A press release put out by one of the leading global newswires was believed to be true and was reported by major media outlets, sending a cryptocurrency soaring.
What Happened: The price of Litecoin quickly gained over 26% hitting a high of $233.06 this morning because a press release stated Walmart had entered a partnership with the cryptocurrency.
The press release also said that Walmart would begin accepting Litecoin as a form of payment on Oct. 1.
Quotes from Walmart executives and Litecoin’s founder were included in the press release, which turned out to be a fake news item.
Validation Questions: An article published earlier today by Benzinga mentioned that the website for Walmart in the press release was being questioned by users on Twitter.
The website was registered a month ago and listed as Walmart-corp.com in the press release. An email for a Walmart executive was also declared fake by Twitter users questioning the Litecoin-related press release.
Walmart had not highlighted the partnership on its official website Monday.
Litecoin’s verified Twitter account shared the press release but quickly deleted it. Several media accounts reported on the partnership.
Walmart, Litecoin Respond: Walmart confirmed to CNBC that the news event was not true.
A press release put out by Walmart called for a “notice to disregard” and told all journalists and readers to ignore the previous GlobeNewswire press release.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told CNBC the press release was fake and the retail company had been in touch with GlobeNewswire.
Litecoin shared on Twitter that the press release was fake hours after originally sharing the press release. Litecoin was a trending topic on Twitter on Monday.
GlobeNewswire was owned by Nasdaq for years before selling to telecommunications company Intrado.
The SEC did not respond to a call for comment by CNBC on a question of investigating the fake press release.
GlobeNewswire has removed the press release from its site.
Price Action: Litecoin soared on the press release and subsequent media coverage. Once media and Twitter began questioning the validity, Litecoin’s price started falling.
Litecoin went from a high of $233.06 down to $180.05.
Litecoin has a market cap of $12.0 billion, ranking as the 867th largest stock, cryptocurrency, or ETF tracked by AssetDash.com.
This story originally appeared on Benzinga. © 2021 Benzinga.com.
Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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