Walmart hits cryptocoin link

Walmart is looking into how a fake press statement announcing a partnership with Litecoin, which briefly led to near 30 percent gains in the cryptocurrency, was issued by news release distributor GlobeNewswire.

The fake press release touting the acceptance of Litecoin as online payment by the world’s largest retailer led to a sudden spike in its prices, but the gains faded quickly after Walmart said it was fraudulent.

“Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire and there is no truth to it. Walmart has no relationship with Litecoin,” a company official said.

GlobeNewswire published a notice to “disregard” the news release and said it had put in place enhanced authentication steps to prevent a similar incident from recurring.

“We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter,” it said.

Separately, the Litecoin Foundation said in a Twitter post it had no information on where the news release had originated.

The foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes cryptocurrency and is run by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who said in an e-mail that the hoax was being investigated but little headway had been made.

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