The price of Litecoin soared 34 per cent in a matter of hours before crashing down to Earth when news of a partnership with Walmart turned out to be false.
Yesterday, a press release distributed by GlobeNewswire, which was reported on in Reuters, Bloomberg News and CNBC, claimed that Walmart would accept Litecoin payments in its online stores, causing its price to jump from $175.18 to $234.85.
However, Walmart, Litecoin and GlobeNewswire have each issued statements confirming that the news is false.
The grocery giant issued a statement claiming that the company “was the subject of a fake news release” which “falsely stated Walmart announced a partnership with Litecoin.”
“Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire, and it is incorrect. Walmart has no relationship with Litecoin,” the release confirmed.
Litecoin confirmed the news in a tweet after the fake press release was mistakenly shared from the company’s official Twitter account. The company’s founder, Charlie Lee, apologised for the error.
Intrado, the company which owns GlobeNewswire, quickly issued a correction stating that “journalists and other readers should disregard the news release.”
“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,” Intrado said. The company confirmed it would work with law enforcement to investigate the matter.
However, for investors who believed the false press release the damage has already been done.