A fake news story carried by outlets such as Reuters and Bloomberg claiming that the US’ largest retailer would be accepting cryptocurrency payments rocked financial markets on Monday.
The outlets reported that the Walmart chain had partnered with Litecoin, but the retail giant later denied any such move.
On the news, the price of Litecoin climbed from $175 to as high as $240 at 9.45 a.m. EDT, up 37% in just minutes, before falling back to earth.
Investors and Litecoin holders took their frustration to Twitter, blasting the outlets for the fake news, and the sudden fluctuation of the price of the digital currency.
Many of the offending outlets later retracted their stories, making statements owning up to the blunder.
"Alerts and story on Walmart announcing a partnership with Litecoin are wrong and have been withdrawn after Walmart confirms to Reuters that the press release was fake," said Reuters.
Bloomberg pointed the finger at GlobeNewswire, which issued the fake news release, saying: "The statement that was released via Globe Newswire isn’t authentic, a Walmart representative confirmed to Bloomberg News. The company is in the process of trying to learn more about the release."
CNBC said the fake GlobeNewswire press release has since been removed from its website.
GlobeNewswire describes itself on its website as "one of the world's largest newswire distribution networks, specializing in the delivery of corporate press releases, financial disclosures, and multimedia content to media, investors, and consumers worldwide."