxes. And with no central authority overseeing them, it’s unclear what companies can do in response. The statement included what was purported to be a quote from Walmart’s chief executive officer and resembled the official statements that public companies use to announce news to the market. 

While hoaxes that move asset prices crop up in financial markets from time to time, cryptocurrencies would seem to provide particularly fertile ground for deceivers. Unlike stocks, trading is mostly untraceable -- scammers leave few tracks for regulators. It takes very little to influence trading of notoriously volatile assets in the space. Traders have become conditioned to expect hysterical price reactions to the flimsiest news -- when, say, Elon Musk namechecks a project on Twitter.

Like many companies, Walmart has indeed expressed interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, however. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer advertised a position earlier this year to develop a blockchain strategy. The position is responsible for “developing the digital currency strategy and product roadmap” and identifying “crypto-related investment and partnerships,” according to an August job posting on the company’s website. 

Eoin Treacy's view

Cryptocurrencies are completely unregulated. I don’t think most investors/traders fully comprehend what that means. Essentially, anything goes and it is hard to pin down exactly what is and is not enforceable by law. That has created a wild west environment where every dirty trick that has been regulated out of the conventional markets has found new life in the crypto world. The fact so many floor traders from the money markets have found a new lease of life in the crypto markets is a testament to that fact.

The big downward dynamic on bitcoin last week marked a peak of at least medium-term significant. I am feeling comfortable having sold out of my positions and am unlikely to jump back in until there is a clear oversold condition or I see greater evidence of a consistent uptrend.

The Litecoin speculation provided volatility today but the rising mania in the nonfungible tokens markets coupled with the innovation of fractional ownership may also be robbing the established token markets of their speculative zeal.

A friend from Los Angeles is part of a group that specialises in creating fractional ownership for museums, so they can raise funds to expand or improve their collections. Business is booming and I introduced a fresh group seeking to fund the building of a museum last week. They aim to draw attention to the significant collection of historical artifacts by selling fractional ownership via an NFT; with the proceeds used to build the museum.

This business model represents a new form of commerce because until giving to charity, these slices of the collection will be tradeable. That suggests the value of “priceless” pieces of history will be tradable in future but without the promise of taking physical ownership. There is no limit to what kinds of assets can be covered by this model but stocks and property immediate spring to mind.

Every bubble is built on a massive logical inconsistency. This bull market is no different and there is no sign of its peaking.

Back to top

You need to be logged in to comment.

New members registration