X Probes Hacked SEC Account that Falsely Touted Bitcoin ETF Approval

BySamson Ononeme

Jan 10, 2024 , ,
X Probes Hacked SEC Account that Falsely Touted Bitcoin ETF Approval

Key Insights

  • X said an unidentified third party compromised the SEC’s Twitter account using a phone number linked to it without two-factor authentication.
  • The false tweet on SEC approving bitcoin ETFs briefly spiked bitcoin prices before Gensler denied claims within 15 minutes.
  • While unauthorized, analysts say an SEC decision approving spot bitcoin ETFs could still be imminent this week.

WASHINGTON – Social media platform X said on Tuesday it had completed an initial investigation into the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) account that was hacked to display a fraudulent post about bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

X determined the security breach was the result of an unnamed third party gaining control of a phone number linked to the @SECGov Twitter handle. The account did not have two-factor authentication enabled at the time, the company said.

The false tweet had claimed the SEC approved bitcoin ETF trading in the United States, and included a fake quote attributed to agency chair Gary Gensler.

Bitcoin prices jumped nearly 5% following the unauthorized post before retreating after Gensler posted 15 minutes later that the claim was untrue and that no bitcoin ETFs had been greenlit by the regulator.

The SEC’s @SECGov X/Twitter account has been compromised, an agency spokesperson confirmed to CNBC. The unauthorized tweet regarding bitcoin ETFs was not made by the SEC or its staff.

Cryptocurrency analysts say the SEC may still be close to approving spot bitcoin ETFs, which would open the $1 trillion market to a wider range of investors by allowing them exposure without having to directly hold digital assets.

The decision has been eagerly anticipated all year after several asset managers filed listings for spot bitcoin funds. The SEC is expected to rule on filings by ARK Invest and 21Shares as soon as this week.

Approval would represent a significant shift for Gensler, who has previously targeted crypto companies for selling unregistered securities. Under his leadership, the SEC has sued firms including Coinbase and Ripple.

Samson Ononeme

Meet Samson Ononeme, a dynamic writer, editor, and CEO of marketsxplora.com. With a passion for words and a sharp business acumen, Samson captivates readers with captivating storytelling and delivers insightful market analysis. He is a trailblazer in the finance industry, empowering individuals with knowledge and shaping the narrative of money. Get ready to be inspired by his literary prowess and entrepreneurial leadership.

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