Sep 17, 2021 • 6M

Letter #43: Walmart Accepts Litecoin….Or Not?

Read now to learn why Walmart should accept a cryptocurrency….just maybe not Litecoin as its first choice.

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Joshua Guest
Your one-stop shop for Bitcoin education!
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Dear Readers,

Financial markets love big announcements. The stock market, as an example, rises and falls almost weekly as various government agencies announce fiscal policies and as large corporations announce earnings and forecasts. Cryptocurrency markets are just as susceptible to big announcements. Remember the twenty-plus percent gains seen within hours of Tesla making its large Bitcoin purchase publicly known? The crypto space saw a similar event earlier this week when news came out that Walmart had allegedly begun a partnership with the Litecoin foundation to incorporate payments that use the cryptocurrency at all of its stores.

It seemed believable to many. After all, rumors that the company was going crypto have been circulating for weeks after it was announced that Walmart is looking to hire a senior director with expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain. On top of that, the press release was initially published on GlobeNewswire, one of the largest platforms used by corporations to make groundbreaking news public.

There were without a doubt several tells however that could have clued observers into the fact that the press release was a hoax. For starters, it referenced a non-authorized Walmart website. Plus, the news was never published on Walmart’s actual corporate website. Perhaps the most telling giveaway though was Walmart’s supposed first choice to use Litecoin of all cryptocurrencies for payments.

Litecoin certainly could be successful to some degree as a payment system. The cryptocurrency’s code is largely derived from that of Bitcoin with a few small tweaks: the maximum number of Litecoin is eighty-four million to Bitcoin’s twenty-one million and a block is confirmed every two and a half minutes compared to ten minutes on the Bitcoin blockchain. However, it lacks the same level of popularity as larger cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. And it does not offer quick and inexpensive transactions like the cryptocurrency Nano or like the Lightning Network, a layer-2 solution on the Bitcoin blockchain. In short, Litecoin doesn’t seem to be the most likely choice as a payment method for the world’s largest retailer.

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