Hours after the release of a statement claiming Walmart will soon be supporting cryptocurrency payments, the company denied the authenticity of the supposed news. Published at around 9:30 am on September 13 on the Globe Newswire Platform, the article said that Walmart would accept Litecoin through its digital stores.
When legitimate news outlets caught wind of the announcement, they immediately began to make news articles about it. Soon, people all over the United States began buzzing about using crypto for their purchases in Walmart. This caused Litecoin prices to increase instantly.
The official Twitter account for the Litecoin Foundation even reposted the news, confirming that the press release was legitimate for the time being. However, Globe Newswire later published a ‘notice to disregard’ the article at around 11:18 AM after the release.
Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove confirmed that the press release was false. He said that Walmart representatives are currently working with Globe Newswire to determine how the press release was published.
Since the hoax was discovered, all of the news articles were taken down and the original press release on the Globe Newswire platform was deleted as well.
Moreover, Globe Newswire released a statement, saying that ‘a fraudulent user account was used to issue an illegitimate press release’. The company also said that they are taking measures to prevent the event from happening again.
On the other hand, representatives from the Litecoin Foundation said that one of their team members was ‘too eager’ to share the story on Twitter without checking beforehand.
During the height of the announcement, Litecoin prices increased by more than thirty per cent. It spiked from US$174.06 to US$231.11 within a matter of minutes. However, the price immediately plummeted after the retractions were made.
As of writing, the price of LTC has gotten significantly lower at US$169.25 with a trading volume of $2,238,592,333.03.
An article written from The New York Times described the hoax as a ‘pump and dump’ scheme. Writers Matthew Goldstein, Ephrat Livni and Michael Corkery suspect that the people responsible for the hoax did it to make a profit from their Litecoin investments.
As of now, there are no further updates as to who was responsible for the hoax and how the Globe Newswire platform will be looking for the culprit.
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