Why it matters: LightCoin surged more than 34% in value for a short time Monday morning after the fake press claimed that Walmart would start accepting cryptocurrency. The complete failure, which lasted less than an hour, shows the amazing impact that a large company can have on the cryptocurrency market.
A press release was shared on GlobeNewswire, a public relations distribution platform used by many companies. The problem, however, is that Walmart typically uses Business Wire to distribute its press releases to the media. Additionally, GlobeNewswire is linked to a passive website, and as The Verge further points out, there is no commission for stocks and commissions that can be expected of Walmart to be a public company.
Walmart has never posted the ad on the company's website.
However, several news outlets reported the story based on a fake press release, and Litecoin rose in value from around $175 to over $236 in just 15 minutes.
It didn't take long for people to realize this scam. Less than 40 minutes after hitting the $233 mark, Litecoin dropped to around $178.
It is not clear who is responsible for spreading the fake press. A Walmart spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that the copy was invalid, adding that they called the PR firm to investigate how the post was published. An acceptable motive behind the fake press release: short-term financial gain. With the sudden turn of the market, everyone behind it was more likely to sell their assets at the peak and make a big profit.
Litecoin increased 34% in value in 15 minutes with the release of a fake Walmart press