Popular cryptocurrency Litecoin temporarily rose by 30% after a fake press release issued on press release platform Global Newswire stated that US retail giant Walmart has partnered with the Litecoin Foundation to start accepting Litecoin as online payment.
However, Wal-Mart later confirmed that the press release was fake, saying that “Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire, and it is incorrect”.
The fake announcement resulted in Litecoin’s price soaring by 30% early Monday, jumping from $175.45 to $225.75 in response to the news. The price later fell by 20% to $178 within an hour of the Walmart announcement, according to data by CoinMarketCap.
The fake press release also resulted in an increase in the price of Bitcoin which rose by 1.8% to $ 45,540. However, later Bitcoin again fell to $44,498.
Global Newswire also released a notice to dismiss the press release and stated that it would place enhanced authentication steps to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. In an email statement to Reuters, the press release website noted:
“We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter.”
The Litecoin Foundation initially retweeted this fake press release but has since deleted it. The move by the foundation has people speculating that the news might’ve been true, just accidentally published ahead of schedule.