Cryptocurrency Litecoin briefly spiked more than 25 percent after a fake press release that duped much of the financial media claimed Walmart — the country’s biggest retailer — planned to let customers pay online with the crypto beginning next month.
Much of the financial press, including CNBC and Reuters, ran with the release, which was not posted by any official accounts run by Walmart.
Randy Hargrove, a Walmart spokesman, confirmed to The Post that the release was not legitimate.
The release was sent on GlobeNewswire, a Los Angeles-based company that provides press release distribution services, by an account that had never previously published a press release.
A verified Twitter account for Litecoin also tweeted the fraudulent release in a since-deleted post.
The price of Litecoin soared more than 25 percent after the announcement to just under $234 per coin, according to data from CoinDesk.
By 10:30 a.m., after most news organizations that published stories based on the release had corrected their articles, the price of Litecoin had plummeted back down to $179 per coin.
Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that prioritizes quick, low-cost payments. Launched in 2011, it was an early so-called altcoin, or Bitcoin alternative
Representatives for GlobalNewswire did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.
Representatives for the Litecoin Foundation also did not immediately provide comment.
Many on Twitter criticized the news organizations that re-published the press release for failing to verify its authenticity before running with it.
It’s still unclear who’s responsible for the fake release.