Litecoin briefly soared above $230 after a now-deleted press release from news distributor GlobeNewswire made rounds. Numerous platforms picked up the illegitimate report that announced a partnership between Litecoin and e-commerce giant Walmart.
According to the announcement, the supposed deal would allow online shoppers to pay for purchases using cryptocurrency. Even the handle of Litecoin Foundation, the non-profit organization that aims to foster the development of LTC, posted the fake announcement. Soon after the Walmart spokesperson confirmed CNBC about the phoney press release, LTC retraced significantly. The crypto-asset price saw an abrupt fall, reversing gains by more than 22% to the press time price near $177.
Litecoin Creator talks about the false announcement
Litecoin creator and the Managing Director of Litecoin Foundation, Charlie Lee, admitted that the organization had a role to play in the latest “screw up.” While appearing on the “Bloomberg Technology” television program, Lee also said that there is very little the foundation can do.
“We try our best to not tweet fake news and this time we really screwed up. I deny that it has anything to do with us and we’ll try our best to figure out who did it, and we will stop fake news from spreading.”
He still maintained that anyone can start accepting LTC, and there is no such requirement of formal talks with the organization first. Talking about the entire incident, the exec also stated,
“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. We didn’t have a partnership.”
Meanwhile, Walmart Inc. and the press-release distributor GlobeNewswire have revealed investigating the hoax announcement. Fabricated press releases are not new to the equities market. But this is the first time a false document was published on a popular news distributing site that involved two major entities. Walmart’s shares slipped by less than 1%, while Litecoin saw double-digit losses in a matter of hours.