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Kroger says news release on grocer accepting bitcoin cash is fraudulent

A news release went up on Kroger Inc.’s website Friday saying customers would soon be able to use Bitcoin Cash as payment in its stores and online. It wasn’t true, the grocer said.

The “communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded,” a spokeswoman for the company said.

The release, which was posted to Kroger’s investor relations’ page, was taken down. The spokeswoman said releases from PR Newswire, a platform for distributing announcements for media outlets to see, automatically feed to the press-release section on Kroger’s website.

PR Newswire didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

This isn’t the first time a fraudulent news release has been put out on behalf of a major retailer saying some type of cryptocurrency would be accepted as payment. Shares of little-used cryptocurrency litecoin surged in mid-September after a fake news release that was purportedly from Walmart Inc. said customers could use the cryptocurrency as payment.

Shares of Kroger were down 2% in morning trading. The price of Bitcoin Cash briefly topped $630 Friday morning on the fake press release but fell shortly after, according to CoinDesk.

Bitcoin Cash, an offshoot of bitcoin, was developed with the idea of fixing problems that were keeping bitcoin from becoming a mainstream way to pay for things. Its underlying technology is similar to bitcoin, but changes were made to Bitcoin Cash to try to make transactions faster and with lower fees.

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