Kroger dismisses announcement that it will accept Bitcoin Cash

A press release stating that Kroger will begin accepting Bitcoin Cash in its stores was fake, the grocer says.

The press release appeared on the company’s investor relations page on Friday morning and on a global newswire for press releases — and was picked up by some members of the financial press.

But the largest supermarket chain in the US told The Wall Street Journal that the release is “fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded.”

It appears to be the latest scam regarding a cryptocurrency, with Walmart having been hit by a similar fake release in September.

It’s not clear if the fake post was meant to manipulate the price of Bitcoin Cash, but price data from Coindesk shows a spike in the cryptocurrency early Friday morning Eastern time around the time the release apparently spread among investors.

The fake announcement included a quote from Kroger Chief Executive Rodney McMullen, saying that he saw the acceptance of cryptocurrency as the “natural progression” of a trend to deal less with physical cash. The company said this quote also was manufactured.

Kroger's CEO, Rodney McMullen.
A “fake” Kroger press release included a quote from CEO, Rodney McMullen.
REUTERS

On PR Newswire, the global wire for press releases, the wire issued a statement from the company: “We are advised by The Kroger Co. that journalists and other readers should disregard the news release, Kroger to Accept Bitcoin Cash This Holiday Season, issued earlier today over PR Newswire, as it is incorrect and was not authorized by the Company.”

PR Newswire itself didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Journal.

In September, a similar situation occurred with Walmart, in which many news outlets reported that Walmart had a partnership with Litecoin.

Shares of Litcoin spiked by more than 25 percent after the reports.

Digital bitcoin currency symbol abstract
In September, Walmart was also the subject of a fake press release about cryptocurrency.
Getty Images

But a spokesperson for Walmart later said: “Walmart was the subject of a fake news release issued on Monday, Sept. 13, that falsely stated Walmart announced a partnership with Litecoin (LTC).” “Walmart had no knowledge of the press release issued by GlobeNewswire, and it is incorrect. Walmart has no relationship with Litecoin.”