Phony Litecoin-Walmart Partnership Announcement Has Fraud To Blame as Prices Tumble

Close up of silver coin Litecoin on laptop computer keyboard. stock photo
Phira Phonruewiangphing / iStock.com

Following the fake “major” Litecoin-Walmart partnership announcement yesterday — which briefly sent the crypto surging — GlobeNewswire issued a notice across its service confirming that journalists and other readers should disregard the news release. Since then, GlobeNewswire has placed the blame on a fraudulent user account.

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“When GlobeNewswire became aware this morning that a fraudulent user account was used to issue an illegitimate press release we promptly withdrew the press release and issued a Notice to Disregard. This has never happened before and we have already put in place enhanced authentication steps to prevent this isolated incident from occurring in the future. We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter,” the company said in a statement provided to FOX Business.

Walmart also issued a statement, saying it had been the subject of a fake news release issued on Monday, Sept. 13, that “falsely stated Walmart announced a partnership with Litecoin (LTC). Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire, and it is incorrect. Walmart has no relationship with Litecoin,” according to the statement.

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As for the Litecoin Foundation, it posted a statement on Twitter, saying it felt the need to comment “on the recent false news that the Litecoin Foundation and Walmart announced an official partnership.”

“This is not the case and we have no information as to where the release of the press originated. The Litecoin Foundation has not entered into a partnership with Walmart of any kind. A fake press release, which looked to be official, was sent out this morning across Global Newswire. It is not our policy to release a partnership in such a way. Regarding the quotes within the article itself, these too are fabricated and did not come from Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin and Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation,” the statement read.

“Several media outlets, including Reuters, did cover the story first, and in response one of our social media team members was a little too eager and shared the story from the Litecoin Twitter account. This was quickly deleted and we have taken steps to correct future issues. Our marketing team has been responding to inquiries that this is indeed false,” Litecoin added.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Litecoin traded as high as $231 — up 30% — after the issuance of the release yesterday, but the cryptocurrency quickly fell after Walmart said the news release was fraudulent.

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Last updated: September 14, 2021

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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