Cryptocurrency litecoin spikes briefly on bogus announcement

NEW YORK (AFP) – The price of litecoin briefly surged on Monday following a fake press release saying Walmart had agreed to a partnership with the cryptocurrency.

The digital currency jumped around 30 per cent following the publication on GlobalNewswire of the bogus news release, which resembled official press releases on the financial newswire. Litecoin shot up to USD230 from USD175 in the moments after the “news” was relayed on other media.

However, the move quickly reversed after the hoax was exposed. Near 1615 GMT, the exchange rate had retreated to around USD179.

A spokesman for Walmart confirmed to AFP that the information was false.

A statement on GlobalNewswire posted at 1518 GMT advised readers to “disregard the news release Walmart announces major partnership with Litecoin”.

Litecoin’s Twitter handle retweeted a statement from the Litecoin Foundation, saying, “The Litecoin Foundation has not entered into a partnership with Walmart”.

GlobalNewswire did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The site is a rival to Business Wire and PR Newswire, which are well known venues for disseminating company news.

A woman at Walmart in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. PHOTO: AP