No, Walmart isn't accepting crypto payments in Litecoin

A fake press release briefly sent the value of the cryptocurrency soaring.

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A Litecoin Foundation representative said the group hasn't entered into a partnership with Walmart. 

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Walmart has been rumored to be developing a digital currency strategy, but the retail giant isn't ready to start accepting cryptocurrency just yet. Walmart on Monday confirmed that a press release that said the retailer was going to offer a pay-with-Litecoin option was fake. GlobeNewswire, a press release distributor, published the fake release earlier Monday.

The hoax sent the value of Litecoin soaring nearly 30% to about $225 on Monday morning, according to CoinDesk. It has since dropped back down to around $178.

While the press release was fake, Walmart does appear to be exploring how it could work with cryptocurrencies in the future. Last month, a career listing on the retailer's website said it was looking to hire a cryptocurrency product lead who would develop the company's digital currency strategy and road map. 

A representative for the Litecoin Foundation said Monday that it hasn't entered into a partnership with Walmart, adding that the group has "no idea where this story came from."

Walmart's statement directed further questions to GlobeNewswire, which also verified that the release was a fake.

"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," GlobeNewswire said in an emailed statement. "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." 

Walmart didn't respond to a request for additional comment.

See also: Cryptocurrency pump-and-dump schemes: Everything you should know about these scams


The hoax release included fake quotes from Walmart executives. 

Screenshot by CNET