SEC Twitter Just Got Hacked? What?
In an insane turn of events this morning, Bitcoin ETFs finally gained their long-awaited approval, before only 15 minutes later, getting that same approval officially revoked with the reason being that the SEC’s official verified Twitter page got hacked. Yes, this apparently is what really happened.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has officially stated that it has not given approval for the trading and listing of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded products, refuting a prior false statement made on its official X (formerly Twitter) account. This morning, the SEC's X account posted a tweet falsely asserting approval for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). About 15 minutes later, SEC Chair Gary Gensler clarified that the commission had not granted approval for such products.
Several news outlets, including Cointelegraph, Blockworks, and Reuters, initially reported on the incorrect information from the SEC before Gensler's corrective statement. The unauthorised post featured a fabricated quote and image of the SEC chair, falsely announcing the approval of Bitcoin ETFs on U.S. exchanges.
The SEC promptly removed the misleading tweet, but not before it had gained millions of views. The identity of the entity responsible for compromising the SEC account and issuing the false statement remains unknown.
Despite the misinformation circulating on social media, the SEC has not confirmed any plans to either approve or deny a spot Bitcoin ETF. The decision on spot BTC ETF applications from ARK Invest and 21Shares is expected by January 10, potentially influencing simultaneous approvals for other asset managers.
Before Gensler's statement regarding the compromised SEC X account, the crypto market and users reacted to the false news. Bitcoin's price briefly surged by approximately 2.5%, rising from US$46,729 to US$47,901, before experiencing a subsequent 7% drop to US$44,701. At the latest update, the BTC price is below US$46,000.
Some social media users speculated that the retracted SEC tweet contained accurate information released prematurely, pointing out unusual activity, such as the SEC's X account "liking" two replies to the false tweet from random users.
Other unusual activity may or may not include regaining access to a supposedly hacked twitter account only 15 minutes after the alleged hacking.
Good to see the SEC cyber security team was quick to fix the issue.
Of course, the irony of the U.S. Securities and Exchange and Commission, who is generally responsible to protect investors, sending out fake information to only jeopardise those same investors is half hilarious and half terrifying.
We can only hope that the actions of the SEC is more competent moving forward, though given these latest shenanigans one could say that is highly doubtful.