On Monday, Walmart Inc. stated that a false news release that announced a collaboration with litecoin, which for short period resulted in a 30 percent increase in the cryptocurrency's price, was fraudulent and that it was not affiliated with the company. When asked how such an announcement was made, the retailer said it was looking into how GlobeNewswire the press release distributor, made it public earlier in the day.
"Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire and there is no truth to it. Walmart has no relationship with litecoin," Walmart’s spokesperson told Reuters.
Walmart's bogus press release celebrating the acceptance of litecoin as an online payment led to a jump in Litecoin's price, but the gains were short-lived as Walmart published a statement claiming the press release was fake.
GlobeNewswire issued a warning to "disregard" the news release and stated that it has improved verification procedures in place to avoid a similar incident from happening again.
"We will work with the appropriate authorities to request - and facilitate - a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter," GlobeNewswire said in a statement.
Bitcoin dropped to -2.5 percent in less than five minutes following the announcement, causing huge sell-offs and pulling down other cryptocurrencies with it. Most currencies traded in the red, and several even dropped to double digits as a result of panic selling.
Due to a false tweet yesterday, the market was rocked. This demonstrates that cryptocurrencies are eager for attention, and developers would retweet whatever news they get without double-checking the facts, all to entice more investors. Charlie Lee, Litecoin's founder admitted that they "screwed up" after retweeting false news.
''We try our best to not tweet fake news and this time we really screwed up and we will stop fake news from spreading, This morning I woke up and found out that Walmart is accepting Litecoin, and I was like, 'Wow that's awesome,' and it turned out to be fake," said Charlie Lee
On the topic of whether LTC had ever discussed a collaboration with Walmart, Lee replied, "We didn't have a partnership." He also said that anybody may start accepting Litecoin without first having to speak with the organization.