Price of Litecoin spikes after fake press release claims Walmart will accept the crypto
By Bob Garcia
Popular crypto Litecoin briefly surged on Monday after a press release claimed the retail giant Walmart would begin accepting the blockchain asset. Despite being published through reputable channels, the press release was inauthentic.
A verified Litecoin Twitter account inadvertently tweeted what turned out to be fake news at 9:50am ET. Within minutes, the false claims had spread throughout the US thanks to coverage by noted outlets such as Reuters, Bloomberg, and CNBC. The cryptocurrency rose as much as 25% before the news was debunked.
Less than 90 minutes later, both Walmart and GlobeNewswire disputed the contents of the press release. In a statement released at 11:18am ET, GlobeNewswire announced that the press release was sent from a fraudulent user account and told readers to disregard the news.
“This has never happened before and we have already put in place enhanced authentication steps to prevent this isolated incident from occurring in the future,” a GlobeNewswire spokesman said. “We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter.”
At 11:58am ET, the Litecoin Foundation tweeted, ” The Litecoin Foundation has not entered into a partnership with Walmart.” Two hours later the foundation added, “Several media outlets, including Reuters, did cover the story first, and in response one of our social media team members was a little too eager and shared the story from the Litecoin Twitter account. This was quickly deleted and we have taken steps to correct future issues. Our marketing team has been responding to inquiries that this is indeed fake.”