Litecoin Undergoes A Major Pump and Dump On Rumors of Walmart Accepting LTC Payments

In what appeared as a classic pump and dump, the Litecoin (LTC) cryptocurrency, which was trading at around $173, shot up nearly 34% and reached a high of $233 following a fake press release from GlobeNewswire which showed retail giant Walmart integrating Litecoin payments. 

"We're very excited to be working together with the Litecoin Foundation and further innovate our business. Starting October 1st, all eCommerce stores will have implemented a 'Pay with Litecoin Option," the document says, citing a statement from Walmart's CEO.

Soon after the rumors, Walmart representative Randy Hargrove confirmed that the press release was not authentic. He also announced that the retailer ought to be in touch with the newswire company to investigate how the false press release was posted.

Immediately after the announcement, the newfound gain sharply plunged back and is now trading at $179.21. All of the above accumulations and losses from $173 to $233 back to $179 occurred in just approximately an hour.

Several media organizations addressed headlines on the announcement. CNBC was among the first media outlets to report the partnership, citing a press release from GlobeNewswire.

Nevertheless, in just 30 minutes, Walmart confirmed the press release was fake. At 9:50 a.m. Eastern Time Litecoin tweeted the press release from its official account five minutes later, CNBC's published the same report.

The Litecoin Foundation tweeted an official statement regarding the blunder. It noted that it social media team was a little too eager and shared the story from the Litecoin Twitter account. This was quickly deleted and we have taken steps to correct future issues.” announcement about a partnership with Walmart. 

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Lee said, "We try our best not to tweet fake news, and this time we really screwed up. I deny that it has anything to do with us, and we'll try our best to figure out who did it -- and we will stop fake news from spreading."

Walmart Inc. and GlobeNewswire are investigating and now seeking to determine how the events transpired. According to GlobeNewswire, a fraudulent user account was used to issue the release. A spokesperson said, "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." He continued by adding, "We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter."

The Litecoin Foundation is a non-profit organization, and it focuses on advancing the peer-to-peer token and the open-source software project.