Cryptocurrency hoax! Kroger says Bitcoin Cash release was fraudulent
Kroger may just have become a victim of a cryptocurrency hoax. Kroger said a press release announcing plans for the grocery chain to begin accepting Bitcoin cash was fraudulent.
Cryptocurrency hoax! Kroger Co. said a press release announcing plans for the grocery chain to begin accepting Bitcoin Cash was fraudulent, marking the latest apparent scam tying a major retailer to cryptocurrency. A Kroger representative confirmed to Bloomberg News that the company hadn't issued the statement. The fraudulent document has been removed from the grocer's website.
The release, which said all of Kroger's stores would begin accepting Bitcoin Cash next month, appeared Friday morning on PRNewswire, a wire service used by many major companies to make official announcements. Kroger's investor-relations website automatically picked up the statement, the company said. The statement was subsequently picked up by several major news organizations, including Bloomberg News.
Less than two months ago, another fake statement went out on a separate wire service, GlobeNewswire, saying that Walmart Inc. had partnered with the cryptocurrency Litecoin. Walmart subsequently said it wasn't true and the statement was taken down.
A representative of PRNewswire didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Kroger shares were down 0.4% in premarket trading at 8:25 a.m. in New York, after an earlier rise.
Kroger looking into fake press release touting acceptance of bitcoin cash
(Reuters) - Kroger Co is looking into the publication of a fake press release, claiming the acceptance of bitcoin cash at its stores, the grocer said on Friday, after becoming the second major retailer in recent weeks to get entangled in a crypto hoax.
The release, which said the grocer would accept the cryptocurrency this holiday season, appeared on Kroger's investor relations page and was later deleted.
The company said the page, which gets automatically updated, receives a direct feed from PR Newswire (PRN), where the fake release also appeared.
"This communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded," a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement, adding that Kroger was in touch with PRN on the issue.
PRN pulled the fake announcement and said it was "urgently investigating the incident including looking into any criminal activity associated with this matter".
Bitcoin cash is a fork of bitcoin's underlying software code formed in 2017, and was an initiative headed by a small group of mostly China-based bitcoin miners. (https://reut.rs/3bL8MNO)
Walmart Inc was subject to a cryptocurrency hoax in September when a fake press release was published, announcing a partnership between the world's largest retailer and litecoin. The news had briefly sent prices of the little known cryptocurrency surging.
Despite a string of hoaxes, cyptocurrencies are gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies such as theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, which said in September that it would accept bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin for ticket purchases in the coming months.
Bitcoin prices turned slightly negative after Kroger said the release was fake.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said the agency would not comment on "the existence or nonexistence" of a possible investigation into the fake press release.
Dollar soars to more than 1-year high after jobs data, then pulls back
New York (Reuters) -The dollar jumped on Friday to hit its highest level in more than a year, after data showed stronger U.S. job growth than expected in October, but retreated a bit in late trading as risk appetite improved and stocks rallied.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 531,000 jobs last month, above the 450,000 forecast, as the latest surge in COVID-19 infections subsided. August and September data were revised upward to show an additional 235,000 jobs created over those months.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six rivals, rose as high as 94.634 after the jobs report, its firmest since Sept. 25, 2020.
The safe-haven currency pulled back a bit as risk appetite improved and stocks staged a broad rally. The dollar was last down 0.096% at 94.234, but was still up around 0.1% for the week, which was marked by a bevy of central bank meetings that forced investors to reset rate hike expectations.
On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he was in no rush to hike borrowing costs, as there was "still ground to cover to reach maximum employment." The central bank did announce a $15 billion monthly tapering of its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases.
"The payrolls print is certainly in line with Powell's statement at the Fed press conference, where he noted that job gains of this magnitude are consistent with the notion of making substantial further progress," TD Securities strategists said in a note.
The conditions are in place for a broad grind higher in the dollar, which also meshes with the seasonal trend for November, they said.
One soft spot in the U.S. employment report was a flat participation rate, which could end up spurring the Fed into action faster than expected, said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets
"The trend here could determine the course of Fed policy, as continued weakness in participation will only grease the jobless rate's decline ... which could very well lead to a faster pace of tapering and earlier rate hikes," he said.
The Bank of England's decision on Thursday not to lift rock-bottom benchmark rates proved the biggest shock for markets and pushed sterling to its biggest one-day fall in more than 18 months by as much as 1.6% on the day.
Sterling fell as much as 0.5% on Friday, hitting a fresh one-month low of $1.34250. It was last down 0.07%.
Earlier in the week, the Reserve Bank of Australia also stuck to its dovish stance despite inflationary pressure and held rates. The Aussie reversed declines from the overnight session and was up 0.01% at $0.73995, but was still on track for around a 1.6% weekly fall.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde pushed back on Wednesday against market bets for a rate hike as soon as next October and said it was very unlikely such a move would occur in 2022.
The euro was up 0.08% at $1.15635.
Among cryptocurrencies, bitcoin was down 0.89% at $60,908.40, having largely traded sideways since it hit its all-time high above $67,000 last month.
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