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Misinformation can have a far-reaching, and fast-moving, impact. On September 13, 2021, a single piece of viral misinformation made waves in the cryptocurrency and retail sectors simultaneously, causing a surge of online conversation and financial reactions all in the span of one day. While the falsehood was quickly refuted, the case is just the latest example of how, when it comes to misinformation, anything short of real-time detection can create challenges. Get the full story in the timeline below.

Take a look at the Zignal Narrative Intelligence Cloud.

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Litecoin’s rollercoaster ride

On Sept. 13, 2021, piece of viral misinformation drew a rapid surge of online attention to Litecoin and WalMart – with real financial implications. We explored the conversation using the Zignal Narrative Intelligence Cloud. (All times EST.)


Litecoin publishes a press release falsely stating that Walmart would begin accepting the digital currency as payment. The release is quickly deleted.


The price of litecoin jumps to $237.88 from $175.45 at the time of the release – a 35% increase in 15 minutes.


CNBC picks up the release, with Yahoo, Reuters, and other outlets also amplifying the story throughout the morning.


The price of litecoin falls to $178.62 and stays below $190 for the rest of the day.


Litecoin and Walmart log 15,313 and 13,534 Twitter mentions, respectively, in the hour of 10:00AM to 11:00AM – the highest one-hour total of the day for both companies.


GlobalNewswire publishes a statement from WalMart refuting the claims of the Litecoin release.


Twitter mentions of Litecoin reach 41,487 for the day – a 796% increase over the previous day’s total. Walmart’s daily mentions reach 42,807 – a 131% increase over the previous day.