However, the move quickly reversed after the hoax was exposed. Near 1615 GMT, the exchange rate had retreated to around $179.

A spokesman for Walmart confirmed to AFP that the information was false.

A statement on GlobalNewswire posted at 1518 GMT advised readers to "disregard the news release 'Walmart announces major partnership with Litecoin."

Litecoin's Twitter handle retweeted a statement from the Litecoin Foundation saying, "The Litecoin Foundation has not entered into a partnership with Walmart."

GlobalNewswire did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The site is a rival to Business Wire and PR Newswire, which are well known venues for disseminating company news.

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