Walmart says crypto payments announcement is fake. Litecoin tumbles after spike

Customers shop at a Walmart store on August 04, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Cryptocurrency litecoin gave up a 20% gain and tumbled back to earth following a fake press release sent out by GlobeNewswire that referenced a partnership with Walmart.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed the press release is not authentic. He also said the retailer has been in touch with the newswire company, which is owned by telecommunications company Intrado, to investigate how the false press release got posted.

A number of media organizations including CNBC sent headlines on the announcement. Shares of Walmart had little movement on it. Litecoin last traded 3% down, according to Coin Metrics.

The Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they would be investigating what led to the issuance of the fake release.

The news release said that Walmart, the biggest retailer in the U.S., would accept cryptocurrency for payments from shoppers, using litecoin. It referenced a non-working website in the email of one of the contacts listed, raising suspicions.

The release was never listed on Walmart’s official corporate website and has been removed from the GlobeNewswire website.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(With Inputs from cnbc)

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