New Delhi: Cryptocurrency Litecoin saw its price go up by over 20 per cent after a news release published on Monday morning claimed that Walmart, the biggest retailer in the US, would begin accepting payments in the particular Digital currency, several media reports claimed.
The price of Litecoin, however, fell soon as the retail giant said the announcement was fake.
The fake press release sent out by GlobeNewswire said Walmart was entering into a partnership with Litecoin.
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According to a report on the CNBC website, the news release said Walmart would accept payments from shoppers in cryptocurrency, using Litecoin. What raised suspicions was a non-working website it referenced in the email of one of the contacts listed, the report said.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed the press release is not authentic. CNBC quoted him as saying that they are in touch with the newswire company to find out how the false press release got posted.
GlobalNewswire is widely used by companies to distribute material they want published in the media. It is owned by telecommunications company Intrado. The company reportedly issued a “notice to disregard” the original release shortly after posting it and also took it down from its site.
But the news had spread by then.
The release did not appear on Walmart’s own website.
Litecoin Foundation’s verified Twitter handle also posted that it had no such partnership.
“Litecoin last traded 3% down,” CNBC reported, quoting Coin Metrics.
According to a BBC report, the price of Litecoin jumped from about £125 per token to nearly £170, before tumbling down to about £128, its original price.