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SEC: Our X Account Was Hacked to Spread Fake Bitcoin News

Sorry, crypto-bros.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday that its official X account had been hacked and that a now-deleted tweet about Bitcoin exchange-traded funds being approved for trading had been incorrect.

The false alarm, which briefly sent prices soaring near $48,000, was clarified around 15 minutes after it went up by Gary Gensler, the regulator’s chair, who wrote on X that the account had been “compromised” and the tweet “unauthorized.”

“The SEC has not approved the listing and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products,” he added.

The agency posted a similar message to its own account shortly after, and a spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the new tweets to CNBC. By then, the price of bitcoin had tumbled to less than $46,000, lower than its price earlier in the day.

The issue of long-awaited approval for the first bitcoin ETF, a product similar to a mutual fund, is expected to come to a head this week, with the SEC set to make a decision as early as Wednesday on whether to allow them to be brought to market. The currency has more than doubled in the last year as bitcoin advocates—including a handful of prominent asset managers like BlackRock and Fidelity—have pushed for ETF approval, which would allow speculators to invest in bitcoin without having to hold it directly.

The SEC has previously batted down all attempts to get a bitcoin ETF approved, with Gensler, a Biden appointee, having repeatedly warned of the risks of cryptocurrency investing. On Monday, he again issued an advisory, pointing out that those wheeling and dealing in crypto assets could be operating outside of the law.

However, an unnamed executive at one of the firms pushing for its approval told Politico that the SEC had told them it had no further comment on their application to launch a bitcoin ETF, signaling that it is likely to be approved.


January 2024