Walmart/ Litecoin: halfway around the world

A few short moments ago at 2:30pm UK time, news landed at Reuters, Yahoo Finance, CNBC and Globe News Wire that Walmart is entering into a partnership with Litecoin.

From the press release:

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), the No. 1 U.S. retailer and world’s largest grocer, is pleased to announce a major partnership with Litecoin. The eCommerce giant intends to give its millions of shoppers across the world an opportunity to seamlessly make payments with cryptocurrencies.

Bullish for Litecoin right?

Well, we’re not quite sure. First, because the press release has not appeared on either Walmart’s website, nor in the form of an 8-K on its SEC page.

Second, because the email address given to contact Walmart’s chief marketing officer, William White, has a domain of which, if you visit it, doesn’t seem to belong to the big box retailer. Chuck that URL into registration data site ICANN, and you’ll also see the site was created on August 17.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that Mr White’s email address does not appear at the bottom of any of Walmart’s most recent press releases.

Still, it could be true. Walmart might have had a communication breakdown with the good folks at Litecoin Foundation, and forgot to co-ordinate on press release timings.

So we called Walmart but its automated answering machine only directed us to its journalist contact page. Which, of course, we filled out. We’ll update the story either way if we hear back. FT Alphaville also contacted the Litecoin Foundation.

But given Litecoin’s official Twitter account just deleted its tweet about the news — causing the coin to retreat to a small rise of just 7 per cent after being up 22 per cent — we think the answer is pretty obvious.

Breaking: as were about to publish, CNBC have confirmed with Walmart the story isn’t true.

So the question now is, how was it possible for a pumptastic press release to go global across several reputable news services before anyone bothered to check with the company? Good one team.

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