A press release announced a Walmart cryptocurrency partnership. It was wrong

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Walmart has denied any partnership with digital currency Litecoin after a fake press release on Monday led to a brief wave of inaccurate reports from national media and social media users.

A press release claiming that a partnership between Walmart and Litecoin is “not real,” according to Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman.

The bogus announcement was temporarily featured in a major press release and in outlets such as Reuters, CNBC and Yahoo Finance, before being removed and corrected. It was not immediately clear who created it.

Here’s a closer look at the facts.

Claim

Walmart announced a major partnership with digital currency Litecoin on Monday.

Facts

The country’s largest retailer is not partnering with Litecoin, despite a fake press release claiming it, Blakeman told The Associated Press by phone.

The press release touted the fake title “Walmart Announces Major Partnership With Litecoin”. He fabricated quotes from the CEO of Walmart and the creator of Litecoin to falsely claim that Walmart would allow customers to pay with digital currency from October 1.

After the release of the release, Twitter users pointed out that Walmart did not advertise the partnership on its own corporate website, and that the contact email in the release did not match the actual address. of the company’s website.

While this ad is bogus, Walmart is looking to hire a digital currencies and blockchain expert, Blakeman said.

The bogus statement briefly stumbled national media, Twitter users, and cryptocurrency buyers. Litecoin’s price fell from around $ 175 early Monday to around $ 233 seconds after the press release was released. The price dropped just as quickly a few minutes later.

GlobeNewswire, which briefly featured the release on its site before deleting it, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company is an Associated Press client who distributes press releases to AP’s client network.

Here is Walmart’s statement on the fake version.

Litecoin did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

Ali Swenson and Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press

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