Walmart is denying a press release that said it would start partnering with Litecoin, one of the oldest cryptocurrencies.
“Walmart has no relationship with Litecoin,” the retailer said in a statement on its website, noting the company had been “the subject of a fake news release.”
The release was sent out by GlobeNewswire at 9:30 a.m. ET but has since been removed. Litecoin had tweeted the press release, which claimed Walmart would start accepting the digital currency starting Oct. 1 but then deleted the tweet.
Several news outlets published reports based on the release before Walmart denied the release. Litecoin briefly soared more than 25% but erased gains after Walmart said it was fake. Litecoin’s stock was last trading down 5%.
►Costco Advent calendars 2021: Raise a glass, wine and beer calendars back at clubs. But act fast as they could sell out fast.
►Target car seat trade-in event is back: How to get a 20% discount for recycling an old car seat
This isn’t the first time fake press releases got attention. In 2017, a fabricated news release circulated that claimed McDonald’s would submit an unsolicited bid to acquire fast-casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Ahead of April Fools’ Day, Volkswagen claimed it was changing its name in the U.S. to “Voltswagen” in a nod to the company’s heightened commitment to electric vehicles, a significant trend in the auto industry after General Motors, Jaguar and Volvo recently revealed plans to phase out gas cars.
The German automaker had confirmed to outlets including USA TODAY that it was not a joke but a genuine change. The company later admitted it was a joke.
Contributing: Nathan Bomey and Jessica Menton, USA TODAY
►Save better, spend better: Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here