ON SEPTEMBER 13th the price of Litecoin briefly jumped by nearly 30% following a fake press release claiming that Walmart would begin accepting the digital currency for online payments. The hoax, which managed to fool several financial-news outlets, could spur calls for greater oversight of the cryptocurrency industry.

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Cryptocurrencies were already creating headaches for many regulators. In a speech last week, Charles Randell, the chair of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a watchdog, warned that the hype surrounding digital currencies can cause a “fear of missing out” and that consumers are being lured into such investments with “delusions of quick riches”. Earlier this month Gary Gensler, the head of America’s Securities and Exchange Commission, another regulator, told members of the European Parliament that the asset…

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