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Walmart Declines the Claim of Crypto Partnership

Following a flurry of false stories from national news sources and social media users on Monday, Walmart denied any partnership with the digital currency Litecoin. According to representative Molly Blakeman, a news release suggesting cooperation between Walmart and Litecoin is “not real.” Moreover, according to Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin and managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, the release was fraudulent.

Before being removed and corrected, the fake news was briefly posted on an immediate press release wire and in Reuters, CNBC, and Yahoo Finance outlets. However, it wasn’t evident who made it right away. So let’s take a deeper look at the details. According to Blakeman, despite a fake news release saying otherwise, the nation’s largest store is not working with Litecoin. In a statement on its website, Walmart clarified that it “had no association with Litecoin.”

In an email to the Associated Press, Lee, the creator of Litecoin, confirmed the release was a hoax. After receiving the fraudulent statement on GlobeNewswire, a prominent distributor of news releases, a Litecoin staffer unintentionally tweeted the false claim from the currency’s verified account on Monday, Lee revealed. According to Lee, the employee then realized his mistake and removed the tweet.

The headline on the press release was false: “Walmart Announces Major Partnership With Litecoin.” In addition, it forged comments from CEO and Litecoin’s founder to falsely suggest that starting Oct. 1,would allow customers to pay with the digital currency. Following the release, Twitter users noted that had not disclosed the relationship on its corporate website. Furthermore, the contact email in the release did not correspond to the company’s actual website address. According to Blakeman, even though this statement is a hoax, Walmart is trying to hire a digital currency and blockchain expert.

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