Hoax Walmart statement leads to Litecoin surge

US retailer Walmart said that a press release announcing a partnership with Litecoin, which briefly led to a nearly 30 percent surge in the cryptocurrency’s price, was fake.

The retailer said it was looking into how such an announcement, which was published by press release distributor GlobeNewswire, was issued 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,” a company spokesperson told Reuters.

Separately, the Litecoin Foundation tweeted it has not entered into a pact with the retailer.

This was later retweeted by the verified Twitter account of litecoin as well as by Charlie Lee, the creator of the cryptocurrency.

After Walmart called it fake, GlobeNewswire published a notice to “disregard” the press release.

However, it did not comment to a query by Reuters on the fake statement or the subsequent notice.

The false press release said Walmart would allow its customers to make payments with litecoin at its online stores.

An email earlier sent to a contact person in the statement remained ‘undeliverable’.

Litecoin jumped about 30 percent following the fake statement, but they quickly pared gains and were last up just about three percent.

Bitcoin prices also slipped after briefly turning positive following the hoax announcement.

Reuters and other news outlets had reported on the partnership. Reuters withdrew its initial story.