Bitcoin Cash Briefly Spikes on Fraudulent Press Release

The cryptocurrency rose over 4.6% from $602.63 at around 11:30 UTC to $630.70 in less than 15 minutes after the publication of a fraudulent announcement.

Nov 5, 2021 at 12:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 5, 2021 at 7:23 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin cash (BCH) saw a sharp but short-lived uptick in its value on Friday after the publication of a fraudulent press release claiming that U.S. supermarket giant Kroger would be accepting the cryptocurrency as payment this holiday season.

  • The crypto rose over 4.6% from $602.63 at around 11:30 UTC to $630.70 less than 15 minutes later following the fraudulent announcement’s publication. BCH subsequently gave back all its gains to fall below the price it had been prior to the announcement. At the time of writing, it was priced at $601.74.
  • The fraudulent announcement, which was issued on PR Newswire and appeared on the Kroger website, claimed the grocery retailer would be accepting BCH for all in-store and online purchases from Dec. 1.
  • A company spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk at 11:49 UTC that the release was fraudulent. At press time, the release had been removed from the company site.
  • “This morning a press release was fraudulently issued claiming to be The Kroger Co. that falsely stated the organization will begin to accept bitcoin cash. This communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded,” a spokesperson said.
  • This fraud is similar to the one in September which fraudulently claimed that Walmart would start to accept litecoin.
  • Bitcoin cash, the world’s 21st largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap data, was formed out of a hard fork on the Bitcoin network in 2017.

UPDATE (NOV. 5 13:20 UTC): Adds Kroger’s statement in fourth bullet.

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.