Litecoin surges after false Walmart report

©BANG Media International

The cryptocurrency Litecoin experienced a sudden surge after a press release from Walmart - which turned out to be fake - claimed that it would be accepted for payment at the store.

The press release, which had been published by a legitimate source, claimed that the US supermarket would be accepting the currency through all of its digital stores.

Several major news sites had reported the news but Walmart later said that the announcement was "inauthentic".

The announcement even made it onto Globe Newswire, a service that is widely used to distribute press information from companies.

The fake release has since been deleted and a tweet from a verified Litecoin account linking to the release has also been removed.

Globe Newswire explained that "a fraudulent user account was used to issue an illegitimate press release".

The company added: "This has never happened before."

The service has also pledged to adopt "enhanced authentication" to prevent such an incident from happening again.

The false announcement had suggested that Litecoin would be accepted in all Walmart stores from October 1 but it was pointed out that the web domain had only been set up last month, raising suspicions.

The release also raised eyebrows amongst some sceptical observers as the volatile nature of cryptocurrency has prevented major businesses from trading with them.