Tue. Oct 19th, 2021

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The price of litecoin rose briefly on Monday morning after a press release falsely claimed that Walmart would allow online shoppers to pay for purchases using the crypto currency.

The release, which appeared on the GlobeNewswire distribution platform, claims that the largest retailer in the world has entered into a partnership to enable litecoin as a payment method for its e-commerce stores from October.

On top of Walmart and litecoin logos, it contains statements attributed to Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, and Charlie Lee, creator of litecoin.

According to the false press release, the price of litecoin rose to 32.8% to $ 235.88, according to Bloomberg data. Within 30 minutes, it started to retreat and traded at less than 1% at $ 178.21 on Monday afternoon.

Walmart said Monday afternoon it was “the subject of a fake news release” that falsely announced a partnership with litecoin.

‘Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire, and that is incorrect. Walmart has no relationship with litecoin, ”the company said, asking all further questions to GlobeNewswire.

The Litecoin Foundation, a non-profit group that promotes cryptocurrency, tweeted that it “has not entered into a partnership with Walmart”.

GlobeNewswire has removed the press release from its website and a message said that “journalists and other readers should disregard it”. Intrado, GlobeNewswire’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Line chart of US dollars buying a Litecoin ($) indicating Litecoin and Walmart's fake press release

The fake version apparently sparked the enthusiasm that cryptocurrencies could one day be adopted as a medium of exchange. Only a handful of retailers and consumer brands have accepted crypto payments, including Overstock.com, the e-commerce company. Electric car maker Tesla has said it would accept bitcoin in the past turn back in May in response to environmental problems.

News outlets, including Reuters and CNBC, initially reported on the announcement before releasing updates or withdrawing their original articles. A Twitter account called @Litecoin, with 761,000 followers, delete an initial tweet It contains a link to the phoney press release.

False news reports have hit Wall Street before. In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission A Bulgarian trader sued which, according to him, placed a false takeover bid for cosmetics manufacturer Avon.

The trader, who made false press statements and had the fictitious buyout offer published through the SEC’s online corporate repository, it was able to sell its shares at artificially inflated prices before the nearly 20 percent rise in Avon shares evaporated, the U.S. securities regulator charged.

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