Business

Fake Press Release About Walmart Gives Short Boost of Litecoin

Walmart does not have a partnership accepting payments with Litecoin

A fake press release announced Walmart would accept payments in Litecoin. The cryptocurrency’s value jumped by 30% in 15 minutes before going back to normal. Another example of the volatility of digital wallets while Walmart’s stock value barely changed.

Litecoint's value jumped in 15 minutes
Litecoin’s value jumped in 15 minutes before going back to normal | Coindesk

On September 13, a fake press release was published on GlobeNewswire, a press release distribution service used by corporations to send out official news or statement.

The fake press release was titled “Walmart Announces Major Partnership With Litecoin (LTC)“. GlobeNewswire removed it and advised to disregard the news. It falsely claimed that Walmart would accept payments with Litecoin.

The giant American retailer with 2.3 million employees later stated that they had no knowledge of the press release and has no relationship with Litecoin.

In the meantime, Litecoin’s value jumped by 30%, from US $175 to $233 in only 15 minutes. An hour later, it went back to $177, closer to Litecoin’s recent valuation. The price still remained lower than in most of April and May 2021, when it reached its highest value at $383 on May 10.

With a market capitalization of $404 billion, while Litecoin is at $12 billion, Walmart’s stock price barely moved. It opened on Monday at +0.7% compared to Friday and went back to the same price an hour later.

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency launched in 2011 with the same codebase as Bitcoin but with a larger supply and faster creation of money.

Litecoin's value in the last year
Litecoin’s value in the last year | Coinbase

Litecoin social media team shared the fake news

The news was relayed by several news outlets, including Reuters, and was also shared on Litecoin’s Twitter account by a “little too eager” media team member.

Litecoin later stated the news was fake and that Litecoin Foundation had “no information as to where this idea or the release to the press originated”.

According to CNBC, which had also sent headlines on the announcement before correcting it, and The Verge, GlobeNewswire said that a fraudulent user account was used to issue the release, which had never happened before.

Walmart usually uses Businesswire to send out press releases and didn’t communicate about a partnership with Litecoin on its corporate website.

The fake release was linked to a non-functioning website and didn’t include a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, a financial statement which would be expected from a public company like Walmart.

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